India had a great chance to assert their dominance over an in form English bowling attack at Edgbaston. However the truth is that only one batsman from the Indian side deserved to win the match, and even that man had a fair bit of assistance from fortune to do what he did.
India never looked like a menacing side in England. However the bowling attack surprisingly exceeded expectations and bowled out England rather cheaply. Man to man, India lost to England in the batting department. While Root, Bairstow, Jennings and Sam Curran contributed for England, India depended solely on their captain. The lack of experience playing County cricket in England was hurting the famous Indian batting line up.
Over the years Indian pacers were the major reason for India's poor performances abroad, especially in conditions that helped seamers. However this time around, Ishant Sharma almost matched the skills of Curran and Anderson swinging the ball lethally. Shami and Yadav backed him up, both of them endowed with the strength to match Ishant's pace. Aswin bowled beautifully destroying the resilient Cook with his variations. Cook who usually never plays at anything outside the off stump to seamers might have become a problem for India had Aswin not got the better of him.
Once India got out to bat, everyone realised how well the English bowlers could replicate what India did to them. Kohli was dropped in the slips which might have become the moment of the match, had India won the match. It comes as no surprise that the man who dropped Kohli has been dropped for the next test. Kohli was disciplined earlier on and exceeded everyone's expectations when he took India close to the English total with the help of the tail-enders. The match was neutralised once again and India had to begin once more.
This time around, India bowled even better and restricted the English lead to under 200 runs. Ishant was once again the leader of the pack, swinging the ball back in to right handers at good pace. Aswin repeated his magic against Cook and neither Root nor Bairstow offered much resistance. What was crucial was Sam Curran's performance with the bat which was the difference between the two sides at the end of four days.
Going out to bat for the final time India felt that a famous victory was on the cards. Once again the top order crumbled and it was down to Kohli and the tail-enders to win the match for India. Ben Stokes who had bowled better than Stuart Broad in the first innings did so again, although Broad gave a much enhanced performance the second time round. Anderson was accurate and sharp as usual, but his fortunes remained the same from the first innings. Rashid chipped in, as he had done in the first innings. Although Curran couldn't repeat the magic he displayed in the first innings Broad and Stokes more than made up for it. Kohli was the only thing standing in England's way, and once he was dismissed, it was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened. Hardik couldn't justify his place with the ball and his total of about 50 runs with the bat was not enough to stop England from getting the upper hand in the five match series. Unless India fix their batting woes, this series could slip away from us faster than we think.