England skipper Joe Root led his team from the front as England defeated India by a close margin of 31 runs in a thrilling series opener of the five-match Test series at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Meanwhile, the match took a turn in England’s favor in the morning session of Day four which started with India needing 84 runs to win. At the start of the day, the visitors lost the crucial wicket of Dinesh Karthik. However, the actual turn came in when Ben Stokes trapped the Indian skipper Virat Kohli (51) in front of the stumps.
The ball came back in from Stokes and Virat fell over slightly and gets trapped right in front. The English all-rounder roars in joy as other joined him in wild celebration. Although Kohli went for the review, it also showed three red lights which gave a perfect testimony to the umpire’s decision. Mohammed Shami was soon to follow his skipper in the last same over.
After that over, Hardik Pandyaslowed down a bit while the incomer Ishant Sharma was taking the attack to the opposition. But soon after that Ishant was also trapped in front by Adil Rashid’s googly. Things become tight for Hardik, who struggled to score runs as England bowlers kept things tight. Ben Stokes produced yet another magical delivery to find the edge of Pandya to finish off the proceedings.
As a result, Stokes returned with four wickets to single-handedly take England 1-0 up in the five-match Test series beating India by 31 runs. During the post-match presentation, Root said, “It has been a fantastic team performance despite the ups and downs the credit must go to the bowling unit. We knew that if we stayed calm throughout, we would give ourselves the best chance to win. We did a good job in staying calm. We made sure we didn’t get ahead of ourselves and after three days of fantastic cricket from both sides it gives us a lot of confidence going into the next game. Sam Curran has a great amount of skill, very exciting and promising cricketer. It is easy to make an emotional decision right now, but we need to sit outside and decide for Lord’s depending on the surface.”
On the other hand, Kohli said, “Glad to be part of such an exciting Test. A lot of times we came back, showed character there. But England was relentless. They made us work hard for the runs. Definitely could have applied ourselves better, but I’m proud of the fight. We can be proud of the team for starting like that in a big series. A lot to learn from the lower order – Ishant and Umesh getting stuck in there. Those sort of things makes you look in the mirror as a top order batsman. We’ve got to be positive, fearless and take the negatives out.”
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The young Sam Curran who was named as player of the match said, “I can’t take it all at the moment. It feels like I’m dreaming. I’m sure I’ll sleep well tonight coz I didn’t get any last night. To be honest, I tried to learn a bit from Virat. Met Kumar the other day in the hotel and he spoke to me a bit about batting with the tail. Playing Test cricket in front of this crowd, with these guys I have grown up watching – I am just looking to learn every day.”