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SPECIAL: The architects of India's historic win at Lord's

July 21, 2014 22:03 IST

SPECIAL: The architects of India's historic win at Lord's

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India registered only their second Test victory in 17 attempts at Lord's. Harish Kotian looks at those who played a major role in the historic triumph.

India's young team played out of their skin to emerge triumphant in the second Test against England at Lord's after a long wait of 28 years.

Despite having the worst of the conditions after they lost the toss and were put in to bat on a green wicket, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men showed great determination over the five days of the match to register a historic 95-run victory.

Though England never let India get off the hook, and even took a slender 24-run first innings lead, the visitors came up with solid batting in the second innings to post 342 and set England a challenging 319 for victory which ultimately proved to be enough.

- PHOTOS: India triumph at Lord's after 28 years!

Going into the Test, India were haunted by their past, having lost 0-4 in the previous series in England in 2011. Having also failed to win a Test away from home in 15 attempts it was only fair that the odds were stacked against them at the start of the five-match series.

In fact, few gave the team a chance, considering that many players had never played a Test in England. However, the young guns stuck to the task and chipped in with vital contributions at crucial moments to script one of the most memorable victories for the country in recent times.

With India registering only their second Test victory in 17 attempts at Lord's, their first since 1986, here's a look at those who played a major role in the historic triumph.

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Image: India's players celebrate after winning the Lord's Test
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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SPECIAL: The architects of India's historic win at Lord's

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The turnaround in the Test came about off the last ball of the morning session on Day 5. Ishant Sharma's extra pace did the trick!

England had staged a good comeback thanks to Joe Root and Moeen Ali who stitched together a dogged partnership before the latter was caught at short leg trying to fend off a short ball.

That opened the floodgates, as Ishant single-handedly destroyed England's lower order with a five-wicket burst that saw him finish with career-best figures of seven for 74 in 23 overs.

Interestingly, all his five wickets on Day 5 came from short balls as England’s batsmen succumbed to bouncers, caught in the deep.

Ishant became the first Indian bowler to take a seven-wicket haul in England, and five of his six five-wicket hauls have come in away Test matches.

Before the start of the series, veteran pacer Zaheer Khan had asked India’s most experienced bowler to step up and lead the attack in England. How wonderfully did Ishant respond to that challenge.

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Image: Ishant Sharma (left) celebrates dismissing Ben Stokes
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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SPECIAL: The architects of India's historic win at Lord's

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Ajinkya Rahane must consider himself very unlucky to have missed out on the man of the match award in this Test.

His century on Day 1, on a green Lord’s wicket, must rate as one of the best Test knocks in recent times.

When he came out to bat, India were reduced to 86 for 3 and kept losing wickets at regular intervals.

At 145 for 7, as the right-hander watched from the other end, all the top batsmen were back in the hut. But Rahane led a fightback with a magnificent innings of 103, hitting 15 fours and a six off 154 deliveries.

That he not only scored a hundred but also got it a strike rate of 66 showed his class.

The Mumbai batsman put on 90-run stand for the eighth wicket with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (36) which helped India post a respectable 295 in the first innings.

In scoring a hundred at Lord's he achieved what legendary batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar could not during their illustrious careers.

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Image: Ajinkya Rahane celebrates after reaching his century
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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SPECIAL: The architects of India's historic win at Lord's

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Bhuvneshwar Kumar was India’s most consistent player in the just-concluded two Tests. Perhaps, the country's search for a champion all-rounder has ended.

Following twin half-centuries in the first Test, Kumar played another important role in both innings at Lord's which included a half-century in the second.

He also continued his good form with the ball, claiming six for 82 in the first innings in which he bowled 31 overs.

His impressive performance with both bat and ball has opened up more options for the team, including playing two spinners when conditions permit.

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Image: Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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SPECIAL: The architects of India's historic win at Lord's

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There was some debate over whether Ravindra Jadeja would retain his place in the squad for the second Test after he went wicketless in the first at Nottingham.

But Dhoni kept his faith in the all-rounder and persisted with him ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin.

The left-hander delivered with a match-winning, all-round effort. He took two wickets in the first innings and played a vital knock with the bat in the second essay.

With India reduced to 203 for 6, Jadeja counter-attacked the English bowlers as he slammed his way to a quickfire 68 from 57 balls, inclusive of nine fours.

What was notable about his swashbuckling batting was that he kept using his feet while facing the fast bowlers, even against the new ball, to disrupt their rhythm.

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Image: Ravindra Jadeja celebrates after completing his half-century
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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Murali Vijay has grown in leaps and bounds in the last year or as a Test opener. Not so long ago, he was branded as a limited overs specialist after his exploits in Twenty20 cricket but the Tamil Nadu batsmen has come up with some dogged performances in the recent past to cement his place at the top.

Following his century in the first Test, Vijay continued his good run with a determined knock of 95 in the second innings at Lord’s.

His theory of leaving as many deliveries as possible outside the off-stump left the English pacers frustrated while ensuring India got a good start in both the Tests.

He also took a wicket with his part-time spin in the first innings, that of Moeen Ali.

With Shikhar Dhawan not living up to expectations, Vijay ensured that he made up for it and looked to stay at the wicket as long as possible.


Image: Murali Vijay hits out as England wicketkeeper Matt Prior (left) looks on
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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