India misread the conditions at Headingley. And that’s a fact. India got bundled out for 78 in 40.4 overs, this score being their second-lowest score in England of all time.
England bowlers extracted much more seam and swing early in the innings and that costs India its wickets. All of them. By the time England came to bat, the conditions had settled down. The result-England has the lead of 42 runs without losing a single wicket.
It comes as no surprise that Root was happy to lose the toss. Root knew the conditions at Headingley of late and that the pitch was the most difficult to bat on day one. The conditions get better and better to bat on is a piece of information Root was aware of. So, when asked about losing the toss and what he would have decided, Root simply said, “We would have bowled first anyway.” Conclusion- India misread the conditions.Big Time.
Bowing last, which is in the 4th innings, does have its advantage. Perhaps Virat had an eye on that. However, it’s not worth the difficulties that batters face in the first innings. And as in this match’s case, India clearly was not able to survive the tough conditions.
The “James Anderson” Trouble
Batting first, India was against the new-ball spell of a bowler, who perhaps might be called “a magician with the ball”.Anderson’s general strategy is quite simple and well-known. He bowls the outswingers and looks for that outside edge. He keeps doing this and suddenly surprises the batsman with a bowl that nibs back in. Indian batsmen had frustrated Anderson so far by patiently leaving the outswingers. And also reading the type of delivery while Anderson is on the verge of delivering the ball.
KL Rahul was set up brilliantly by Anderson. He faced three balls before and all of them were outswingers. And suddenly came a full-length ball that nibbed back in. Rahul, who was successful in the series so far, due to leaving such deliveries alone, failed this time. He went for that tempting drive and ended up outside-edging the ball. Anderson’s plan was successful.
Pujara is another batsman who is repeating the mistakes. He is losing his wicket in England to outswingers that seam away after pitching. A batsman in form won’t follow the movement and will leave the delivery. However, Pujara throws his bat at the ball. This happened in the WTC Final, the Lord’s test, and here at Headingley.
Pant probably summarized the first day in the best way,saying,”They took the heavy roller, the wicket was much more settled down, and they batted nicely also. But when we batted, the wicket was slightly soft, and they bowled in good areas, but we could have applied [ourselves] much better…
Remarkable bowling, tough conditions to bat on, and technique mistakes- these were the reasons for India getting dismissed on 78. Fans’ hopes rely on the bowlers. Hope they do better on the second day.