Birmingham: Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s brilliant batting display went in vain as England defeated India by 31 runs in the opening Test of the ongoing five-match series at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground on Saturday.
Chasing the target of 194 runs, the Indian team bundled out for 162 runs despite Kohli’s useful contribution of 52 runs. Hardik Pandya (31) was another notable performer for the team.
Ben Stokes was the star performer for the English side who scalped four important Indian wickets, including Kohli’s, to put his side in a stronger position.
Chasing the target, the Indian top order continued with their disappointing show in the second innings as well and failed to make any impact. By the end of the third day’s play, India had lost five wickets at the score of 110.
Resuming the chase on the fourth day, India lost an early wicket in the form of Dinesh Karthik following which Kohli and Pandya built a steady 29-run partnership to steer India forward.
The turning moment of the match came when Ben Stokes, in one of his quick deliveries, trapped Kohli in front of the wicket which led to Indian captain’s dismissal.
After Kohli departed back to the pavilion, Indian batting line up failed to keep the team going and lost wickets in quick succession.
Pandya kept on fighting till last but was ultimately deceived by another quicker delivery of Ben Stokes to get caught out in the slips position.
Earlier, in reply to England’s first inning total of 287 runs, India could only manage to put up a score of 274 runs giving the hosts a lead of 13 runs.
English fast bowler Sam Curran was the highest wicket-taker for the hosts who picked up four wickets with an economy rate of 4.35.
None of the Indian batters, except for the Kohli, who played a classy inning of 149 runs in the first inning, could stand firm against the England bowling attack.
The Indian bowlers, however, made a strong comeback in the second inning and bowled out England at a score of 180 runs.
Putting up one of the best bowling performances of his career, Ishant Sharma scalped five wickets at an economy rate of 3.92 to land India in a comfortable position.
Meanwhile, Young English fast bowler Sam Curran was declared ‘man of the match’ for his exceptional bowling and batting (63) performance.
India will now look to bounce back when they take on England in the second match of the series, beginning August 9 at the Lord’s.(ANI)