By: Eastern Eye Staff
Ravichandran Ashwin finished with a match haul of eight wickets as England collapsed on the last day of the second Test to hand India a thumping 246-run win and a series lead on Monday (November 21).
Chasing an unlikely 405 for victory, England were bowled out 20 minutes after lunch for 158 as India grabbed a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, after the first Test was drawn.
Skipper Virat Kohli led from the front to bring up the team’s second biggest win against England by runs, after they won by 279 runs at Leeds 30 years ago.
Kohli’s sparkling 167 and his 226-run third-wicket stand with Cheteshwar Pujara (119) in the first innings was instrumental in the hosts posting 455 after batting first.
The star batsman also hit a gritty 81 in the second innings to underline India’s dominance over the visitors.
“We’ve been playing some really good cricket. We don’t want to be complacent but don’t want to be desperate, either. We respect England,” said Kohli, who was named man of the match.
Ashwin, the leading Test wicket-taker this year, once again turned on the heat against the English batsmen who resumed their chase at 87 for two but lost their last eight wickets for just 71 runs.
The off-spinner, who picked up his 22nd five-wicket haul in the first innings, captured the first scalp of the day by having Ben Duckett caught behind for nought, ending the batsman’s brief, 16-ball stay at the crease.
Ashwin and debutant Jayant Yadav finished with three wickets each in England’s second innings, while fast bowler Mohammed Shami chipped in with two.
“The biggest positives are how the fast bowlers bowled and Jayant’s debut. It was lovely to have five bowlers who can pick up wickets,” said Kohli.
The morning session saw England lose Moeen Ali who looped up a simple catch to fine leg off leg-spinner Ravindra Jadeja for just two runs.
Off-spinner Yadav got the important wicket of Ben Stokes, top-scorer with 70 in England’s first innings, for six.
Joe Root, who was dropped on nine by Kohli at leg slip off Ashwin, provided some resistance until fast bowler Mohammed Shami had him lbw for 25.
Root reviewed the decision but TV replays suggested the ball would have hit the leg stump, upholding the on-field call.
The hosts had reclaimed the advantage on the fourth day after Jadeja trapped England skipper Alastair Cook lbw for 54 on what turned out to be the last ball of the day.
“It was a good toss to win (for India), no doubt. From losing those five wickets on day two – you have to score first-innings runs,” said Cook.
After conceding a 200-run deficit in the first innings, England will take heart from their spirited bowling the second time around.
Fast bowler Stuart Broad, who played with a strained tendon on his right foot from day two, and leg-spinner Adil Rashid fought valiantly by claiming four wickets each to dismiss India for 204.
“We made India work very hard. We played some good cricket at stages in these first two games. We need to win a couple of games to get ourselves back in the series,” said Cook.
The action now shifts to Mohali for the third Test, which starts on Saturday (November 26).