India outfoxed England in the second Test match of the series at Lord’s to stamp their authority on the World Test Championship race.
Virat Kohli’s men restricted Englishmen to 120 runs in the second innings, thanks to a bowling masterclass from Mohammad Siraj and other members of India’s fiery pace cartel.
In pursuit of 272 runs, England fell a massive 151 runs short at the home of cricket.
The first Test was spoiled by intermittent rainfall in the UK, but India took charge in the second clash.
Here are five things we learned from the game:
KL Rahul – the all-format player
KL Rahul bagged the Player of the Match trophy for his gritty display with the bat.
Not many had expected the Punjab kings skipper to stand tall alongside Rohit Sharma against one of the toughest bowling line-ups in the world.
But Rahul seemed to have different plans.
The right-handed opener has been the star performer for the visitors ever since Men in Blue have landed in England.
His 129 in the first innings of the second Test helped India mount pressure on Joe Root’s men.
England need new openers
Joe Burns and Dom Sibley have failed to impress time and again.
While both have different batting techniques, they share the same method of failure against the moving red ball.
Both openers returned to the pavilion for a duck in the second inning which shattered England’s plans of chasing the tricky total.
Kohil’s aggression helps
Virat Kohli may be undergoing a century drought, but he doesn’t let the form slump affect his aggression on the field.
The Indian skipper was in the ears of every Englishmen in the second innings to leave them unsettled.
Be it James Anderson, Jos Butler or Ollie Robinson, Kohli made sure he let his animated character throw them off-balance.
After the game was wrapped up, the Indian skipper said that the visitors used the English critics as a motivating force in the second Test.
Stokes is irreplaceable
Ben Stokes has taken an indefinite break from cricket due to mental health.
The English all-rounder is one of the best all-rounders in all formats of the game and his absence has vastly hurt Root’s side.
There seems to be a vacant slot in the middle order which no other player has been able to fill.
The sooner England finds Stokes’ replacement, the better.
Root, the captain has lots to learn
Joe Root was the highest run-getter on both sides.
He stood head and shoulders above every batsman and put on a masterclass performance each time he got to bat.
However, his tactical flaws led England to a loss.
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami ran riot with the bat till Kohli declared the innings and their ninth-wicket partnership was the last nail in the coffin for Root’s team.
The runs Bumrah and Shami added took India to a fighting total and pressurized England in their backyard.
Joe Root has since been rightly criticised for letting the two tail-enders run away with the game.
Nonetheless, the Englishman has taken full responsibility for the team’s loss.