Chennai: The writing was on the wall after England’s hopeless performance with the bat in the first innings. They did not fare much better in the second innings either getting bowled for a paltry 164 handling India a massive 317-run series-leveling victory.
Axar Patel and Ashwin were the pick of the Indian bowlers and returned with five and three wickets each to rout the visitors in just under 55 overs shortly after Lunch on Day 4. England registered two of their seven lowest team totals in India in this match, 134 and 164 – an indicator of their poor batting display as much as the excellent bowling by the Indian spinners on a helpful Chepauk wicket.
The day started with England two batsman and a nightwatchman down. Dan Lawrence became the first victim of Day 4 perishing in an attempt to be positive against Ashwin. He stepped out only for the ball to go in between his legs for Rishabh Pant to complete an excellent stumping.
Ben Stokes and Joe Root negotiated the Indian spinners for close to 13 overs but it was only a matter of time on a difficult wicket offering sharp turn and bounce to three high quality spinners. Stokes’ 51 ball vigil came to an end when Ashwin got him to inside edge one to Kohli. The off spinner had once again dismissed the left hander.
Ollie Pope fell to Axar Patel trying to attempt a slog sweep while Ben Foakes was sent packing by Kuldeep Yadav. The England Captain, root, by far the best batsman of the visiting side in the innings decided to play a few shots with the ship sinking.
He got an unplayable delivery from Axar in the very next over- the ball bouncing and turning sharply to take the edge for an easy catch to Rahane at slip. He picked up a fifer on Test debut as he got rid of Olly Stone to reduce England 126 for 9. Moeen Ali hit a few sixes towards the end before becoming Kuldeep’s second victim. England were cleaned up for 164 handling India a massive 317-run victory.
They had thrashed England after the disappointment of the first Test and levelled the four-match series at 1-1. The dominating performance will also make sure they carry momentum into the crucial Day and Night third Test in Ahmedabad. But for now, the fortress is safe and India gave another glimpse of why they are one of the most dominating teams at home in Test cricket history.
Scoreboard:India 329 (Rohit 161, Rahane 67, Pant 58*, Moeen 4-128) and 286 (Ashwin 106, Kohli 62, Moeen 4-98, Leach 4-100) beat England 134 (Foakes 42*, Ashwin 5-43) and 164 (Moeen 43, Axar 5-60) by 317 runs