ENG vs IND: Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja has criticized the England opening duo Dom Sibley and Rory Burns for their disappointing performance during the ongoing five-match Test series between India and England. Ramiz Raja went as far as to call the openers useless as the duo remained completely ineffective against the strong bowling attacks of the hosts.
“England’s top order is extremely ordinary. Their openers, Rory Burns and Dom Sibley are of no use. Haseeb Hameed, who was making a comeback, also looked nervous. Against a strong India bowling line-up, if you are not mentally and technically sound, you will be exposed,” Ramiz Raja opined in a video on his YouTube channel.
Both Burns and Sibley went back to the pavilion for a duck without lasting even an over in the second innings of the second Test at Lord’s, which cost him England the game. While Burns at least played a knock of 49 runs in the first innings, Sibley struggles to find his momentum and got dismissed at only 11 runs. In both the first and the second Tests combined, Burns has registered 67 runs at an average of 16.75, while Sibley has scored 57 runs at an average of 14.25.
Raja exclaimed that the way England is playing, the whole series will go out of their hands. He also praised India for its brilliant performance.
“Even if this Test was drawn with the hosts 7-8 wickets down, it would have been a moral victory for India. But following this defeat, it will be very difficult for England to stand up in the remaining Test matches. They should have drawn this game, but India forced them into a corner with their aggression and made life difficult for them. England did not play their natural game because of India’s exemplary bowling, and the innings became stagnant.”
“India looked hungry to make an impossible situation possible. Shami’s counter-attack flattened England. The same fighting spirit was seen in India’s bowling as well. They sensed that England’s weak batting could be put under pressure,” Raja concluded.
On the final day of the second Test at Lord’s, the Sibley and Burns pair made an unwarranted record. They became the first English opening pair to register ducks in the same innings on home turf. It was the 5th duck out for Burns this year while it was the 10th duck out for Sibley this year.
ENG vs IND: India scoops away with a 151-run victory
The final day of the second Test saw India knock India by a comprehensive 151-run victory and take the series lead by 1-0 after the first rain-marred match ended in a draw. It was a truly fascinating game for the Indians. Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul gave a brilliant start to the match in the first innings. While Rohit Sharma scored 83 runs, KL Rahul completed the sixth century of his Test cricket career, smashing 129 runs.
The team put up a total of 364 runs in the first innings. For England, veteran bowler James Anderson continued to weave magic with his deliveries, clinching a five-for in the first innings of the visitors. The hosts scored 391 runs in retaliation with the help of captain Joe Root’s stupendous 180-run knock, but little did they know that it was going to end in vain for the team.
India’s spearhead bowler Jasprit Bumrah remained wicketless in the first innings but did not let it bring down his morale. He let his bat do the talking this time and gave an unexpected but incredible performance alongside Mohammed Shami. Shami played an unbeaten 56-runs innings while Bumrah smashed 34* runs before India declared the innings at a healthy total of 298/8.
England got off to an utterly disappointing start after losing Sibley and Burns for a duck off of Shami and Bumrah’s deliveries. Mohammed Siraj relished four wickets to bundle up the hosts in just 120 runs.
India scooped away the victory by 151-runs, with KL Rahul being declared as the Player of the Match.
The two teams will next lock horns in the third ENG vs IND Test that commences on August 25 at Headingley Carnegie.