What we learnt from India's third Test victory

Nitin Fernandes 17:24 30/11/2016
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Mohammed Shami has been really impressive.

India will be pleased with the manner in which they defeated England in the third Test at Mohali. Apart from a brief period after tea on day two, the hosts looked in command throughout the game.

Here, we look at the five big talking points from the Test.

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INDIAN ALL-ROUNDERS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

For too long, India have rued the lack of genuine all-rounders in the side. While teams all over the world have had a number of cricketers who could bat and bowl with equal expertise, India have simply failed to find one.

This doesn’t seem to be the case now, though, as the Indians appear to have three reliable all-rounders in Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant Yadav. The spin-bowling trio performed exceedingly well with both bat and ball to help India register the win at Mohali.

While Ashwin has been considered as a genuine Test all-rounder for some time now, Indian fans will be heartened by the maturity Jadeja showed as he notched up his highest Test score.

Jayant, on the other hand, might have played just two Tests, but he seems to be the perfect third foil in this exciting troika of Indian spinners.

MOHAMMED SHAMI PROVING TO BE THE REAL DEAL

Many feared that the long injury lay-off that Mohammed Shami had to sit through after the ICC World Cup in 2015 would do harm to his performances, but that hasn’t been the case as the Bengal fast bowler has established himself as the premier pacer in the Indian Test squad.

The manner in which Shami took the wickets of Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid in England’s second innings was especially delightful for Indian fans, who have long wanted to watch an Indian fast bowler intimidate opposition batsmen.

Woakes, along with Haseeb Hameed, frustrated India as England attempted to set a sizeable fourth innings target. That was when Virat Kohli took the second new ball and handed it to Shami.

Shami bowled a bouncer which hit Woakes on the head. Many bowlers would have changed their length after that, but Shami kept at it, bowling another bouncer off the next delivery with the English all-rounder only managing to edge it to the wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel.

Two deliveries later, Shami bowled another short-pitched delivery – this time at Rashid who was caught at fine-leg after top-edging a hook shot.

INJURY WORRIES FOR ENGLAND

If being 2-0 down in the series wasn’t bad enough, England have more worries on their hands as opening batsman Haseeb Hameed and all-rounder Zafar Ansari have been ruled out of the Test series due to injuries.

Hameed’s injury, especially, will be a big blow to the visitors as he has been really impressive in his debut Test series. In three Tests, the 19-year-old has scored 219 runs with two half-centuries to his name.

England have replaced the duo with left-handed batsman Keaton Jennings and left-arm spinner Liam Dawson.

PARTHIV PATEL SHINES WITH BAT, DISAPPOINTS WITH GLOVES

Making a comeback to Test cricket after a gap of eight years can be tough, but Parthiv Patel seemed to have embraced it quite well with a solid performance with the bat at Mohali.

The 31-year-old scored 42 in the first innings, before guiding India to victory with an unbeaten 54-ball 67 during the chase on day four.

Although his batting impressed, his work behind the stumps was not of the highest quality. The Gujarat wicket-keeper dropped as many as three catches and while it did not cost India the match, it is a worry for the hosts.

In case Wriddhiman Saha returns for the fourth Test as expected, one shouldn’t be surprised if Patel is used as a specialist batsman at the top of the order.

RASHID CONTINUES TO IMPRESS

Although England haven’t had the best of times on this tour so far, the performances of leg-spinner Rashid has definitely been a positive for Alastair Cook’s men.

The Yorkshire bowler came into the series with a less-than-impressive Test record, but he has held his own against the Indian batsmen. He is the highest wicket-taker in this series on either side, with 18 scalps to his name.

England will be hopeful that the other spinners will step up and support Rashid ably as they attempt to repeat their heroics at Mumbai from 2012 in the fourth Test.

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