India on Saturday suffered a heart-shattering 31-run loss to England as skipper Virat Kohli’s splendid innings went in vain in a nail-biting opening Test match at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground.
It was literally Kohli against the whole England side and following the Indian skipper’s wicket off a Ben Stokes in swinger that trapped him for a LBW in the 47th over, the game only headed towards the home team’s way.
Resuming the 4th day on 110/5, India surrendered their innings for 162 runs despite Kohli’s gritty knock of 51 runs of 93 balls and Hardik Pandya’s 31.
All-rounder Stokes came to the party as he sent Kohli and Mohammad Shami to the pavilion in the same over. Following the double blow, James Anderson and Stuart Broad chipped in with a brace each as England drew first blood in what promises to be a magical series for both the teams and cricket lovers.
The Indian bowlers were superb in both the innings, but except Kohli, the Indian batting department let the team down again.
The second Test begins at Lord’s on August 9.
“Glad to be a part of such an exciting Test match. There were a couple of moments when we came back. A team like England doesn’t let you do it everyday, they were relentless and they made us work very hard for our runs,” said Kohli.
“It sets up the series nicely and gives us what we need to do going forward. Our shot selection could have been better. We definitely need to apply ourselves better with the bat, but England came back superbly and we need to take the positives and move forward,” added the star batsman.
England skipper Joe Root was thrilled with the result.
“It is a great start for us in the series, we know there is a lot of work to be done, but it gives us a lot of confidence. It shows that there is so much more than just skills, runs and wickets when it comes to Test cricket at this level,” he said.
It was a bright, sunny day at the Edgbaston but the ball was doing bits to trouble the batsmen, as Dinesh Karthik fell on the sixth ball of the day.
But, Kohli and Pandya built a partnership of 29 runs as the pendulum swung towards the Indian team.
The skipper reached his 17th Test half-century off 88 balls.
However, Stokes trapped Kohli lbw with a peach of an in swinger. The skipper took the review but it went towards England’s favour.
Shami followed him four balls later as he was caught behind. Ishant Sharma managed to hit two boundaries but Adil Rashid sent him packing soon after with a googly.
Stokes then sent Pandya back as he was caught at the first slip to signal India’s defeat in the nail-biter.
England lead the five match Test series 1-0 and Virat Kohli and co will be looking to fight back in the second Test at the Lord’s, which will be played on August 9.