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Ollie Pope

World Test Championship, India
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
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Virat Kohli Becomes The Asian Captain With Most Test Wins In SENA Countries

Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper has become the Asian captain with the most number of wins (6) in SENA countries with the win in the Oval Test against England on Monday.

SENA comprises South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia. Over the course of his captaincy career, Virat Kohli has recorded three Test wins in the UK, two in Australia, and one in South Africa. Virat Kohli is already the most successful Indian Test captain, having surpassed MS Dhoni in 2019.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

Virat Kohli Proud Of The Team’s Character Shown In Both The Tests India Won

The Virat Kohli-led side stormed to an emphatic 157-run win over England to take a 2-1 lead in the ongoing five-match series. Indian bowlers delivered big time on the last day of the fourth Test at the Kennington Oval on Monday as the genius of mercurial Jasprit Bumrah, and all-around performance by Shardul Thakur in the match helped visitors in defeating England by 157 runs to gain a 2-1 in the five-match series.

This is also India’s first win in Oval in 50 years. Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram had won 4 Tests each in SENA countries while Virat Kohli has won 6 out of 22 Tests as 13 Tests were lost and 3 were drawn under his captaincy.

Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.

“Well, I think the best thing about both the games has been the character the team has shown. We are not looking to survive in this game, we are here to win. Really proud of the character the team has shown. It’s quite relative to what you call a flat. The conditions were hot and we knew were in with an opportunity when Jadeja was bowling in the rough. The bowlers were good with the reverse swing today. We believed we could get all 10 wickets, we had the belief,” Kohli told Sky Sports during the post-match presentation.

Shardul Thakur made two aggressive half-centuries (57 of 36 and 60 of 72), repairing a collapse in the first innings and stamping India’s advantage in the second. He also picked up 3 critical wickets in the game, including that of Joe Root on Monday.

Shardul Thakur was the top scorer for India in the first innings with 57 off only 36 balls. He then picked up the wicket of England’s top scorer in their first innings-Ollie Pope(81). Shardul Thakur then scored 60 of 72 balls in the 2nd innings and picked up crucial breakthroughs of opener Rory Burns (50) and England skipper Joe Root (36).

Virat Kohli: Rohit Sharma’s Innings Was Fantastic

Rohit Sharma was the highest scorer of the match, amassing an outstanding 127 in the second innings. In-form Rohit Sharma might miss the final Test in Manchester. Rohit Sharma, in fact, is currently the second-highest run-scorer of the series with 368 in eight innings.

“As soon as the ball started reversing, Bumrah said give me the ball. He bowled that spell and swung the game in our favour with those two huge wickets. I think you pointed his performance. Rohit’s innings was fantastic. What Shardul has done in this game stands out. His two fifties deflated the opposition. I think he batted well in both innings. We never go towards analysis, statistics, and numbers,” he added.

Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)
Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)

With the conditions good enough for batting, England openers got the hosts off to a decent start, with both scoring fifties, however, Shardul Thakur came into the attack and got rid of Rory Burns in his first over of day 5. Shardul Thakur who was part of the Indian quartet in scoring more than 50 runs in the second innings, also dazzled with the ball as he sent back Joe Root to the pavilion later.

England was still in the game until just after lunch on Day 5 when Jasprit Bumrah produced a glorious spell to give India a real shot at victory. India and England will now lock horns in the fifth and final Test, beginning September 10 at Manchester.

India 191 (Thakur 57, Kohli 50, Woakes 4-55) and 466 (Rohit 127, Pujara 61, Thakur 60, Pant 50, Woakes 3-83) beat England 290 (Pope 81, Woakes 50, Umesh 3-76) and 210 (Hameed 63, Burns 50, Umesh 3-60) by 157 runs

Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
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Michael Vaughan Staggered By Decision To Pick Rohit Sharma Not Shardul Thakur As MoM In The 4th Test

Michael Vaughan was ‘staggered’ by the Pataudi Trophy commentary panel’s decision to pick Rohit Sharma, and not Shardul Thakur, as Man of the Match for the 4th Test at the oval. The former England captain Michael Vaughan said the latter, who impacted the match four times with his all-around skills, deserved the award even more.

Rohit Sharma was the highest scorer of the match, amassing an outstanding 127 in the second innings. Shardul Thakur, on the other hand, made two aggressive half-centuries (57 of 36 and 60 of 72), repairing a collapse in the first innings and stamping India’s advantage in the second. He also picked up four critical wickets in the game, including that of Joe Root on Monday.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan: Shardul Thakur Should Have Been Awarded Man Of The Match

Rohit Sharma was named Man of the Match in the 4th Test for his brilliant century but he said that Shardul Thakur deserved it too for his all-around performance. Shardul Thakur was the top scorer for India in the first innings with 57 off only 36 balls. He then picked up the wicket of England’s top scorer in their first innings-Ollie Pope(81).

Shardul Thakur then scored 60 of 72 balls in the 2nd innings and picked up crucial breakthroughs of opener Rory Burns (50) and England skipper Joe Root (36).

“Ahh, he should have got Man of the Match. No question. Rohit played great but Shardul Thakur impacted the game four times – twice with the bat and twice with the ball,” said Michael Vaughan.

“Key wickets, that massive wicket of Ollie Pope (in the first innings), and then (in the second innings) Rory Burns first and then the captain. Two fifties – [India were] 117-7, he changed the course of the game in the first innings,” said Michael Vaughan.

“Under pressure in the second innings, he went in and got another fifty. I am staggered he wasn’t Man of the Match,” Michael Vaughan said in an interaction with Cricbuzz after the match.

India was tasked with defending over 290 runs on a batting-friendly Day 5. The hosts started patiently but both Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav couldn’t get any wickets.

Here, Shardul Thakur got the breakthrough on his first ball, dismissing Rory Burns for 50. He then came back in the innings to get Joe Root who played on to his stumps just when he was looking set for a big score. Consequently, India won the match by 157 runs, with Umesh Yadav cleaning the tail.

Shardul Thakur’s 2 Fifties Deflated The Opposition: Virat Kohli

Indian captain Virat Kohli was also all praise for Shardul Thakur in the post-match presentation. He said the all-rounder’s contributions were the difference between the two teams and will be “remembered for a long time.”

Shardul Thakur has featured in only 4 Tests so far since debuting in 2018 against the West Indies where he got injured and couldn’t bowl more than 10 balls. But the Australia tour in 2020/21 gave him another opportunity with several cricketers injured and he did well in both batting and bowling. He has so far amassed 190 runs averaging a decent 38 and picked up 14 scalps averaging an impressive 22.71.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

“What Shardul has done in this game will be remembered for a long time. His fifty was the difference between a 150-160 run lead and a 100-run lead. His two fifties deflated the opposition. His counterattack in the second innings made a lot of difference. We thought they would restrict us to a reasonable total when I got out, but he changed it,” said Kohli.

India and England will now clash in the fifth and final Test at Old Trafford in Manchester on September 10.

Nasser Hussain said England were lacking "a bit more toughness in that middle order" and Mark Butcher stated that they "let India back in" to the game ( Image: Sky Sports)
Nasser Hussain said England were lacking "a bit more toughness in that middle order" and Mark Butcher stated that they "let India back in" to the game ( Image: Sky Sports)
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Mark Butcher Unimpressed By England’s Batting And Agrees With Nasser Hussain As Lead Must Have Been Above 100

Mark Butcher was unimpressed by the national team’s batting display on day two of the fourth Test against India. Mark Butcher criticized the Three Lions for allowing India a sniff despite favorable batting conditions on day two at the Oval.

Although England did well to recover from 62-5 to take a 99-run lead but the fact is that most batsmen failed to convert their starts. The likes of Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, and Dawid Malan made impressive 30s and perished at crucial junctures. Only Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes made half-centuries, with the former top-scoring with 81.

Mark Butcher waves to the crowd as he walks off celebrating England's victory over South Africa.(Getty Images)
Mark Butcher waves to the crowd as he walks off celebrating England’s victory over South Africa.(Getty Images)

Mark Butcher: India Had Ran Out Of Ideas And They Couldn’t Stop Runs From Moeen Ali And Ollie Pope

Responding to Nasser Hussain’s comments on the lack of England’s toughness in the middle order on Sky Sports, Mark Butcher remembered when Indian bowlers looked clueless. Mark Butcher said India could not make the ball talk, failing to control Moeen Ali and Ollie Pope.

“It’s easy to forget they were five down for 60 but I think there was an occasion there towards the back end towards the lunch and tea break and onwards where India had ran out of ideas. They weren’t able to make the ball move so much, it was getting soft which they were complaining about and they couldn’t stem the flow of runs from Moeen Ali and Ollie Pope.”

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Nasser Hussain claimed that “if there was just a bit more toughness in that middle order then they could almost still be batting”, while Mark Butcher believes England “let India back in” and they should be “150 in front”.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Nasser Hussain said: “You can always have a better day but when they were 60-odd for five, to get up to 290 just shows the value of that middle order and Chris Woakes in particular, batting with the tail, got them a healthy lead. Both sides actually ended up getting more than expected but you always feel, on a flatter Oval pitch that if there was just a bit more toughness in that middle order then they could almost still be batting.”

Ollie Pope scored an excellent 81 on his return to the Test team, sharing an 89-run partnership with Jonny Bairstow and a 71-run partnership with Moeen Ali. Chris Woakes also scored an excellent fifty, further underlining his impressive all-around credentials.

However, with Ollie Pope unable to reach the three-figure mark and both Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali getting out for 37 and 35 respectively, Nasser Hussain and Mark Butcher believe England should have ended up getting a much bigger lead.

Mark Butcher Criticizes Moeen Ali’s Shot Selection

Mark Butcher further claimed that England let India back into the game. The cricketer-turned-commentator was particularly unhappy about Moeen Ali’s shot selection against Ravindra Jadeja. Mark Butcher stated that Moeen Ali has repeated the pattern often throughout his career.

“England let them back in again and I’m not criticising Moeen for trying to have a go at the left-arm spinner, he has the best strike-rate against spin of anybody in the world in white-ball cricket so he can take down the left-arm spinner. It’s the option that has blown people’s minds about Moeen Ali throughout his career. How can a guy who’s so good and with so many options often pick the wrong one?”

Moeen Ali's shot selection was questioned after he was dismissed playing a slog-sweep with both mid-off and mid-on up inside the circle and two fielders back on the leg side
Moeen Ali’s shot selection was questioned after he was dismissed playing a slog-sweep with both mid-off and mid-on up inside the circle and two fielders back on the leg side ( Image: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Butcher added: “Mid-off and mid-on were up, there were two men back on the leg side for that slog sweep and he went for the slog sweep when he could bash it over long-on and long-off and there was nobody back.”

Both Mark Butcher and Nasser Hussain opined that England should have extended the lead well beyond 100. At the close of day two, India reached 43-0, still trailing by 56 runs. On the 3rd day, India is on 108/1 having lost KL Rahul (46). Rohit Sharma is batting on 47 and Cheteshwar Pujara is batting on 14 when Lunch was taken.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
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Salman Butt: India Will Feel They Need To Score At Least 350 Runs To Defend Around 250

Salman Butt feels that Team India will need to score a minimum of 350 runs in the second innings at The Oval. According to the former Pakistan captain, since there is plenty of time left in the game, Team India will need to set England a target of at least 250 to stay in the game.

Team India reduced England to 62 for 5 on Day 2 of The Oval Test. However, Ollie Pope (81) and Chris Woakes (50) had other ideas as the duo lifted the hosts to 290, giving them a sizeable first-innings lead of 99.

Ollie Pope Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Ollie Pope Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Salman Butt: The 99 Run First Innings Lead Claimed By England Is Significant And India Will Feel They Need To Score At Least 350 Runs To Defend Around 250

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt reckoned that, with three full days of play left, Team India could put up a good second-innings total.

Salman Butt said: “The 99-run lead claimed by England could be quite significant. I am sure Team India will now feel that they will need to score at least 350 runs. If they do that, their bowlers will have a target of around 250 runs to defend, which will give them a decent chance to get the England batters out. Remember, there is a lot of time left in this Test. We have had only two days of play, three full days are still left.”

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

The former Pakistan batter pointed out that The Oval surface is getting easier to bat on and that Team India must take full advantage of the same.

Salman Butt added: “There was a lot less movement off the pitch on Day 2. It wasn’t looking as green as it was earlier. Day 3 will be the best batting day on this surface. Usually, the third day in any Test is the best day to bat. There will be a little bit of moisture but if Team India can play that out, things can get easy.”

“The top four will hold the key. Team India’s openers have been playing outstanding cricket. In fact, if we leave out Joe Root, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma have been the best batters in this Test series. Rohit would love to get a hundred as he has been batting brilliantly,” Salman Butt added.

Earlier, England was bundled out for 290 runs after Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes shined with the willow and smashed their respective half-centuries to help hosts take a vital 99-run lead. Ollie Pope made 81 runs while Chris Woakes contributed 50 runs to guide England’s comeback after a shaky start. Moeen Ali (35) and Jonny Bairstow (37) also added important runs along with Pope lower down the order.

Rohit Sharma is India’s second-highest run-scorer in the series thus far, with more than 250 runs to his name, only behind his opening partner KL Rahul who has reached the 300 run mark.

Salman Butt: If Any Indian Player Manage To Score A Ton, India Will Be In With A Great Chance

After bowling England out for 290, Team India’s openers batted with defiance, taking the side’s score to 43 for no loss at stumps. Team India crumbled at Headingley on Day 4 to undo the hard work of an impressive fightback. Salman Butt acknowledged that the first hour of play on Day 3 will be critical.

He stated: “If Team India play out the initial 15-20 overs, they will mostly wipe out the deficit and the pressure will be less then. However, if England strike early and claim 2-3 wickets, Team India will be in a lot of trouble. India, especially these openers who are playing so well, need to make sure that they keep batting.”

Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul | Photo: ICC

“If one of Team India’s players manages a hundred, they will be in with a great chance. Spin will come into play in the second innings and Team India have Ravindra Jadeja. The key is, of course, for them to bat well,” the former cricketer stated.

Ollie Pope Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Ollie Pope Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
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Ollie Pope Doesn’t Know How Jarvo 69 Is On The Pitch Time And Again

Ollie Pope, England batsman and top scorer in the ongoing 4th Test doesn’t know how Daniel Jarvis — also known as Jarvo 69– is able to invade the pitch during the ongoing Test match against India.

‘Jarvo 69’, who invaded the pitch on the second day of the ongoing fourth Test between India and England at the Kennington Oval on Friday has been arrested on suspicion of assault as he collided with Jonny Bairstow.

Pitch invader Jarvo collides with Jonny Bairstow AFP/Getty Images
Pitch invader Jarvo collides with Jonny Bairstow AFP/Getty Images

Ollie Pope Who Scored 81 Doesn’t Know How Jarvo Got On The Pitch Again

The incident took place during the 34th over of the England innings which was being bowled by Umesh Yadav and the match had to be halted for five minutes. Ollie Pope said Jarvo’s appearance didn’t affect him as he only focused on his batting even between the breaks.

“Jarvo has made a few appearances this series. I don’t know how he’s got on the pitch again, to be honest; I try to stay in my bubble and don’t let it affect me. Just block it out,” said Ollie Pope in a virtual press conference.

Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“He just stops the play for five minutes every time he comes on. You’ve just got to try and block it out. The art of batting is to switch on and off – you try to switch off in between. Whatever happens before or between balls, I try to get into a good place for that next ball,” Ollie Pope added.

It was the third time in the series Jarvis has run onto the pitch. While it is understood that, on at least one previous occasion, the club involved simply ejected him from the ground, stewards at The Kia Oval held him until police arrived to make his arrest.
His appearance was greeted, in general, by groans and boos from a full-house crowd who were enjoying an absorbing day’s cricket. Surrey is understood to be disappointed as anyone was able to enter the playing area and is conducting a review of the incident.

Ollie Pope Recognized That One Has To Adapt Game Accordingly

Ollie Pope rescued England from 53/4 as he scored a gutsy 81-run knock before the hosts were folded for 290.

Talking about his knock, the England batsman said, “I have watched how Rooty [Joe Root] has played in this series, how he’s gone about it. Had good conversations with coaches and senior players; I think I recognized that the Indian attack is very skilled. Their main course is to attack that knee roll.”

Ollie Pope hit 81 @Getty Images
Ollie Pope hit 81 @Getty Images

“As a batter, you’re going to get out somehow whether the team is attacking the fifth stump as much as they can or whether they attack the knee roll as much as they can. I recognised that you’ve got to adapt your game accordingly. That’s what I’ve done; probably decided a couple of weeks ago that that was how I was going to go about my business,” he added.

After bundling out England, Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul took India to stumps at 43/0. The visitors are still trailing by 56 runs. India was 43-0 in their second innings at stumps, a deficit of 56 runs. Rohit Sharma was 20 not out and KL Rahul 22 not out, with this intriguing five-match series level at 1-1.

On the 3rd day, India progressed to 82 for no loss in 32 overs as Rory Burns dropped Rohit Sharma again, but it was a tough chance. England has dropped as many as 6 chances during this Test. Rohit Sharma is unbeaten on 36 while KL Rahul is unbeaten on 45.

Ollie Pope Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Ollie Pope Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
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Ollie Pope Would Have Loved To Score A Ton But Was Gutted After Being Dismissed On 81

Ollie Pope was on 81 when the 23-year-old reached for a Shardul Thakur delivery and edged it into his stumps. It was his second-highest score for his country, an innings that carried his team from crisis towards a measure of supremacy, and it ended with the batsman heaving his bat into the ground in frustration.

It was an opportunity missed, and not just to assist Chris Woakes in his attempt to take the game away from India in the final session. Because there is something about the pavilion at the Oval that makes Ollie Pope particularly enjoy waving his bat at it, and he had seemed destined to get another chance.

After Ollie Pope's dismissal for 81, he averages 99.40 at the Oval, compared to 100.71 before
After Ollie Pope’s dismissal for 81, he averages 99.40 at the Oval, compared to 100.71 before @Getty Images

Ollie Pope Returned In The England Test Team With A Superb 81 And Was Gutted On Missing Out On A Ton

More than three years after his Test debut, Ollie Pope is back in the side after Jos Buttler’s decision to prioritize the birth of his second child and representing England at the Oval for the first time. As a Surrey player, he might be expected to feel particularly at home on this ground, but not everyone manages to convert that feeling of familiarity into consistently high scores as Ollie Pope has.

Ollie Pope’s dismissal for 81 meant his first-class average at The Oval dropped from 100.71 to 99.40.  He now has 1,491 runs there in 19 innings, with seven centuries (and four not-outs).

“To be honest I was pretty gutted,” Ollie Pope told Sky Sports. “At my home ground, it would have been a bit of a dream to have got over the line. But I guess if someone said you’d get an 80 first game back you’d have taken that, but I’m gutted all the same.”

It took India only four balls to dispose of Craig Overton, England’s nightwatchman, and bring Ollie Pope to the crease. England was 53 for four, soon to become 62 for five when Dawid Malan fell, like Craig Overton, to Umesh Yadav, courtesy of an excellent diving catch at second slip. At this stage, India’s once-trifling total of 191 had developed a daunting, menacing distance as the home side toiled on the lower slopes of a molehill.

As on the first day Shardul Thakur had inspired a sudden rush of runs that shifted the momentum of the game, only this time it was with the ball in his hand rather than a bat. It started with Ollie Pope and three excellent shots in four deliveries, all of which sped to the rope.

Ollie Pope made 81 on his Surrey home ground and all-rounder Chris Woakes exactly 50 before England was dismissed for 290 in reply to India’s first-innings 191 on the second day of the fourth Test.

 

India Was 43 For No Loss Behind By 56 Runs At Stumps On Day 2

India was 43-0 in their second innings at stumps, a deficit of 56 runs. Rohit Sharma was 20 not out and KL Rahul 22 not out, with this intriguing five-match series level at 1-1. England was struggling at 62-5 early on Friday after paceman Umesh Yadav, playing his first Test in nearly a year, removed Craig Overton and Dawid Malan in a return of 3-76 in 19 overs.

But Ollie Pope, only recalled because Jos Buttler missed the match on paternity leave, revived the innings during partnerships of 89 and 71 with Jonny Bairstow (37) and Moeen Ali (35) respectively.

Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

This was Ollie Pope’s first half-century in 16 Test innings since a 62 against Pakistan in Manchester last year and also extended the 23-year-old excellent record at the Oval where, prior to Friday, he had scored 1,410 runs at an average of 100.71 in 18 first-class innings.

Warwickshire paceman Chris Woakes, who’d already marked his first Test in over a year by leading England’s attack with 4-55 on Thursday, then blazed his way to a fifty in just 58 balls in front of a sun-drenched crowd.

World Test Championship, India
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]
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Michael Vaughan: India Can Win The 4th Test If Any One Scores 100 And India Bats Throughout Day 3

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain reckons if India can bat out Day 3 of the Oval Test, they would be firm favorites to go 2-1 up in the five-match series. According to Michael Vaughan, it will be crucial for the visitors to see out the first hour, after which batting should get easy.

After conceding a 99-run lead in the first innings, India battled hard to reduce the deficit to 56 by stumps on Day 2. Their openers KL Rahul (22 not out) and Rohit Sharma (20 not out) batted defiantly as India ended the day on 43 for no loss.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan: India Will Be Firm Favourites To Win The 4th Test Despite Conceding A 99 Runs Lead If They Bat Throughout Day 3

In an interaction on Cricbuzz, Michael Vaughan opined that India has a strong chance to end Day 3 in the ascendancy, provided they bat well.

Michael Vaughan said: “I think there will be another 270 runs scored on Day 3. If India can bat out out the day, then we start getting to the stage where they become favorites to win the Test match. That’s the big if – can they bat out the day? The first hour is always the key as the ball will do a little bit. We saw that on the first two mornings as well. If India can nullify that first hour, when there is a little bit more in the surface, India start to become favorites then.”

England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

The former England skipper warned the Indian batters against chasing wide deliveries, which has been their undoing in the series.

Michael Vaughan added: “Bat all day – it’s a simple procedure that India now find themselves in. They have nullified the initial pressure zone with that start. Don’t go chasing the wide ones, don’t go chasing those big drives in the first hour. Play for your off stump and then make hay. The sun will shine eventually.”

Michael Vaughan: The Team That Gets The Individual Hundred Will Win The Game

Although England managed to gain a significant first-innings lead, according to Michael Vaughan it is not a lot considering the pitch is a very good one to bat on. He stated that if an Indian batter can score a hundred, the match will firmly be in their grasp.

Michael Vaughan explained : “I really feel that the way India have fought, from 120 for 7 to now be in this position, where they are only 56 runs behind… It is not a lot on a ground where you can score quite quickly. The team that gets the individual score to an individual hundred, that side will win the game. If an Indian can get a hundred, that will go a long way in them winning the game.”

KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

KL Rahul is the only Indian batter to have scored a hundred for India in the series so far. Rohit Sharma and Indian captain Virat Kohli have hit two fifties each. Rohit Sharma is India’s second-highest run-scorer in the series thus far, with 261 runs to his name, only behind his opening partner KL Rahul(291 runs). However, he has looked the most comfortable amongst all the Indian batsmen in the middle.

Umesh Yadav. (AP Photo)
Umesh Yadav. (AP Photo)
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Michael Holding Impressed By Umesh Yadav’s Bowling In The 2nd Day Of The 4th Test

Michael Holding, the former West Indies fast bowler was impressed with Umesh Yadav’s show, but a tad disappointed with Shardul Thakur as he feels India missed having a third impact bowler in the innings. India was forced to make two changes to their fast-bowling unit for the fourth Test against England at the Oval.

With niggles to Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma, as captain Virat Kohli had pointed out, India included Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav in the XI, and while Umesh Yadav impressed with 3/76 in the first innings, including the wicket of the dangerous Joe Root, Shardul Thakur, after impressing with the bat, could not create the same impact with the ball, finishing with 1/54.

Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Michael Holding Impressed By Umesh Yadav’s Bowling But Ineffective Shardul Thakur’s Bowling Disappointed Him

However, the one wicket which he picked up was highly crucial for India – that of Ollie Pope, who was motoring towards a century before dragging one onto his stumps. Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding was impressed with Umesh Yadav’s show, but a tad disappointed with pacer Shardul Thakur as he feels India missed having a third impact bowler in the innings, which in turn, allowed England to attain a 99-run first-innings lead.

“Yadav surprised me a little bit because I didn’t expect him to be a little bit more effective than Bumrah and I think he did. Bumrah bowled some fantastic deliveries and both of them showed pretty good control,” Michael Holding said on Sky Sports.

“What disappointed me after the first hour was the fact that they didn’t have anyone to continue the pressure – Thakur came in and bowled but he’s not the type that is going to get wickets like Bumrah and Yadav. There just wasn’t anything there and he’s just not going to be very effective under these conditions,” said Michael Holding.

Michael Holding
Michael Holding

Umesh Yadav emerged as India’s best bowler of the day, picking up three wickets as India bowled England out for 290. However, the 99-run lead was cut short to 56, after India openers, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul batted extremely well to take the team’s score to 43/0 at stumps on Day 2 at The Oval.

Shardul Thakur Was The Top Scorer With 57 Off 36 Balls In India’s 1st Innings

Shardul Thakur turned out to be the saving grace for the Indian cricket team on Day 1 of the 4th Test match between England and India at the Kennington Oval. The right-handed batsman scored a sensational 57 off just 36 deliveries and was the top scorer.

Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Shardul Thakur achieved a special milestone as well during the course of his knock, and scored the fastest Test half-century on England soil, reaching his fifty off just 31 deliveries. And, he broke the record of the great Sir Ian Botham of England, who had reached his half-century off 32 deliveries.

On the 2nd day, England was dismissed for 290 as Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes helped their team take a crucial 99-run lead in the 4th Test at The Oval. Ollie Pope scored 81 while Chris Woakes played a blistering knock of 50 runs to propel England after a shaky start.

Indian pacer Umesh Yadav scalped 150 Test wickets with the wicket of Craig Overton on Friday morning. Before the 4th Test against England, the Indian pacer had 148 Tets wickets but Joe Root’s wicket on Day 1 and Craig Overton’s wicket on Day 2 helped him reach the 150-wicket figure. It took him 49 Tests to reach the milestone.

Umesh Yadav, who impressed Michael Holding, has picked up 151 Test scalps in 49 Tests averaging 30.44.

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan
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Michael Vaughan Reckons India May Suffer Yet Another Batting Collapse In The 4th Test

Michael Vaughan opined that the England pacers have been all over the Indian batting unit throughout this series. He reckons that a batting collapse will be just around the corner if the seamers are patient enough.

The Indian batters haven’t been consistent in the series so far. They have been able to build partnerships in isolation, but that has almost always been followed by a flurry of wickets in the four Tests so far.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan: England’s 4 Man Seam Attack Has Been All Over Indian Batting Line-up As The Famed Batting Line-up Collapsed In The 3rd Test

Michael Vaughan reminded how the middle-order collapsed in the third Test at Headingley after Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli had built a solid partnership.

“This four-man seam attack that England have, they have been all over this Indian batting line-up. We saw it in the second innings at Headingley. The Indians made it tough, they hung in there, then there was a collapse. I do think that if England stay patient, I do think there will be a cluster of wickets somewhere,” Michael Vaughan said on BBC’s Test Match Special podcast.

Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul | Photo: ICC

After conceding a lead of 99 runs in the first innings, the Indian openers gave a solid start in the wee hours of play on Day 2. The pair put up 43 runs on the board without being separated. At stumps, India’s second innings score read 43/0 — trailing by 56 runs with all wickets in the bag. Rohit Sharma (20*) and KL Rahul (22*) were steady for visitors as they mixed caution with aggression to make sure India doesn’t lose any wickets on the second day.

Michael Vaughan Warns Indian Batters Against Poking In The Channel-“The first hour is the key” –

Michael Vaughan predicts there will be movement on offer for the seamers early on Day 3. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul have shown the ability to survive in such conditions, but the first hour of play will be crucial for India.

“The first hour is the key. It will swing more in the first hour. In terms of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, they have got the gift to be able to see off those balls that are bowled into that channel,” Michael Vaughan added.

The former England batter lauded the England pacers for attacking the channel consistently. He signed off by warning the Indian openers against poking at deliveries in the channel early on.

“We have seen continuously throughout this series how the England seamers are good enough to be able to control that channel. If they go chasing that channel too early when the ball is moving around, they will probably snick to the cordon,” Michael Vaughan signed off.

Umesh Yadav. (AP Photo)
Umesh Yadav. (AP Photo)

The pitch will have a bit of moisture seeping in overnight. The morning session will be the most difficult to bat on and it is expected to get easier as the day progresses.

Earlier, England was bundled out for 290 runs after Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes shined with the willow and smashed their respective half-centuries to help hosts take a vital 99-run lead. Ollie Pope made 81 runs while Chris Woakes contributed 50 runs to guide England’s comeback after a shaky start. Moeen Ali (35) and Jonny Bairstow (37) also added important runs along with Pope lower down the order.

For the visitors, pacer Umesh Yadav picked up three wickets for 76 runs, while spinner Ravindra Jadeja claimed two wickets for 36 runs to keep India in the game. Frontline pacer Jasprit Bumrah also bagged a couple of scalps for 67 runs. Shardul Thakur (1/54) and Mohammed Siraj (1/42) took one wicket apiece.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma
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Aakash Chopra Believes Rohit Sharma Will Play A Match Defining Role In The 3rd Day Of The 4th Test

Aakash Chopra believes Rohit Sharma will play a match-defining role on the third day of the ongoing fourth Test against England. Rohit Sharma is India’s second-highest run-scorer in the series thus far, with 261 runs to his name, only behind his opening partner KL Rahul(291 runs). However, he has looked the most comfortable amongst all the Indian batsmen in the middle.

Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul played cautiously and remained unbeaten at Stump’s on Day 2 of the 4th Test at The Oval. India was placed at 43/0 after 16 overs, trailing by 56 runs. Earlier, England was dismissed for 290 as Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes helped their team take a crucial 99-run lead in the 4th Test at The Oval. Ollie Pope scored 81 while Chris Woakes played a blistering knock of 50 runs to propel England after a shaky start.

Ollie Pope
Ollie Pope Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Aakash Chopra Hopes Rohit Sharma Will Change The Course Of The 4th Test

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra picked Rohit Sharma to come up with a game-changing performance despite getting off to a slightly indifferent start.

“I am going towards Rohit Sharma. Rohit Sharma looked vulnerable when he came to bat. He got an edge and the catch was also dropped. He played and missed, played on the leg side and the ball went to the off side,” said Aakash Chopra.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The former Indian opener reasoned: “What happened on the second evening was tough. But the bad and difficult time has passed. He is coming after playing exceedingly well for a long time.”

Rohit Sharma was put down by Rory Burns at the second slip off James Anderson’s bowling as the fielder lost sight of the ball. The Indian opener had scored only six runs by that time. Rohit Sharma remained unbeaten on 20 and batting alongside him his KL Rahul who is on 22*. India trail England by 56 runs after ending Day 2 on 43/0.

Aakash Chopra Hopes Rohit Sharma Will Register His First Overdue Ton Overseas

Aakash Chopra hopes Rohit Sharma will register his first century in overseas conditions during the third day’s play.

He elaborated: “His hundred is overdue, today’s play could bring the first overseas Test hundred by Rohit Sharma. So Rohit Sharma will do the magic, that is what I believe but fingers and toes crossed because at times when it goes wrong it is heartbreaking.”

The reputed commentator signed off by stating that the Indian team has allowed their fans to dream big.

Chopra observed: “I am keeping my hopes high because this team has given us the permission to hope and we have also shown the courage to dream.”

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

 

All of Rohit Sharma’s seven Test hundreds have come on home soil. The 83-run knock at Lord’s in the ongoing series is the Mumbaikar’s highest score away from home.

Rohit Sharma also does not enjoy a great overall record in overseas conditions. He has aggregated 1206 runs at an underwhelming average of 29.41 in 24 Tests in opposition territory.

Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes made their first Test fifties in a year to give England a 99-run first-innings lead at The Oval before India’s openers, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul almost halved the deficit by seeing out the second day.

England was struggling at 53 for 3 overnight and lost two more wickets for nine runs at the start of the day, but Ollie Pope’s fluency in partnerships with Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali dragged them into the lead, and then Chris Woakes – batting at No. 9 after England had used a nightwatchman – built on it by attacking the old ball.

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