Everyone is a little bummed following the cancellation of the fifth Test between India and England in Manchester, including the legendary Shane Warne. The India vs England Test series had been nothing short of spectacular, with both teams displaying brilliant bits of cricket. With the series interestingly poised 2-1 in favour of India, the final contest promised to produce another riveting piece of Test cricket before Covid-19 fears led to its abandonment.
The fact that such an enthralling series ended on such a note is a huge letdown, with Warne explaining how it’s unfortunate that it all had to end this way.
“I just feel a bit robbed. I feel this series has been absolutely outstanding. I take my hat off to India with the cricket they played. I think both sides have played in the right spirits. So I think we all feel a little bit robbed that this Test match didn’t go ahead. If they were in the middle of a Test match or delayed it by a couple of days, that means the flow on effect with the IPL and everything else is going to be thrown into chaos so I’m not sure they are left with any other option,” Warne said on Sky Cricket.
The series had everything. Action. Drama. Slight controversies, and a never-say-die attitude from both teams. After the first Test ended in a draw with rain washing out the final day, India won the second match at Lord’s. A wounded England would then roar back in style to level the series 1-1 in Headingley, before Kohli’s India turned the tables with a 157-run win at the Oval. All in all, there were plenty of positives for both sides, but especially for India, with Warne feeling Kohli’s team put in a complete performance.
“I feel for the players. Both sides were up for it and I can tell that by the way the series has been played. This Test series meant a lot to both sides. India left the series 2-1. Being the No. 1 Test side was their goal. They wanted to beat England in England… in swinging and seaming conditions with the Dukes ball. So, they sort of felt like they ticked every box. They would have liked to go out on a high,” Warne added.
Warne at last, thanked Kohli and the Indian team for playing out of their skins, which proved to be a great advert for Test cricket. Not only for this series but for the way they have played in the last year, with remarkable wins in Australia as well.
“I saw India first hand this year in Australia play some amazing Test cricket. Just remember… they got bowled out for 36 in the first Test match and they came back and won the next. Virat Kohli went back home, they lost their captain, they had injuries. Australia hadn’t lost a Test match in Brisbane for 40 years. They chased over 300 to win. I just saw it firsthand how determined they were… how important Test cricket is. I think all of us have to say Thank You to Virat Kohli, thank you to India for pushing Test cricket,” said the former Australia spinner.
“In Test match cricket, over five days, the best team always wins, and I think India have been the best team in this series and I think they were the best team in Australia. So what they have achieved in the last 12 months has been absolutely outstanding and a big thank you to Virat Kohli.”