THE OVAL: Jasprit Bumrah starred as India crushed England by 157 runs to win the fourth Test at the Oval on Monday and take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
The tourists took all 10 wickets they needed inside a day’s play, bouncing back in style following their innings defeat in the third Test at Headingley and cannot now lose the series
England, set 368 to win, still had hopes of victory at 141-2 after lunch on the last day but Ravindra Jadeja and Bumrah both struck twice as England lost four wickets for six runs, slumping to 147-6.
There was no way back from there.
England lost two more wickets before tea including captain and star batsman Joe Root, bidding for a fourth hundred in successive Tests, who played on to recalled all-rounder Shardul Thakur for 36.
Umesh Yadav, in for the dropped Mohammed Shami, then cleaned up the tail to the delight of India fans among a capacity crowd revelling in the south London sunshine.
Yadav, who took six wickets in the match, ended proceedings when he had James Anderson caught behind off the new ball shortly after tea.
But it was Bumrah, gaining significant reverse swing, who proved particularly difficult to handle, returning superb figures of 2-27 in 22 overs.
– ‘Character’ –
“I’m really proud of the character the team has shown, especially this morning, the way we bowled,” India captain Virat Kohli told Sky Sports.
“I think it’s definitely among the top three bowling performances I have witnessed as India captain.”
England have little time to regroup before the fifth Test at Old Trafford starts on Friday and Root could not hide his disappointment.
“It is frustrating not to be able to get anything from the game today,” he said.
“We turned up this morning and we really feel like we had an opportunity to win the Test match, especially with that opening partnership, which I thought was outstanding.
“Credit to India, they got the ball to reverse and they made good use of that. It was a brilliant spell of bowling from Bumrah and that really was the turning point in the game.”
India’s victory came 50 years on from their first Test — and series — win in England at the Oval in 1971.
Left-arm spinner Jadeja, again preferred to star off-break bowler Ravichandran Ashwin, was eventually rewarded for a probing spell on a wearing pitch.
Haseeb Hameed, 43 not out overnight, added just 20 more runs in 108 balls on Monday, with Jadeja bowling him with a delivery that pitched just outside leg stump and turned to clip the top of off.
Ollie Pope, who made 81 in the first innings, became Bumrah’s 100th Test victim when he was bowled for two and the paceman produced a brilliant yorker to bowl Jonny Bairstow for a duck.
Moeen Ali also fell for nought when he deflected a Jadeja delivery that turned and bounced out off the rough straight to short leg.
England had earlier resumed on 77-0, with genuine hopes of pulling off a famous victory.
History, however, was against the home team as the most they have made to win in the fourth innings of a Test is 362-9, requiring 359, against Australia at Headingley in 2019.
It was all-rounder Thakur — playing in his first Test since suffering a hamstring injury in the drawn series opener in Nottingham — who ended an opening stand of 100 when he had Rory Burns (50) caught behind off an excellent leg-cutter to the left-hander.
England, having seen Mohammed Siraj drop an easy chance at mid-on to reprieve Hameed, lost a second wicket before lunch when Dawid Malan was needlessly run out.