England suffered a damaging defeat in Mohali as they missed a golden opportunity to put the pressure back on India. Here’s how the players fared.
Alastair Cook – 5/10
An uncharacteristically frantic display from the England captain. In the first innings, Cook lacked fluidity against the new ball pair of Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav. After being dropped by Ravi Ashwin early on, Cook then suffered another lapse in concentration as he edged a short, wide ball from Ashwin that should have been put away for four. His second innings was not convincing either, as the Cook survived two DRS decisions before being bowled through the gate by Ashwin as his side looked to repair the damage. Cook certainly does not look his composed self and England need him to rediscover his form at Rajkot if they are to salvage anything from this tour. Hid did, however, offer some innovative captaincy as England searched for wickets on a flat pitch.
Haseeb Hameed – 7/10
Was unlucky to receive to snorter of a ball from Yadav after putting on 32 for the first wicket with Cook on day one, which proceeded to fracture the 19-year-old’s hand. And after doubts about whether or not he would bat again, Hameed came out at number eight and batted beautifully. He was initially patient, scoring just 17 from his first 110 balls, but then attacked Ashwin and Jadeja well by targeting cow corner frequently. In doing so, he showed his talent at putting the opposition bowlers under pressure after surviving a tough period to end on 59 not out. Hameed having to go home because of his hand injury is a huge blow to England, who will miss his impressive application and determination at the top of the order.
Joe Root – 7/10
With England needing a solid start to their first innings, Root gave his wicket away by playing an ugly cross-batted shot to the first ball of spin he faced. His downfall was a contributing factor to England only reaching a below par 283. Yet in the second innings, The Yorkshire man showed far better concentration, playing much straighter and with caution as wickets fell around him. After playing fluently for his 78, he was unfortunate to fall to a brilliant one-handed catch from Ajinkya Rahane. Root and England know that he needs to go big if England are to get anything from the rest of this series.
Moeen Ali – 4/10
Given yet another promotion up the order, this was an abject performance from Moeen. It was not just the number of runs the left-hander scored in the match (21) that was concerning, it was the mode of his two dismissals. The first of which, hooking to fine-leg, was a failure in knowing where the fielders were placed, as well as lack of application when England needed to bat sensibly in the first innings. Moeen then proceeded to play a worse shot in the second innings as he tamely chipped a flighted Ashwin delivery to mid-on. After showing such maturity and patience in Rajkot, it was puzzling to see why the 29-year-old needed to play those shots.
Was under bowled in India’s first innings, bowling only 13 overs. He managed to keep things tidy, though, going at just 2.53 runs for over. Perhaps England should use his off-spin more often, with the pitches in Mumbai and Chennai unlikely to get less unhelpful for the spinners.
Jonny Bairstow – 7/10
Batted beautifully for his 89 in the first-innings. Bairstow was one of the few England players that applied themselves with the aim of helping his side make a big first innings total. The Yorkshire man played very straight and played relatively risk-free cricket, while still looking to be positive. Without his effort, which was ended by a good piece of bowling by Jayant Yadav, England’s innings would have been a disaster. Bairstow was unlucky in the second innings, batting at number four, as a shooter from Ashwin kept low, taking the edge of the bat, which was then taken brilliantly by keeper Parthiv Patel. More tidy glovework, too as his keeping continues to come on leaps and bounds.
Ben Stokes – 7/10
In terms of his batting, this was a missed opportunity for Stokes. After playing so sensibly in the first innings, including a few beautiful straight drives, the all-rounder then needlessly ran past a delivery from Ravindra Jadeja. He accumulated very well after lunch on day one, yet such profligacy threw away England’s chances of making a big score. Stokes’s footwork was found wanting by Ashwin in his second knock as his front foot was way outside the line of the ball, resulting in him being lbw as India’s DRS challenge proved successful.
Where Stokes really shone, however, was with the ball. Bowling with pace and hostility, as well as far more control than in Visakhapatnam, the Durham man picked up 5-73, going at under three runs an over. It was an outstanding effort on such a flat pitch and proved how big an asset Stokes when he bowls as well as he did in this Test match.
Jos Buttler – 6/10
Buttler showed signs of improvement as a Test player in the first-innings. After a nervy start, he knuckled down and batted sensibly, playing a few nice drives on the off side to give his innings momentum. He gave his wicket away, however, as he chipped a simple catch to mid-off, failing to go through with the shot over the top. The 26-year-old will rue the fact that he didn’t convert his 43 into something more substantial after putting in a lot of the hard yards. His dismissal on day five was also soft, as he lofted a flighted Jayant Yadav delivery straight down Jadeja’s throat at deep midwicket. A special mentioning to Buttler’s fielding, however, as he produced a brilliant instinctive throw to run out Karun Nair with a direct hit to reduce India to 156-5.
Chris Woakes – 4/10
This was a disappointing performance with the ball from Woakes, picking up one wicket and going at 3.9 runs an over throughout the match. Admittedly, the pitch was flat and there was very little for the seam bowlers, yet Woakes failed to maintain any consistency or pressure that made him such a brilliant performer in the English summer. His wicket of Murali Vijay in the first-innings was a sign that he can still produce a vital moment when his team needs it. His batting continues to impress, scoring 25 and 30 in the two innings, with his off-side play as good to watch as anyone in this England side.
Adil Rashid – 6/10
Had a heavy workload in the first innings, bowling 38 overs. And although he managed to pick up four wickets, Rashid did not maintain as much of the excellent control he offered in Rajkot and Vizag. There were too many long-hops, which released any of the potential pressure that was being put on the Indian batsmen. However, Rashid’s impressive knack of picking up wickets – he took five in this match – has kept him at the top of the series’ wicket-taking list with 18 scalps. It looks quite clear now that the Yorkshire man is England’s leading spinner.
Gareth Batty – 3/10
Batty seemed to be underused in this Test match. Bowled with relative control in the first innings, going at under three runs an over, without picking up a wicket. The 39-year-old failed to get much spin out of the pitch as the Indian batsmen looked at ease against his bowling. Cook looked reluctant to turn to Batty and the England captain’s incredulity in him meant that there was an increasing workload for the like of Rashid and the seamers. The lack of threat that Batty posed means that England may look to play four pacemen in Mumbai.
James Anderson – 5/10
Anderson failed to pick up a wicket in the match, as there was very little movement, both in the air and off the pitch, for him to work with. However, the Lancastrian has been in these situations before and used his accuracy and control to tie down the Indian batsmen’s scoring, going at just 2.33 runs and over throughout the Test. It shows Anderson’s versatility as a bowler that he is able to adapt to all conditions, even when things are not in his favour. England will need their leading wicket-taker to have a greater effect with the new ball, however, if they are to win in Mumbai.