When Lords’ Test was done, both teams had one thing in common. Emotions. Both teams felt something, but the feeling was different.
Stares at one dressing room while smiles at the other. Cluelessness at one room while confidence was at the other. Thousands of thoughts went into this game as both teams headed to Headingley.
Finding the right combination is one thing. Giving back is another. At Lord’s, Kohli forced England to do bat when he declared in the middle of an over. The team wasn’t ready for that, at that time.
Here, Kohli forced made England do something they were happy to do. Kohli moved England’s first hurdle by opting to bat first so that Anderson could have the free flow through the batting order.
A bit of change to his approach confused the Indians who were curious, so much so that, they reached out to those deliveries. One soft dismissal after another, and the decibel in the crowd kept growing.
More than watching Indian batters walk back to the dressing room, the reason behind that made the crowd happier. Of course, Anderson has been their artist for more years than one could remember.
As Kohli walked in, Anderson wasn’t happy despite causing the disaster. Even before the loud crowd, he must have heard Kohli’s voice reverberating in his head. ‘This isn’t your f’in backyard’. He said that day.
He said to the man who actually made that place his backyard. There was rage. Rage that fueled his anger. The anger came out with every single delivery he bowled. Kohli gave in this time.
Anderson jumped as his rage turned into a roar of relief. The roar of the man who had to go through various emotions in the past couple of Tests. Now, this is not something new for Anderson.
In millions of moments, Anderson has been a part of, Killing Kohli’s ego has always been one of his top favourites. But in Lords’, Kohli had his way, even Bumrah the batter had his way. The world saw Anderson fall. The World saw England’s fall. Both in their own backyard. At the most precious cricket place on earth.
Not many times, this had happened. Not many times against India. Not many times a team had made him look like a joke. When Anderson opened up before the match, he did know that penning those emotions would not help him but finding a way to pin down his rivals would. When he got better off Kohli, it was special. He celebrated it in the way he knows.
As Anderson drew the plot, other pacers quietly followed, and as a result, Robinson returned with Rahane. Hours later, Overton and Curran chipped in to make the scorecard look bad.
In the quest of making India’s scorecard look bad, Burns and Hameed had their part too. When Bumrah’s ten-ball over blew England’s chances, Ishant Sharma’s nine-ball over did otherwise. It became the booster for England to kick start their innings.
At the end of the day, the decibels of the crowd kept increasing as Burns and Hameed punched gloves and walked back. The emotions were back but this time, it was different in both camps. England were smiling this time while India had nothing but a stare on their face. The Lord’s win is just a distant memory now.