India were given a reality check by a professional England team which managed to beat the home side by 227 runs in the first Test in Chennai. India needed 381 runs on the final day to win an unlikely Test while England needed 9 wickets to go 1-0 up. The England bowlers were right on the money and their varied skillset helped them bowl out India for 192 in the second innings.
We at StumpsandBails provide you 5 reasons why India lost the first Test to England:
#1 Losing the toss
It was India’s just the second defeat under Virat Kohli’s captaincy at home. Both these defeats happened when India lost the toss. Kohli has led India in 26 games at home, of which India have won 20 and lost just 2. The previous defeat came against Australia in Pune in 2017 when Australia won the toss and batted first on a raging turner. India had lost that Test by 333 runs. England in this Test won the toss and batted for 6 sessions scoring 578 runs. They bossed the game throughout. Had India won the toss, even they could have done something similar.
#2 Playing Shahbaz Nadeem instead of Kuldeep Yadav
England batsmen don’t play wrist-spin well. Kuldeep Yadav could have been a handy weapon on this pitch. He could have been the X-factor in the bowling line-up. Yadav being a wrist-spinner surely would have added a lot of variety to the attack as compared to Shahbaz Nadeem. As Nadeem too is a finger-spinner just like Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar.
#3 The first-innings top-order batting collapse
While England’s top-order batted time and played stubbornly for long periods in the 1st innings. The Indian batsmen on the contrary looked way too rushed in their 1st innings. India were reduced to 73-4 in the 1st innings and that is where India lost the momentum to come back in the match. If the Indian top-order had shown more application, then things certainly might have been different for the home team in this Test.
#4 Under bowling Washington Sundar
Washington Sundar is someone who bowls in at a quick pace. He could have been more effectively used especially in the 2nd innings as the pitch had worn out even more by then. His pace would have been ideal to trouble the England batsmen more as compared to Shahbaz Nadeem who was given 15 overs despite being ineffective.
India went in with Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar as their 4th and 5th bowler in the Test match. The duo bowled a total of 70 overs in England’s first innings but could only send down 2 maidens. They went for 265 runs at a high economy rate of 3.8 and could pick up just 2 wickets. India clearly missed the services of Ravindra Jadeja in this Test.