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India vs England: Bumrah defends bowlers after Buttler, tail frustrates again

With Hardik Pandya dropped for the final Test, and debutant Hanuma Vihari as the sixth batsman, the bowling load had to be shared among four -- Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and spinner Ravindra Jadeja. Bumrah, youngest of them, acknowledged long spells does tire the bowlers a bit.

Updated: Sep 09, 2018 08:51:56

By N Ananthanarayanan

India's Ishant Sharma, right, reacts after pitching a delivery as England's Jos Buttler, center, and England's Adil Rashid add a run during the fifth cricket test match of a five match series between England and India at the Oval cricket ground in London, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018. (AP)

India will have to fight the fatigue that sets in on a long away tour where things have not gone your way after falling way back on the second day of the final Test against England at The Oval on Saturday.

For the second day, wickets fell in a heap after tea – England lost six on Friday and five Indian wickets fell in the final session on Day 2 – and it left the hosts with 158 runs ahead in the first innings and in a great position to push for victory and a 4-1 series margin.

India pacer Jasprit Bumrah has bowled his heart out since returning to the side for the Trent Bridge Test, having missed the first two matches due to a broken thumb. However, the pacers, who were almost unplayable on the first evening could not prevent Jos Buttler from scoring 89 and raising 118 runs for the last two England wickets.

“We were in a good position at 198/7, but they batted well and we couldn’t capitalise,” Bumrah who took 3/83 to take his tally from three Tests to 14 scalps, told reporters after Saturday’s play.



Only James Anderson (21), Ishant Sharma (18) and Stuart Broad (15) have taken more wickets, but they are playing their fifth game, and Bumrah his third.

ALSO READ: England seamers leave India struggling after Jos Buttler heroics

“We tried hard to bowl in right areas but they also applied well, so we can say they batted well. It is not like we bowled poorly and they batted superbly. It’s a combination of both.”

Indian bowlers have repeatedly got the England top-order batsmen, only for the lower order to resist. All-rounder Sam Curran and Buttler have made vital contributions with the bat. Buttler (349) is only behind Virat Kohli (593), the leading run-scorer of the series by a distance. Curran is fourth in the list (251).

“There has been no specific planning for lower order batsmen. You plan for each batsman. Even if they are lower order, we respect them and play them that way. We tried to execute it today and it didn’t work.

With Hardik Pandya dropped for the final Test, and debutant Hanuma Vihari as the sixth batsman, the bowling load had to be shared among four -- Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and spinner Ravindra Jadeja. Bumrah, youngest of them, acknowledged long spells does tire the bowlers a bit.

“When you have an extra bowler, sometimes it gives you that cushion. With four, you tend to bowl more overs because you tend to come back quickly. That was the only difference, otherwise we bowled a lot of overs. An extra bowler sometimes gives you enough rest.”

Buttler scored a century to delay India’s win at Trent Bridge and hit a crucial fifty in Southampton. Does India find it difficult to get his out cheaply?

“As a bowling unit, we never say if we get him early we found it easy (or difficult if we don’t). He played well and was taking his chances. When you’re batting with the tail, you can. Our batsmen have done that as well before -- in the first test when Virat was playing with the tail.

“Nobody would say anything if you get out, so it’s a win-win situation. If it doesn’t pay off, it’s okay. If it does, it’s bonus for the team.”

First Published: Sep 09, 2018 08:38:36

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