India were on Saturday simply swept off their feet by an unceasing hurricane of pace bowling and unflappable catching.
Ollie Robinson produced a sizzling display of seam bowling (five for 65) as England ran roughshod over India on the fourth morning of the Headingley Test, romping to victory by an innings and 76 runs.
It all began with Robinson dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara on 91 as he, along with Virat Kohli, failed to add a single run to their 99-run partnership. Soon after, Kohli got to his first fifty of the series but fell in no time. Thereafter, India witnessed a massive collapse. Robinson completed his five-wicket haul, while James Anderson and Moeen Ali picked up a wicket each. A three-wicket haul by Overton cleaned up India's tail.
The Daily Mail columnist Martin Samuel was scathing is his assessment: Virat Kohli goes from bullish to foolish... India's skipper loses his way as dominant England turn the screw at Headingley.
It was apparent Kohli’s hubris has backfired. Writes Samuel, ‘‘What a turnaround this has been. Imagine being Kohli, arriving in Leeds at the start of the week. King of the world, master of his domain. The man who had out-thought and out-fought England at the home of cricket. The warrior par excellence. Whatever happened to him? From bullish to foolish. Cricket does that to you.’’
Prior to this Test, Kohli was the epitome of confidence. No, he didn’t need England to be weak, to make mistakes, for India to triumph. They would beat Root’s team in any conditions, any time, any place, anywhere. That delusion proved their undoing.
All eyes were on Kohli yet again: all he needed was a king of the world innings to save his team. But his last Test hundred was in November 2019 against Bangladesh, and it may remain that way for some time. ‘‘It never gets any easier, this game,’’ concludes Samuel.
It was clear India never had the stomach for a long drawn out fight. It was a match that England won by executing their strategies to perfection.