What is a competition without tension , the risk of losing and an incredible comeback ? As much we like our favourite team to win , it feels better when it is hard earned , or snatched from the jaws of defeat . It feels jubilating especially a team coming from a heavy loss bites back . And that’s exactly what happened in the Third Test of the India — England series .

After a resounding final day win at Trent Bridge , India looked to be in the driver’s seat , but the third test at Headlingley showed the world why England is one of the best teams in the world . They skittled out India for a mere 78 in the first innings , with all 4 pace bowlers contributing in the great collapse . While Rohit Sharma desperately tried to stabilise from one end , going at a snail’s pace to keep the wicket safe , he could only watch as his teammates were sent back again and again , till he succumbed at 19 , having played 104 balls . He was the highest scorer in the innings , with the next being Rahane with 18 , while no one else even reached double digit scores .

What was surprising is that the wicket was not averse to batting , as England showed in the very next innings , scoring 432 , which proved to be the first and last time they bat this test . Each of the first four batsmen scored over 60 , while Root himself once again led the charge with a 120 . This mammoth score put a damper on the Indian team’s hopes , as they could only post a mere 278 , giving the English team the victory of 76 runs and an innings to spare . Suffice to say it was a massive defeat .

But what was the reason for this turn around ? It was not anything drastic or sudden , but the proof of the indomitable will built up by the English team over the past half a decade , their will to get up after a loss and attack back with renewed vigor .

Unfortunately, the depth of batting India showed last test could not be seen this time , for once the usual batsmen got out , nobody could hold the sinking ship . While this one loss should not paint the picture of a bad Indian side , there is still a sharp contrast between the team’s performance of today and the last match . The quick collapse at the start of the first day ultimately sealed the Indian team’s fate ,as the pain of the rout etched in their minds dampened the rest of their game .

I am still hopeful of the Indian team’s success going forward . This maybe a big loss , but the overall journey till here has proved that we can still bounce back . As we head to the final test with everything on the line , as a supporter of team India , I am positive , but as a fan of cricket , I am excited . The match can go both ways , as both teams showed clear dominant performances till now . The match lies on a knife’s edge , and all I pray for is an exciting game that lasts the whole 5 days for us to see and savour , for this is the quality and beauty of Test Cricket . It is certainly not a match to miss . Have a great week !

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