India were outclassed, outplayed and more or less outbowled in every department during the 3rd Test played at Southampton as hosts England ran over the sorry visitors.
India were outclassed, outplayed and more or less outbowled in every department during the 3rd Test played at Southampton as hosts England ran over the sorry visitors with a crushing 266-run victory here on Thursday.
All-rounder but mostly used as a spinner, Moeen Ali claimed six wickets to lead England towards victory and level the series 1-1 with two more to play.
The spinner who was in the news for the wrong reasons (wearing ‘Save the Gaza’ bands as ICC has banned him to do so) Moeen took a career best – 6 for 67, his first ever five-wicket haul as India crumbled to a lowly 178 all out in their second innings on the final morning of the match.
On the final day, England required just 6 wickets to clean up the Indians.
Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma needed a miracle of sorts to stage a fightback but England fought back as James Anderson struck to send back a sorry Rohit Sharma into the pavilion. Even though James Anderson walked away with the man of the match award for his 7 wickets, the hero of the day was Moeen Ali who dismissed Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami in the space of 12 balls, before completing the scalp of Pankaj Singh.
Only one Indian batsman stood strong in this hour of sorrow as Lord’s hero Ajinkya Rahane played with self-control to reach his second half-century of the match but other batsmen failing around him, the Mumbai batsman cut a sorry figure at the other end of the crease.
India simply missed Ishant Sharma who had inspired the visitors to historical win at the Lord’s ground. MS Dhoni in his post-match presser said, “(Fast bowler) Ishant Sharma definitely won’t be fit for the fourth test. Pankaj Singh bowled really well, he was the one person bowling the right length and he was unlucky not to get wickets. Whenever I asked him to bowl he gave it everything.” Besides, the form of Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan will also be a worry for Dhoni and the management as they look to reignite their series winning capabilities. The axe may fall on Dhawan in the 4th Test whereas the likes of Varun Aaron and Ravi Ashwin might also get a nod.
England will be happy after ending their ‘hoodoo’ of 10-defeats that started in that dismal Ashes tour Down Under. Alastair Cook has sprung back to form and the likes of Ian Bell, Gary Ballance and Jos Buttler have also impressed with the bat. The bowling department looks fiery again with James Anderson-Stuart Broad partnership doing wonders. Moeen Ali impressed with his 6-wicket haul as hosts look to win back their lost pride.
The 4th Test kicks off at Old Trafford, Manchester on August 7.