Record-breaking Bumrah leaves England gasping on rain-affected day
Jasprit Bumrah’s incredible all-round display put England under huge pressure on the second day of the fifth Test against India at Edgbaston.
Bumrah took the first three wickets, before the crucial late loss of Joe Root was followed by the departure of nightwatchman Jack Leach to leave England 84-5, 332 behind.
Stand-in captain Bumrah had earlier crashed Stuart Broad for the most expensive over in Test cricket history, costing 35 runs.
With Ravindra Jadeja completing a fine century, India were bowled out for 416 – James Anderson picking up two of the wickets to fall on Saturday morning for figures of 5-60.
Bumrah removed Alex Lees, the struggling Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope, before India were stalled by a two-hour break for rain – the third lengthy delay of the day.
Evening sunshine gave India a bonus hour in which Root and Leach fell, leaving Jonny Bairstow unbeaten on 12 and skipper Ben Stokes on nought.
The tourists lead the series 2-1, with this match rescheduled from September last year after the original fifth Test was postponed because of a COVID-19 scare in the India camp.
New England under pressure
Given all that happened on this soggy Saturday, it is hard to believe the rain allowed only 38.5 overs of play.
England found themselves in trouble in all of the three Tests they won against New Zealand and they will have to draw on all of their new-found resilience to come through this situation.
India were always likely to pose a more complex challenge than New Zealand, and the momentum has been with them since they recovered from 98-5 on the first afternoon.
Bumrah is unorthodox but one of the most skilful fast bowlers in the game. Buoyed by his batting and kept fresh by the rain breaks, he made light of the slow pitch to carve through England’s top order.
He found a huge gap in Lees’ defence and bowled the left-hander, before Crawley was suckered into an all too familiar edge to be held at third slip.
Crawley is comfortably the new England regime’s biggest problem. Stokes has offered his unequivocal backing, but the Kent man’s highest score in 11 innings is 43 and the repeated nature of his loose driving outside off stump hints at a player who is not learning.
When Pope chased a very wide one to slice to second slip, Root and Bairstow, England’s batting stars of the summer, were reunited for another rescue job.
Aided firstly by the rain, they were making steady progress when play finally resumed at 18:00, even if Root was unusually loose outside off stump and Bairstow a becalmed version of the batter that blitzed New Zealand.
But with Root on 31, Mohammed Siraj got one to cut back, too close for an attempted cut, resulting in a glove behind.
Leach was dropped off his first ball, then edged Shami behind off his fifth, meaning Stokes had to come out in the penultimate over of the day.
Brilliant Bumrah’s moment of history
While Stokes’ approach to captaincy has been refreshing, even he has failed to shake off his predecessors’ baffling habit of approaching tailend partnerships by bowling bouncer after bouncer with fielders scattered around the boundary.
Time and again, the tactic has failed England. And yet, on Saturday morning, when Jadeja resumed on 83 and with Shami yet to get off the mark, Jadeja was faced with as many as seven men on the rope and Shami regularly only faced one or two balls in an over.
England’s approach finally bore fruit when Shami ramped to third man for Broad’s 550th Test wicket, but by then Jadeja had cut Matthew Potts for four to go to his third Test hundred.
There were probably more runs out there for Jadeja, but he was bowled for 104 taking a swipe at Anderson.
England had India 375-9 and should have bowled them out for less than 400, yet what followed was some of the most chaotic, ridiculous Test cricket you could ever see.
As Broad pounded the ball into the middle of the pitch and Bumrah swung hard, England lost the plot.
Two sixes and four fours came off the historic over. One of the sixes came from a no-ball and one of the bouncers went for five wides.
With only one legal delivery bowled, Broad had already conceded 16 runs, the previous record for the most expensive over – 28 – was matched after four balls, and then Bumrah entered the record books with his second maximum.
A single scrambled off the final ball made a total of 35, and the mayhem was only ended when Anderson had last man Siraj held at mid-off. (BBC Sport)