Indian spinners demolish England by 317 runs to level series 1-1
Chennai: : Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin predictably completed the annihilation of clueless England batsmen, emphatically bringing India back in contention for the World Test Championship final with a series-levelling 317-run victory in the second Test in Chennai on February 16.
Debutant Patel made full use of favourable conditions to bag 5 for 60 in 21 overs while Ashwin finished with a match-haul of eight wickets, not to forget his classy hundred with the bat.
They demolished England for a paltry 164 on the fourth day in pursuit of an impossible target of 482, giving India their biggest win over the tourists in terms of runs.
India have now risen to second in the WTC standings and need to at least win one more and draw another in the four-match series to make the cut for the final in June.
After a crushing 227-run defeat in the first Test, Virat Kohli couldn’t have imagined a better comeback going into the crucial Day/Night Test in Ahmedabad in just over a week’s time.
“The conditions were challenging for both sides, but we showed more application with the bat. We didn’t panic out there looking at the turn and bounce, we showed grit, got into the game and scored 600 runs in the game,” an ecstatic Kohli said in the post-match presentation.
While critics, mostly from the English side, had panned the pitch but two hundreds and three fifties by the home team batsmen showed that it was all about understanding of conditions and brilliant application from the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ashwin, Kohli, Rishabh Pant and debutant Patel.
From the visitors’ own ranks, No.9 Moeen Ali went on a six-hitting spree in his 18-ball 43 to show the ones above him in the order, how it is done on a dust bowl.
“Credit to India, they outplayed us in all three departments. It has been an education for us, you could come up with conditions like these and we have to learn from this and find a way to score runs,” said Kohli’s opposite number Joe Root.
The Indian team currently is so strong that it could afford to rest its best pacer Jasprit Bumrah, miss out its premier all-rounder Ravindra jadeja but yet make a telling statement, nullifying any advantage that England team might have possessed.
Bairstow, Wood to join for Pink ball Test; Moeen Ali to go back
Chennai: England on Tuesday brought in wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow and pacer Mark Wood to their squad for the day/night Test against India, starting February 24 in Ahmedabad.
England lost the second Test here on Tuesday by 317 runs as India drew level in the four-match series.
The selectors also decided to send spin all-rounder Moeen Ali, who played in the second game, back to England as part of their rotation policy to manage workload of the players.
Bairstow was given rest after the two-Test series against Sri Lanka, where he had scores of 47, 35 not out, 28 and 29.
Wood was also given a break after the series in the island nation where he went wicket-less in the first Test and took three wickets in the second.
“Moeen Ali will return to England for a break while Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood join the squad having been rested for the first two Tests,” the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement.