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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 31 July 2021 12.47 AM IST

India vs England: Spin win for India: Hosts crush England in second Test, level series 1-1

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NEW DELHI: Ravichandran Ashwin was the big impact player for India, with bat and ball, on his home ground, as India crushed England by 317 runs in the second Test to level the 4-match series 1-1 in Chennai on Tuesday.

Chasing an improbable target of 482 on a vicious turner, England surrendered to the Indian spinners in the second session on Day 4, being bundled out for 164 in their second innings. This also ended England's six match win streak away from home.

England were 3 down overnight and lost their last 7 wickets in 35.2 overs on Day 4.

With this emphatic win, India also moved up to the second spot with 69.7 percentage points in the World Test Championship table, to bolster their chances of making it to the final in June. England, on the other hand, fell to fourth position. New Zealand have already qualified for the Lord's final to be played from June 18.

Ashwin, in front of his home audience, surpassed the likes of Gary Sobers and Jacques Kallis to become the second most successful all-rounder in a Test match, behind Ian Botham, in terms of exemplary performance with both bat and ball in a single Test. Ashwin has now on three occasions scored a ton and taken five wickets in a Test. Botham had done it on five occasions.

With the victory, Ashwin an Co. also avenged the humiliating loss in the first Test at the same venue.

Welcoming fans back into the stands after a long break due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Ashwin delighted the Chennai crowd. After taking a fifer in the first innings to bundle out England for 134, Ashwin hammered his fifth Test ton in India's second innings, silencing the critics of the Chepauk pitch, who felt the track was just not possible to bat on. The 34-year-old then took three wickets in England's second innings.

The all-rounder was rightfully adjudged Man of the Match for his scintillating ton and the 8-wicket haul in the Test.

The victory also saw Rohit Sharma's return to form after a series of low scores. The hitman smoked a classy 161 to lay the platform for a big total for the hosts in their first innings after India won a crucial toss.

With England resuming Day 4 at 58/3, India needed 7 wickets to win the Test on a track that was aiding spinners a lot. Ashwin started the day perfectly for India, removing Dan Lawrence in his very first over. The 34 year old then ended Ben Stokes's resistance (8 off 51 balls) before Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav took a wicket apiece before lunch.

After the break Axar and Kuldeep (2/25) quickly picked up the remaining three wickets to wrap up the match in the 55th over. All the ten England wickets in the second innings fell to spin. Axar, who finished with figures of 5 for 60 in the second innings became the sixth Indian to take a fifer on Test debut for India.

The match also saw Ashwin going past Harbhajan Singh (265) for most wickets at home. He currently has 269 wickets on Indian grounds.

Skipper Virat Kolhi also showcased his batting prowess in the second innings on a rank turner, scoring a top-notch 62 in India's second innings, but his wait of over a year for a century, across formats, continues.

The 96-run stand between Kohli and Ashwin was the highest 7th wicket partnership against England in the second innings, surpassing Kapil Dev and Syed Kirmani's 82-run partnership in 1985.

The Chepauk pitch was also a major talking point during the Test with former greats like Sunil Gavaskar and Shane Warne coming forward to defend the track against the likes of Michael Vaughan and Mark Waugh.

"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.

"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.

With fans once again coming to the stadiums to watch the cricketing heroes, there was also a small incident of a bio-bubble breach on Day 3, when a class X student managed to enter the park. He was subsequently let go by the authorities after his match pass was revoked.


The victory was also a special occasion for skipper Kohli, as he broke a four-Test match losing streak as captain. Kohli now has 28 wins as India captain, just 2 behind MS Dhoni's India record of 30.

With the series now level at 1-1, both India and England will head to the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, which will host the remaining two Tests before the limited-overs series begins.


The third Test in Ahmedabad, which starts on February 24, will be a day-night affair -- India's second Pink ball Test at home.

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TAGS: INDIA, ENGLAND, RAVICHANDRA ASHWIN, BAT AND BALL, HOME GROUND, SECOND TEST, FOUR MATCH, INDIAN SPINNERS, SEVEN WICKETS, NEW ZEALAND, EXEMPLARY PERFORMANCE, JACQUES KALIS
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