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India vs England: Joe Root's Bizarre Captaincy, and Other Things That Went Wrong for England at Lord's

Jasprit Bumrah Gets into an Argument with England players at Lord's on day five.

Jasprit Bumrah Gets into an Argument with England players at Lord's on day five.

What happened at Lord's? What did England do wrong? A summary of England's poor performance in the second Test against India.

It’s celebration time for India after their epic win at Lord’s. Virat Kohli and co feel they could have been 2-0 up, if not for rain on the final day at Nottingham. Nevertheless, the signs are clear, that India have the upper hand in the series. England are missing some key players - Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad to name some.

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But what happened at Lord’s? What did England do wrong? A summary.

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England won the toss and opted to field first. While that was perhaps understandable considering overcast conditions on Day 1, and the fact that India too wanted to do the same, it betrayed a lack of trust in England’s batsmen. None, barring Joe Root were in any sort of form, and England did not want India’s pacers to call the shots early.

But the pitch was also such that batting would get tougher in the later stages, and batting fourth was a huge gamble. India’s opening batsmen - KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma - stitched a 126-run stand, setting up a superb platform for India. Once the conditions were negotiated, India posted in excess of 360.

And although England managed a first-innings lead, thanks to Root, batting fourth turned out to be a problem. Who knows how it could have been had England been braver at the toss.

Dom Sibley, Jos Buttler’s form

England dropped dropped Zak Crawley after the first Test. They could be tempted to leave out Sibley after this one. Soft dismissals on the leg side is becoming a pattern, and Sibley managed only 11 and 0 in the two innings. Haseeb Hameed made 9 runs across two innings, but given he’s coming back after a while, he could stick on.

0, 17, 23 and 25. These are Jos Buttler’s scores this series. The 25 could have been much lesser had Virat Kohli held on to a catch. Buttler tried his best to save the Test for England, but his weaknesses still stood exposed. England need him to fire, for Root desperately needs some help.

Sam Curran’s off game

A king pair, and 1 wicket from 40 overs. Says it all. Curran had his worst game, and hurt England in the process. In Stuart Broad’s absence, England needed Curran to step up but that wasn’t to be. No pace, and lack of swing meant it was easy to handle him. With the bat, he managed two first-ball ducks. More is expected from the all-rounder.

Joe Root’s Bizarre tactics

England seemed more intent on scaring India’s tailenders than getting them out. On revenge, rather than dismissals. James Anderson was subject to a bouncer barrage from Jasprit Bumrah, and England wanted to do the same when Bumrah batted. War of words, bouncers etc followed, and England forgot to bowl the wicket-taking lengths. Worse, they kept a spread out field, hoping India’s tail would slog wildly.

But Bumrah and Mohammed Shami had other plans; they played smart enough to add singles, and added an unbroken 89 for the ninth wicket. That set India up for a win on Day 5. After the game, Root admitted he might have got a thing or two wrong, and this was definitely one of those.

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first published:August 17, 2021, 19:41 IST