Tuesday, March 28, 2023

IND vs ENG 2021 Headingley Test: Robinson five-fer sinks India as England level series

England pacer Ollie Robinson came up with a dream spell on Day 4 of the Headingley Test to bowl his side to victory against India by an innings and 76 runs. Robinson finished with figures of 5 for 65 as India crumbled from 215 for 2 to 278 all out in what was a disastrous first session for them.

Having shown some fight on Day 3, India went in with hopes of carrying on the good work. However, they came completely unstuck against the new ball as England trampled their way to a series-levelling victory.

Team India had a horror start to Day 4 as Cheteshwar Pujara fell without adding to his overnight score of 91. The No. 3 batter made a fatal error of judgement as he shouldered arms to a delivery from Ollie Robinson that came back in sharply. The umpire did not raise his finger but England went for the DRS and had their man.

India could never recover from the early setback and England’s bowlers were soon all over them. Captain Virat Kohli survived a close call against James Anderson when he got a caught behind decision overturned making use of the DRS – replays showed the bat hitting pad and daylight between willow and ball.

England did not have to wait long to see the back of the Indian skipper though. Having crossed his half-century, Kohli perished for 55, again nicking one outside off from Robinson. England captain Joe Root gleefully accepted the offering at first slip.

Ajinkya Rahane’s (10) woeful run continued as he too poked at one from Anderson in the corridor of uncertainty and walked back. Not for the first time in the series, Rishabh Pant looked completely at sea. Like in the first innings, he hung his bat at one outside off and presented a tame catch in the slip cordon to give Robinson his fourth scalp.

Apart from movement, England’s pacers also managed to extract some extra bounce off the surface which caught India’s flirting batsmen off guard. Pant’s dismissal for 2 left India reeling at 239 for 6 and only the formalities remained.

England scythe through India’s lower order

Craig Overton of England celebrates after taking the last wicket of Mohammed Siraj. Pic: Getty Images
Craig Overton of England celebrates after taking the last wicket of Mohammed Siraj. Pic: Getty Images

Having learnt their lessons from Lord’s, England did not allow India’s tail to settle in during the first innings. The story was the same in the second essay as well.

After somehow surviving against England’s pacers, Mohammed Shami (6) was castled by Moeen Ali as the ball spun sharply to beat his defense and rattle the stumps. Ishant Sharma (2) then became Robinson’s fifth victim as he, too, was caught in the channel outside off stump.

Ravindra Jadeja threw his bat around to get a quick 30 before he got a ripper from Craig Overton and only managed to present a simple catch to Jos Buttler. The England pacer, on a comeback, then bowled England to an emphatic victory as Mohammed Siraj (0) fended a back-of-a-length ball to slip.

After being outwitted at Lord’s, England completed a stunning turnaround to draw level in the series. With two Tests left, both teams still have everything to play for.


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