England script history in Chennai Test: Key learnings
England overcame India in the first of four-match Test series at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Claiming a 227-run victory, they have become the first side to win a Test on the Indian soil since Australia (2016/17). Notably, India have finally lost a Test at home after winning eight consecutive games. We take a look at the key learnings from the Test.
India missed the presence of Jadeja, Kuldeep
India certainly missed the presence of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the XI. He is always a lethal force with his all-round skills in home conditions. However, picking Shahbaz Nadeem in place of leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav backfired big time. The latter easily could have been the x-factor for India on the Chepauk track. His conventional leg-spin and drift might have made a massive difference.
The Indian bowlers delivered 27 no-balls in the Test
The Indian bowlers must go back to the drawing board in order to correct the no-ball woes. In their first Test assignment at home post the COVID-enforced break, they bowled 27 no-balls. There's a certain reason why the great Kapil Dev bowled very few no-balls in his entire career. He understood the relevance of not committing such errors in the nets.
Peculiar times for Team India
The year 2020 was certainly a peculiar one for world cricket. Among all the other transformations, India's defeat in the Chennai Test indeed came as a surprise. England managed to breach the Chennai fortress a month after a second-string Indian side won at the Gabba.
India couldn't capitalize upon the starts
On both the occasions, the Indian innings was fueled by effective starts. Openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill were decisive against the English bowlers initially. However, they couldn't capitalize upon the starts in the two innings. Even the rest of top-order couldn't work on in tandem. In the second innings, the Indian batsmen seemed to have struggled against reverse swing.
What were the positives for India?
After the high of the Australian tour, Gill's flamboyant strokes against England would have escalated his confidence. Meanwhile, the exuberant Rishabh Pant yet again rescued the Indian innings, this time with a blistering 91. However, he needs to break the 90s impasse soon. A historic six-for by Ashwin and Kohli's counter-attacking 72 in the second innings were among the other positives for India.
England shine in sub-continent conditions
England have acclimatized to sub-continent conditions after winning three consecutive games (SL: 2, IND: 1). They have become the first side to defeat India in Chennai since 1999. The Joe Root-led side will vie for another such victory in the second Test, which is slated at Chepauk only. Meanwhile, the Indians would want to square the series 1-1, also considering the ICC WTC scenario.