Ashwin, Axar Star as India Trump England by 317 Runs in Chennai
Player of the Match R Ashwin scored a century and picked 8 wickets while Axar Patel finished with a 5-wicket haul.
A dominant Indian spin attack demolished the England batting line-up in the second innings of the Chennai Test, going on to win the game by a massive 317 runs and giving the returning fans quite a lot to cheer about on Tuesday. India’s win has brought the series to 1-1 as the teams now head to Ahmedabad for the final two Tests.
Debutant Axar Patel was the star of the second innings as he completed a maiden five-wicket haul, including picking the big wicket of Joe Root right after Lunch on Day 4. R Ashwin, who scored a century on Day 3, picked three wickets and Kuldeep Yadav, returning to the side for the first time since Sydney 2019, finished with two scalps. Ashwin was named Player of the Match.
The spinners were on fire right from the get go on Day 4 as they picked four England wickets in the morning session. R Ashwin, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav all picked wickets in the opening session and the two left arm spinners applied the finishing touches within half an hour of the afternoon session.
As expected India’s spinners were bowling most of the overs on the morning of Day 4, and not surprisingly it was Ashwin with a couple of telling blows early on.
Dan Lawrence’s 53-ball innings ended with a stumping while batting on 26. Ashwin’s delivery went through his legs and straight into a waiting Rishabh Pant’s gloves, who was quick to remove the bails as Lawrence was found short of his crease.
Ben Stokes and Joe Root then offered some resistance and were extremely watchful against some very probing bowling by India.
Stokes, who looked quite uncomfortable against Ashwin, was the next to fall a couple of overs after the drinks break. Looking to defend, Stokes edged it towards gully where Virat Kohli took a sharp catch to give India their fifth wicket. Stokes batted 51 deliveries for his 8 before being dismissed.
Ollie Pope, who was looking to score quickly to release some pressure, swept Axar but could not connect well enough, allowing Ishant Sharma to complete an easy catch at square-leg. Pope was dismissed for 12 leaving England in a fair bit of trouble on Day 4.
Within minutes the situation worsened for England as Ben Foakes was dismissed for 2 as he tried to sweep Kuldeep Yadav and gave Axar Patel a simple catch at square-leg as the last act of the first session.
Right after the break, Axar added another nail in the English coffin when he had Joe Root caught at slip by Ajinkya Rahane for 33. Axar, who dismissed Root in both innings in the Test, took India to within two wickets of the win.
In his next over, Axar trapped Olly Stone LBW for a duck and completed his maiden five wicket haul on debut.
Moeen Ali added a few lusty blows for his 43 to delay the inevitable with Stuart Broad for company, but could not do any significant damage as Kuldeep invited him go for the big one and slipped it wide for Pant to collect and wrap things up in style.
India, who were handed a hammering in the first Test, responded with a 317-run win in the second to level the four-match series at 1-1.
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