Shami, Siraj and Bumrah inspire India to sensational victory over bedraggled England

By Sports Desk August 16, 2021

India turned a gripping second Test on its head at Lord's and skittled England for 120 on the final evening to win by 151 runs and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

An England victory appeared most likely when India resumed on 181-6, ahead by 154 in their second innings – and certainly when Ollie Robinson (2-45) removed the dangerous Rishabh Pant (22) and Ishant Sharma (16) with the lead still below 200.

But seamer Robinson found himself out in the middle with bat in hand in the final hour alongside Jos Buttler as England lurched to seven down.

The turning point came when Jasprit Bumrah (34 not out) joined Mohammed Shami (56 not out) in an unlikely and unbroken ninth-wicket alliance of 89 before India declared on 298-8.

Shami crashed six fours and a huge six off Moeen Ali brought up his maiden Test fifty. Bumrah's 64-ball effort was also a career best and his very presence was arguably pivotal in England losing any semblance of composure.

The apparent desire for retribution after Bumrah gave James Anderson a working over appeared to outweigh to required cold-headed pursuit of the final two scalps of a tail that looked very inviting on paper.

Virat Kohli declared early in the second session and England's victory target of 272 became completely nominal after Rory Burns and Dom Sibley became their country's first openers to each fall for ducks in the same innings of a home Test.

Bumrah (3-33) had Burns caught off a leading edge in the first over and Shami (1-13) had Sibley caught behind. Haseeb Hameed at least occupied 45 deliveries for his nine but fell leg before to Ishant (2-13) and Jonny Bairstow perished in the same fashion on the stroke of tea.

England were staring down the barrel when captain Joe Root – again top scorer with 33 – edged Bumrah to Kohli at slip, The India skipper also pouched Moeen (13) before Mohammed Siraj (4-32) subjected Sam Curran to the first ever Test king pair at Lord's, although his drop when Buttler was on two looked like it might be key.

The white-ball master played with impeccable restraint for his 25 but lost Robinson lbw on review to Bumrah with 9.1 overs remaining and feathered a beauty behind three balls later from Siraj, who finished the job by emphatically bowling Anderson.

Familiar problems as Root fights a lone hand

Burns and Sibley's unwanted slice of history took them on to nine ducks between them in 2021 – the same amount suffered by Alastair Cook in his 161 Test career. The recalled Hameed also went for nought in the first innings and Bairstow's departure ensured Root was the only member of the top five to reach double figures. India's fast bowlers operated at a high level once again, but it is an utterly unacceptable return.

Pacemen give India a new dimension

India took a huge step towards a long-awaited series victory in England and should they finish the job over the next three Tests, their four-pronged pace attack will have had plenty to do with it. If the morning was about Bumrah and Shami's thrilling abandon, the conclusion was the story of four experts of their craft working in tandem to give an overmatched batting line-up no prospect of escape.

It is a defeat to rank among the ignominy of Adelaide 2006 and Trinidad 1994 for England and it feels virtually impossible to see Root's men plotting a recovery from here, having crumbled on the back of three days painstakingly working their way into the ascendency.

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