By: Keyur Seta
Only true cricket lovers can understand the meaning of winning a Test Match at the famous Lord’s Cricket Ground, the home of Cricket. This reason is enough for India’s 95 run victory in the second test against England in the ongoing 2014 test series to be labeled as historic. The last time when India won there was way back in 1986 when Kapil Dev led the team.
Since India didn’t win a single test at Lord’s in 28 years, it brings to light a startling fact that none of India’s most celebrated players – Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly, V V S Laxman and Anil Kumble – ever experienced a test victory at Lord’s ever in their career! This statistic alone proves the magnanimity of the victory. Before this win, very few of us would have realized that this feather is missing from the caps of these legends.
There is one reason, however, why this victory should be described as something more than historic. This has to do with the way India batted on such testing and unfriendly or, rather, alien conditions. For anyone who has been following Indian cricket since very long would know how our team surrenders whenever faced with green-tops or bouncy wickets. On most of the occasions while playing on such pitches, only two results were possible: defeat or draw; winning was something too much to ask for.
But circa 2014 and we see a big turnaround in our batsmen’s response to such dangerous conditions. To see the manner in which people like Ajinkya Rahane, Murli Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar adapted to such conditions was heartening to say the least. Not taking anything away from Ishant Sharma’s fiery spell of 7 for 74, the batters showed patience by leaving a lot of balls and didn’t appear vulnerable against some deadly fast bowling. And to see such patience from a generation of cricketers that are involved in the T20 overdose and that too on flat wickets speaks volumes about their achievement.
Needless to say, this effort will give our batsmen a confidence booster like never before. This can be explained in a simple way – if they can adapt so well in such bowler-friendly wickets, one can imagine the ease they would feel on pitches and conditions much better for batsmen. Add to this, the solid batting performance by Bhuvaneshwar that has increased the strength of our lower order.
But despite such heroics, it is too early to predict India’s series victory as there is still a lot of cricket to be played in the remaining three test matches. Hence, there is no reason for India to be complacent.
For the complete scoreboard of the second test between India and England played at Lord’s, click HERE.