Having dismissed Rishabh Pant - India’s last recognized batsman - on just the fourth over of the final day at Lord’s, it looked like England were on course to keeping the target under 200, but what followed on the other side of the wicket-keeper batsman’s dismissal beggared belief.
Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, two tail-enders notorious for throwing away their wickets at the back-end, put up an astonishing unbeaten 89-run stand that not just deflated the hosts, but essentially took an England victory out of the equation. Both Shami (56*) and Bumrah (34*) ended up posting their highest Test scores, and such was the exhibition of batting the duo displayed that they were, at lunch, welcomed with a standing ovation by the entire Indian camp.
It was a moment that exemplified the camaraderie within the visitors, and reviewing the second Test, legendary batsman VVS Laxman insisted that the ovation that Bumrah and Shami received at lunch was the ‘best moment’ of the Lord’s Test.
"The moment of the match for me was off the field, when the entire Indian contingent came down from the dressing room and gathered at the Long Room to welcome these two warriors back at the lunch break. If ever there was an example of celebrating their mates’ success," Laxman wrote in his TOI column.
The Shami-Bumrah partnership eventually proved to be the turning point in the match, and Laxman reckoned that the 89-run stand lifted the mood of the camp and spurred Team India on to complete a famous victory.
"Often, it takes just one partnership to turn the tide. When that comes from unexpected quarters, it does wonders to the mood of the camp. That’s exactly what happened when Jasprit Bumrah walked in to join Mohammed Shami with India’s lead well below 200.”
Laxman further stated that the victory in the second Test at Lord’s was a ‘win for the collective’. Across both the innings, there were significant contributions from each of the 11 players in the side, and the 45-year-old insisted that all eleven players stuck to the central theme, which was ‘team before self’.
"This was a win for the collective. There were several outstanding individual performances, but India didn’t deviate from the central theme – team before self — which was most heartening to see.
"To have the belief that 60 overs was enough time for the four-pronged pace attack to bowl England out a second time on what was a slow, placid surface shows how far India have come as a Test force. The quicks didn’t disappoint Virat Kohli, and not for the first time, the mercurial Mohammed Siraj was the driving force.
"Bumrah, Shami and old warhorse Ishant Sharma were equally hostile and relentless, and from their body language, you could make out that India would settle for nothing less than victory,” Laxman said.