India levelled the ongoing Test series with an iconic performance as their bowlers ensured that they are getting the job done at Vizag with a momentous number on board. Chasing 399, England were bundled out for 292 with Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin leading the charge. The duo claimed six wickets between them to help India on their way to a triumphant victory.
England who seemed overtly confident of getting the job done without breaking a sweat was seen faltering in no time and their attempts at knitting together a brand of cricket called Bazball went in vain with no one to arrest their endless decline. Here are three factors that contributed to the downfall of England.
England has always been an arrogant side and with Brendon McCullum’s ethos in place, the results that have followed suit has just inadvertently boosted their ego. There is a thin line of demarcation between ego and confidence. For England they crossed the line and found themselves struggling. As a result they were down and out in two sessions of the fourth day.
#2 An exception cannot be a norm
Ollie Pope may have knitted together a brilliant innings in Hyderabad but when the caravan arrived in Vizag, he had his fair shares of struggles. India didn’t the spinners in for the big man and it was Jasprit Bumrah’s consistent effort that left Pope somewhat gasping for breath. Just because he has braved the Indian spinners once with his new strategy of reverse sweeping or sweeping the ball extensively, after being kept reticent for a while, his desperate attempt to brave Ravichandran Ashwin eventually exposed the fact that an exceptional double century is an one-off and not your regular bread and butter.
#3 Over-reliability on Bazball
What exactly is Bazball? The ability to hammer in Test cricket and score aggressively. But that is just a style of play and not the bolt of Zeus that would leave any opposition floored. However, England beats the drums of Bazball as if they have discovered an ancient weapon which has no parallel whatsoever. Maybe Virender Sehwag being their coach someday would have taught them better. They need to find a decent balance between being aggressive and when to call the shots of defence. Unless that happens, they are in for a long and cold tour in India.