Ishant Sharma at Adelaide Oval (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ishant Sharma came to the party and how! Since he made his debut in 2008, the lanky pacer has disappointed more often than not. So much so that Indian fans came to believe that his name was not Ishant but “I shan’t”.
But on a Monday afternoon, the Delhi native bent his back with the old ball and destroyed the much-vaunted lower half of an English side in rebuild mode. Joe Root and Moeen Ali may have hoped to lead England to a much needed morale-boosting victory, especially for beleaguered skipper Alistair Cook.
But it was not to be. Once Ishant Sharma started bouncing them, it was all over bar the shouting.
Were the English recalling the pummelling they received at the hands of a venomous Mitchell Johnson in the recent Ashes series down under? Or did they feel they could pull off a Ravindra Jadeja as well? Whatever the reasons, the spectators were bemused to find a procession of English batters making their way back to the pavilion. The English plan to counter-attack merely provided catching practice for the Indian fielders.
The spectacle prompted Bob Willis to remark:
“I have seen fewer hookers in Soho on a Saturday night.”
India had its first win at Lords in 28 years.
The similarities between MS Dhoni and Kapil Dev keep piling up eerily.
India go into the next three Tests leading 1-0. They will hope that they can emulate Kapil’s Devils of 1986 and clinch a memorable series win. This Indian side does not look very strong on paper, lacking experience at the highest level. But most members of the squad have put their hands up and performed when needed, unlike the side of 2011.
A captain is only as good as his team and , right now, Dhoni’s boys are making him look so much better than the recent past.