Southampton [UK], Sep 03: India was handed its third consecutive series defeat in England as it was bowled out for 184 runs in the fourth Test match at the Ageas Bowl cricket ground, giving the hosts an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.
The day’s play started with England’s score at 260 for the loss of eight wickets, with 20-year-old Sam Curran and Stuart Broad helping England add another 11 runs. Mohammed Shami dismissed Broad and a run out accounted for Curran’s dismissal, setting up a challenging target of 245 for the visitors to keep the series alive.
The Indian innings started with the prevalent theme of disappointment for the openers as James Anderson and Broad got England off to a perfect start.
K. L. Rahul (0 from 7) was sent back to the pavilion with Broad knocking over his stumps, and Cheteshwar Pujara (5 from 14), the star of India’s first innings who scored an unbeaten 132 runs, quickly followed him after Anderson trapped him LBW.
India soon found themselves in a spot of bother as they lost their third for just 22 runs, with Shikhar Dhawan’s wicket picked up by Anderson. Indian skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane then calmed the storm and partnered a 101-run stand to steer India away from trouble and give the visitors a chance to register their second win and keep the series alive.
However, Moeen Ali, the pick of the bowlers with a combined nine wickets to his name in the two innings, broke the partnership as he sent the formidable Indian captain back to the pavilion. A ball brushed off Kohli’s glove giving Alastair Cook at short leg an easy catch to end Kohli’s 58-run knock.
With Kohli’s wicket, India’s hopes in the match and the series faded away as England got rid of the visitor’s middle order and the tail end with consummate ease.
Ali, who was named the man of the match, send Rahane (51), Rishab Pant (18) and Shami (8) packing while Ben Stokes dismissed Hardik Pandya (0) and Ishant Sharma (0) before the innings was wrapped up by Curran as he trapped Ashwin (25) LBW.
The series defeat also marked the first instance where Kohli lost back-to-back Test series as captain since he took over the role from M. S. Dhoni in 2014, after the 2-1 defeat in South Africa in January.
The fifth and final Test match will be played on September 7 at the Oval cricket ground in London.
India’s next series will see them travel to Australia in November for a three-match T-20I series, a four-match test series and a three-match ODI series.