Chennai: Jack Leach and James Anderson starred for England as a combined bowling effort from the visitors cleaned up the India batting order on Day 5 to register a famous win in Chennai. With the emphatic 227-run victory, England took a 1-0 lead in the 4-Test series.
Resuming at an overnight score of 39/1, India’s batting was found wanting in the morning session, losing out five wickets in quick succession. Jack leach got the ball rolling with the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara. Anderson then, quickly picked up three wickets to break India’s middle order.
Skipper Virat Kohli (72) showed some resistance but ran out of partners at the other end. India eventually were bundled out for 192 responding to England’s 420-run target. For England, Leach picked up 4 wickets while Anderson grabbed three in the fourth innings. Jofra Archer, Dom Bess and Ben Stokes also picked up one wicket apiece.
Earlier, England had scored 578 runs in their first innings in reply to which India posted 337, thus conceding a lead of 241. The visitors were then bundled out for 178 to set a 420-run target for the Indian team. This was India’s first Test defeat at home since 2017 when they had suffered a 333-run loss against Australia in Pune.
After that, they played 14 Tests in between, registering victories in 11 while three matches ended in a draw. This was India’s fourth Test defeat against England at the Chepauk, first after 1985 when the visitors registered win under David Gower’s captaincy.
Before this Test match, India had faced England in 60 matches at home, registering triumph in 19, losing 13 and drawing 28. Overall, India and England have competed in 123 Tests, out of which India have won 27, England 47 while 49 matches have ended in a draw.
On the fifth and final day on Tuesday, India resumed their chase at 39/1 but lost Cheteshwar Pujara early as he was caught in the slips against Leach, after scoring 15 runs off the 38 ball he faced. Shubman Gill (50) and skipper Virat Kohli then shared a 34-run stand and tried to steady the ship. However, just after reaching his third Test fifty, Gill was bowled by a ripper from Anderson.
Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane once again failed to perform with the bat as he got out in the same over against Anderson, thus leaving India in a precarious situation. Rahane, who had scored just one in the first innings, went back to the dressing room without troubling the scorers. Rishabh Pant, India’s batting hero in the first innings, scored 11 off 19 before he became the third scalp of Anderson. Washington Sundar, the next batsman in, also couldn’t stay long and got out for a duck against Dom Bess. Ashwin then faced some blows on his body but made sure that he didn’t give his wicket away as India went into Lunch needing 276 runs with just four wickets in hand.
After the lunch break, Ashwin — after sharing a 54-run partnership with Kohli — got out after scoring nine runs while attempting a square cut against Leach, leaving India reeling at 171/7. Kohli, who was fighting the lone battle with the lower order, then got out bowled to a Stokes delivery that kept low and disturbed the wood. Shahbaz Nadeem and Jasprit Bumrah got out after scoring 0 and 4 while Ishant Sharma remained not out at 5.
The two teams will now face each other in the second Test beginning Saturday at the same venue.
Brief Scores: India 337 (Rishabh Pant 91; Dominic Bess 4/76) & 192 (Virat Kohli 72, Jack Leach 4/76) lose to England 578 (Joe Root 218; Jasprit Bumrah 3/84) & 178 (Joe Root 40; Ravichandran Ashwin 6/61) by 227 runs.