A couple of things happened in the world of Cricket this past weekend. India lost the first test match to England, and Virat Kohli became the top ranked batsman in the world!
Quick Recap. What is the format of a test match?
- Test matches are the longest form of cricket and can last for a maximum of 5 days.
- It has two innings per team with no fixed number of overs so each team bats twice and bowls twice.
- There is essentially no limit on how long a team can bat. Their innings is done when all their batsmen get out.
- The winner is usually decided on the basis of total runs scored by both teams across two innings.
Historically, India played it’s first ever test match in the year 1932 and are currently the top ranked side in the world. So there were big expectations going into last week’s 5 match test series, England vs. India.
England started the series with a win in Birmingham as India fell tantalisingly short in the first test match that got over on the 4th day. India lost the test despite India’s captain Virat Kohli scoring 200 runs in the match. He is now on top of the ICC’s Test ranking.
He is the first Indian since @sachin_rt to get there.
— ICC (@ICC) August 5, 2018
It was a clear case of being so close yet so far as the Indian run chase fell just 31 runs short of the 194 run target to win this 1st Test. Virat Kohli was on song after scoring 149 in the 1st innings and was all set to take his team past the finish line. But a moment of madness changed the course of the test match. English captain Joe Root persisted with Ben Stokes and it paid off as the all-rounder first removed Kohli early for 51 and then followed up with the wickets of Mohd Shami and eventually Hardik Pandya. It was nothing short of a heartbreak for Indian fans who thought that scoring 85 runs on the 4th day with 5 wickets in hand would be easy.
That moment when you go 1-0 up in the series!
Well played boys.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 4, 2018
Kohli was not a happy captain at the end of the day, despite leading from the front, his batsmen failed him. The bowlers did their job by dismissing England twice in the test but the batsmen failed to live up to the promise. India scored a total of 436 runs in the match and Kohli scored 45 percent of those runs alone. Rest 10 only contributed 236 runs. Only Hardik Pandya managed a total score of 50 runs in the match. King Kohli for his stellar performance in Birmingham is now the No. 1 Test batsmen replacing Steve Smith in International Cricket Council’s rankings.
The Indian bowlers were superb in the match and dismissed England twice. 1st Innings belonged to Ravi Ashwin as the superstar from Chennai spun the English into a tizzy. He finished with 4 wickets in the 1st innings and 7 in total in the match. The star of the 2nd innings as Ishant Sharma, the Delhi lad took 5 wickets to ensure that England were shot down for less than 200.
Chasing 194 to win, India was all out for 162. The 31 run loss India’s 2nd lowest margin of loss outside the subcontinent. The difference between the two sides is extremely less and India will learn from the mistakes ahead of the 2nd test that starts from the 9th of August.