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England vs India in 2022

A review of England vs India in 2022

Yas Rana
A general view of the action, England vs India, 5th Test, Birmingham, 4th day, July 4, 2022

A general view of the action on day four at Edgbaston  •  Getty Images

Test matches (1): England 1 (12pts), India 0 (-2pts)
One-day internationals (3): England 1, India 2
Twenty20 internationals (3): England 1, India 2
Much had changed since the Fifth Test's original slot in the diary, at Old Trafford in September 2021. When it was cancelled on the first morning, ostensibly because of Covid concerns in the Indian camp, the series finale was moved to Edgbaston ten months later, and squeezed into an already packed schedule, which included six white-ball games. It was India's fifth visit to the UK in six summers. Virat Kohli and Joe Root - the sixth- and seventh-longest-serving skippers in Test history - were no longer in charge, though their fortunes continued to diverge. Kohli, who had been central to India's decision to leave Manchester early, with his team 2-1 up, arrived hoping to end a wait of nearly three years without an international hundred, but managed a best of just 20 from six innings across the formats. Root, who had already scored ten Test centuries since the start of 2021 alone, added an 11th - his fourth of this elongated series - as England built on their barnstorming 3-0 victory over New Zealand under the new leadership of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum. It helped their cause that this Test began in the week the New Zealand series finished.
To further diminish the tourists' hopes of rounding off a rare Test series win in England, Rohit Sharma - Kohli's replacement as captain, and India's batting star of the previous summer - missed Edgbaston after testing positive for Covid. K. L. Rahul, Sharma's stand-in earlier in the year, was absent because of a groin injury, leaving Jasprit Bumrah in charge - India's first fast-bowling Test captain since Kapil Dev in 1987. The Indians had a low-key warm-up against Leicestershire, who agreed to field some of their players. Through the club's live stream, fans tuned in for the possibility of Bumrah running through his Test team-mates. Instead, Roman Walker, a 21-year-old Leicestershire seamer yet to make his first-class debut, claimed five wickets - Kohli among them - to disrupt India's preparations.
The XIs differed vastly from the Fourth Test at The Oval the previous September, yet India's four changes radiated an aura of stability next to England's seven. The Test itself followed the pattern of the New Zealand series. England fielded first, before their opponents moved into a position of strength; then, at least one of Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root scored a hundred (in this case, they managed three between them) and the hosts chased down a substantial fourth-innings target. It was another major tick in the early stages of the McCullum-Stokes era.
Almost unnoticed, England retained the Pataudi Trophy, played for between these sides on English soil. The white-ball leg of the tour raced by, a pair of three-match series in 11 days acting as preparation for the T20 World Cup in Australia later in the year, and the 50-over version in India in 2023. Rohit recovered in time to take charge of the tourists, while the T20 series was Jos Buttler's first as full-time white-ball captain, following Eoin Morgan's abrupt retirement from international cricket after England's tour of the Netherlands.
Buttler's reign started with losses in both formats but, in the absence of several of their first-choice white-ball attack - notably Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes - there were still positives for England against a formidable India side. In the second one-day international at Lord's, Reece Topley took six for 24 - England's best ODI figures. When they lifted the World Cup on the same ground three years earlier, Topley - then 25 - was considering his future after a string of back injuries. Earlier that year, following surgery, he had been without a county. Now he was leading England to victory, and primed to play a prominent role in at least one of the two World Cups.
The emergence of Richard Gleeson was similarly uplifting. A relative latecomer to the professional game - he made his first-class debut for Northamptonshire at 27 - he won an England call-up at 34 after starring in the Vitality Blast with Lancashire, where he had turned heads with his pace. Tearing in, he claimed three for 15 on debut, in the second T20 at Edgbaston. The series also marked Harry Brook's first England appearances on home soil. The outstanding county batter over the first half of the summer, he showed glimpses of his potential.
The depth of India's squad was especially clear in the T20s. Arshdeep Singh, a 23-year-old whippy left-arm quick, exhibited great control on debut at the Rose Bowl, while Suryakumar Yadav, for so long in the shadow of India's more established stars, took the limelight at Trent Bridge, scoring India's third-fastest T20 hundred, if in a losing cause. In the ODIs, England were blown away by Bumrah at The Oval and, while Topley bowled them back into the series at Lord's, they posted another under-par score at Manchester, where a hundred from Rishabh Pant took India home at a canter. Whether the white-ball triumphs made up for defeat in the Test was another matter.