India were on the verge of losing their world No 1 status in Test cricket along with series to England in what is turning out to be one of their worst overseas tours in recent history.
In another shambolic batting display, the shell—shocked visitors had been reduced to 116 for 6 by lunch, still trailing England by 370 runs. There is possibility of this defeat turning out to be the worst ever in India’s Test cricket history.
The worst defeat for India till now is by an innings and 336 runs against the West Indies in Kolkata in 1958.
England seamer James Anderson was the wrecker—in—chief claiming three of the five wickets to fall in the fourth morning while off—spinner Graeme Swann picked up one.
Sachin Tendulkar who looked in good touch, was unfortunately run out for 40. England sent all the top six Indian batsmen back in the pavilion in a matter of 32—odd overs.
The two overnight batsmen, Gautam Gambhir (14) and Rahul Dravid (18), failed to add any run to their total this morning as Anderson ran riot in overcast conditions. Gambhhir departed to the first ball he faced this morning – tamely guiding an outswinger in the hands of Graeme Swann at second slip.
Rahul Dravid went inside the pavilion at the start of Anderson’s over to attend to some urgent matter but his return lasted no more than two deliveries.
He let go a wide delivery outside his offstump and nicked the next one to a delighted Matt Prior behind the stumps.
TV replays however showed that Dravid has not nicked the ball but surprisingly the veteran batsman did not opt for a referral.
Sachin Tendulkar, hit a boundary almost as soon as he came in hitting a loosener from Stuart Broad to the cover fence.
He then took three fours off Anderson as he first flicked and straight drove and then guided the swing bowler past the slip cordon.
VVS Laxman, at the other end, was doing little better than defending against England bowlers. Broad in particular tried to dig it in short to him and one searing bouncer in particular had the right—hander jumping on his heels.
Laxman returned to the pavilion soon coming forward in defence to Anderson but doing no better than nicking yet another chance to Prior behind the stumps.
It took the new man Suresh Raina 10 balls to get off the mark and the sight of off—spinner Graeme Swann was the signal for him to get some cheap runs. He once drove the off—spinner down the ground and later hit him through covers to move into double figures.
But the left—hander was to depart in the same over, playing forward to Swann and as the ball rapped him on the pads, umpire Steve Davis had no hesitation in ruling him out.
Tendulkar, at the other end, was a picture of poise and authority as he once hit Swann over midwicket and then slammed Tim Bresnan for two classy fours—first an on drive and then a thumping cover drive in the same over.
The senior—pro though was out in tragic circumstances when Mahendra Singh Dhoni drove Swann back and the ball brushed the hands of the bowler and rattled the non—striker’s stumps with Tendulkar out of his crease.
Tendulkar made his 40 runs off 60 balls and hit nine fours.
India 1st innings: 224 all out
England 1st innings: 710/7 declare
India 2nd Innings:
Gautam Gambhir c Swann b Anderson 14
Virender Sehwag c Strauss b Anderson 0
Rahul Dravid c Prior b Anderson 18
Sachin Tendulkar run out 40
VVS Laxman c Prior b Anderson 2
Suresh Raina lbw b Swann 10
Mahendra Singh Dhoni batting 9
Amit Mishra batting 16
Extras (B—1, LB—4, WD—2) 7
Total (For 6 wkts in 38 overs) 116
Fall of wicket : 1—3, 2—35, 3—40, 4—56, 5—87, 6—89.
Bowling: James Anderson 11—3—35—4, Stuart Broad 8—2—19—0, Tim Bresnan 9—3—15—0, Graeme Swann 8—1—30—1, Kevin Pietersen 2—0—12—0. Hindu