Going into Day 5 at The Oval, experts believed that all three results were possible in the game. However, hopes of an England win were shattered in no time as Indian bowlers breathed fire on the final day, bowling out the hosts in 84 overs.
England openers added 100 runs for the first wicket before Shardul Thakur provided the first breakthrough in the form of Rory Burns. The wicket opened the floodgates as England lost their last nine wickets for 110 runs. Mayank Agarwal’s brilliant throw got rid of Dawid Malan before Ravindra Jadeja went past the defences of a set Haseeb Hameed.
Post that India steamrolled England. Jasprit Bumrah's comeback spell broke the spine of England batting as he cleaned up Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow in consecutive overs. Joe Root’s wicket at the stroke of Tea made England’s loss inevitable and it was just a matter of time that India went 2-1 ahead in the series.
England skipper Joe Root lauded the Indian bowlers and said they were getting the ball to reverse which made it difficult for the batters to stay at the wicket.
“It’s been frustrating today to lose 10 wickets. But actually, where the game is lost, where we could have really stamped authority on things was earlier in the game, Root said during a virtual press conference.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t quite take it deep enough, and that was a wonderful spell of bowling that really turned the game. They got the ball reversing nicely, and they took advantage of it, and we just didn’t have the right answers, which is slightly frustrating. I think we’ve seen things that we’ve got to get better at.”
With the win, India have taken an unassailable lead in the five-match series. The next game in Manchester now becomes a must-win for England if they have to draw the series. Root further said England need to be a bit more consistent going forward.
“We’ve got to keep looking to improve – recognizing those key moments in games and enforcing our advantage. We did it at Headingley, and we didn’t quite manage to do that this time around. It’s something that we’ve got to be more consistent at,” he added