India had nothing to cheer about in the fourth Test at Old Trafford as they succumbed to an embarrassing innings and 54-run defeat against England with MS Dhoni's men now trailing the five-match Test series 2-1. The final Test is slated to take place at the Oval starting Friday.
The England bowlers toyed with the famous Indian batting lineup and bowled them out twice inside three days. On the first day it was pacer Stuart Broad, who took a six-for; while on the third day off-spinner Moeen Ali ripped through the middle-order.
India lost four crucial wickets in the first hour of the opening day and never recovered before being bundled out for a mere 152. Only skipper Dhoni (71) and R Ashwin (40) put up a fight.
The second innings was no different as the England bowlers, despite missing Broad, bowled out the visitors for just 161 to register a thumping victory. Ali came to the fore and took four wickets as the hosts dismissed nine batsmen in the final session.
"The first hour of this Test match was crucial," Dhoni said. "We all know it has slightly more bounce, this wicket. But after that it got much better to bat on and there was something for the fast bowlers. Once you see off the first 20-25 overs, when the ball is hard and new, it gets relatively better for the batsmen to bat.
"You just have to pull the bowler towards you rather than going outside off and looking for the big shot. If you can look to push them to bowl to you actually you can control the swing much better and you can play your strokes.
"That is something to an extent we lacked. Hopefully we will learn from it out and move into the next one which I feel will be very important to us."
Virat Kohli has been India's mainstay in India's recent limited success overseas but the Delhi-born right-hander has failed terribly in the series thus far. Kohli only managed seven runs in Manchester but the Indian captain is hopeful the stylish batsman will bounce back from this rough patch.
"He (coach Darren Fletcher) has been helping Virat a lot and not only Virat, he has also been helping other batsmen," Dhoni said. "It is a lean period Virat has to go through. It is bound to happen at some time, if not now then six months down the line.
"He had a lovely two to three years scoring runs everywhere in all formats. So it's something he has to go through and it will only make him a better cricketer."