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4th Test: England collapse under pressure

India have made it 2-1 against England by winning the fourth Test.

This is their first Test win at the Oval since 1971.

Virat Kohli’s men turned up on the final day, brimming with high spirits to take home the W.

In pursuit of 368, the hosts were bundled out for 210 in the second innings.

The 157-run victory will have the visitors roaring with confidence before the fifth Test.

Kohli may not have got a century in this series so far, but he has kept his critics shut with inch-perfect captaincy.

England openers sent back early on Day 5

Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns looked dangerous on Day 4.

They looked in fine touch on Day 5 as well as they waved their bat to the gallery following their fifties.

But India soon worked its way around the lefty-righty duo.

Ravi Jadeja uprooted Hameed’s stump while Shardul Thakur got Burns caught behind to Rishabh Pant.

Thakur has chipped in with handy contributions in every innings.

After registering fiery half-centuries in both innings in his comeback Test, Thakur dismissed two set batsmen – Burns and Joe Root – to put India in the driver’s seat.

His all-around performance gave India an abrupt charge whenever the game looked like drifting away.

Jasprit Bumrah too registered a personal landmark reaching the milestone of 100 wickets in just 24 tests at an average of just 22.72.

Bowling consistently at 90+ miles per hour, his in-swinging yorker to dismiss Bairstow was one of the most destructive balls we have seen in recent times and brought back memories of Waqar Younis at his best.

Domino effect hits England again

England are gradually becoming notorious for losing one too many wickets in a short space of time.

After Hameed and Burns set up a 100-run partnership, it seemed as if the run chase is gettable for the hosts on the flat track.

One after another the Englishmen began returning to the hut.

In the final afternoon of Day 5, England lost four batters for six runs, which summed up their day.

Apart from the openers, only in-form skipper Joe Root stuck around a bit for his 78-ball 36.

A similar pattern emerged for England in the first innings.

They were cruising with a good pace after the middle-order pitched in some runs, but soon a couple of batsmen were dismissed in succession and they ended with a mere 99-run lead against India.

This allowed Virat Kohli to weave a plan against Root’s men, something he plotted to perfection.

Time for Bairstow to stand tall

It’s high time for stand-in keeper Jonny Bairstow to build on good starts.

The all-format Englishman has been evidently struggling in the entire series against India’s pace cartel.

He looked sharp for his 37 in the first inning before he fell cheaply to Mohammad Siraj.

When it was time for him to stand tall like Rishabh Pant put on his big boy boots in the second innings, Bairstow failed, again.

Courtesy Jasprit Bumrah, the Englishmen returned to the dressing room on a duck on the fourth delivery he faced.

Ollie Pope is yet another threat to him.

The red-ball specialist has been highly rated by the experts.

His 81-run knock had the Indian team scratching their heads in the first innings.

If Pope continues to fill Ian Bell’s boots and Bairstow carries on registering a string of failures in the red-ball arena, there may not be a permanent space for the wicket-keeper in Root’s playing XI.

India 191 (Thakur 57, Kohli 50, Woakes 4-55) and 466 (Rohit 127, Pujara 61, Thakur 60, Pant 50, Woakes 3-83) beat England 290 (Pope 81, Woakes 50, Umesh 3-76) and 210 (Hameed 63, Burns 50, Umesh 3-60) by 157 runs.

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