Considering that the Indian cricket team’s recent record abroad has been poor, cricket lovers have reasons to rejoice over the latest triumph over England at Lord’s—its first away victory in 16 Tests, starting from 2011. Indians will remember the latest success at the Mecca of cricket for another reason, for it was on this hallowed ground that India won its first world cup in 1983 and a Test in 1986. However, as former skipper Sunil Gavaskar has pointed out, when India won in 1986, as many as 10 members of the present touring party were not even born.
This is a pivotal point, therefore, in Indian cricket because of the way the young team fought against adversities and came back. It wasn’t easy going for them and the kind of application they have shown augurs well for the future. However, they must now ensure that the old malaise of complacency does not creep in. What was noteworthy was that it was the pacers who won the game for India although Ravindra Jadeja’s left-arm spinners were also effective. But, the six-wicket haul of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar in the first innings and the seven wickets taken by Ishant Sharma in the second showed that India is no longer as dependent on spinners as before.
The emergence of all-rounders like Kumar, Jadeja and Mohammed Shami is another plus point, for such players give depth to the batting apart from strengthening the bowling department. The victory will negate the familiar saying that Indians are lions at home on turning pitches and lambs abroad on green turfs. This time, however, the Indian pacers made better use of the seaming conditions than their English counterparts, showing that the team is on the way to become lions on foreign soil as well. Another welcome aspect was that Virat Kohli’s lack of success was adequately compensated by Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay, giving the batting line-up a stable look.