Ind vs Eng | Spinners do the star turn as India crushes England

India beats England by 317 runs to win the 2nd cricket Test match at M.A. Chidambaram stadium, in Chennai on February 16, 2021. Photo: Twitter/@BCCI  

Axar Patel lived a dream in the field of dreams; a five-wicket innings haul on debut that fired India to a victory in the second Test at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday.

India completed the formalities soon after lunch on day four, winning by a massive 317 runs. The series is level 1-1 after two Tests.

The caravan now moves to Motera for the third Test — a day/night affair from February 24. India needs to win the series 2-1 to make the World Test championship final.


Major difference

The difference between the two sides was Rohit Sharma’s iridescent 161 in the first innings after India won a crucial toss on a dusty surface that turned from day one.

Then home boy R. Ashwin held centrestate with a century and an eight-wicket match haul. Things happened quickly on day four of the second Test at Chepauk.

Prize wicket

And left-arm spinner Axar got the prize wicket of Joe Root (33) with a delivery that bounced more and kissed the glove even as the batsman pushed forward.

Control is the tall Axar’s strength and he gets extra bounce too releasing the ball from a high-arm action.

Axar has an easy relaxed release, spins the ball away from the right-hander and throws in variations in speed and trajectory. Importantly for a left-armer, he possesses an arm ball.

Axar’s extra bounce drew the error from Ollie Pope too; his attempted sweep resulted in a catch to deep mid-wicket.

Pant’s stature grows

Moeen Ali (43) struck some lusty blows before stepping down to wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, missing and Rishabh Pant pulling off an acrobatic stumping to end the Test. Pant has grown in stature as a ’keeper in the match.

Ashwin bowled with rhythm and skill. He is employing more body in his action which, consequently, gives him greater bite off the surface.

Now, Ashwin is more side-on in his release which means he is pivoting better with a more pronounced hip drive.

Ashwin imparted serious revs on the ball and there was flight, dip and turn in his bowling.

And his release points are excellent. His seam position is good and he can bowl both top spin [upright seam] and side-spin [the release point is from a lower arm and the seam does not face the ground].

With top spin, he gets the ball to dip. With side spin, Ashwin gets the sphere to drift.

Ashwin strikes early

Ashwin struck early in the day when he got one to turn through Dan Lawrence’s legs — he releases the ball a tad late and could have, from the corner of his eyes, seen Lawrence stepping out.

He fired a quicker one, and the fighting Lawrence (26), missed his flick and Pant pulled off a difficult leg-side stumping.

Ben Stokes was a big wicket and Ashwin got the left-hander with a fuller length slider from round the wicket.

Among Ashwin’s strengths is his use of the crease and the ability to harness the angles.

Man-of-the-Match, he was.

Fourth day scoreboard

India (Ist inngs): 329.

England (Ist inngs): 134.

India (IInd inngs): 286.

England (IInd inngs): Rory Burns c Kohli b Ashwin 25 (42b, 4x4), Dom Sibley lbw Axar 3 (25b), Dan Lawrence (batting) 19 (38b, 2x4, 1x6), Jack Leach c Rohit b Axar 0 (1b), Joe Root c Rahane b Axar 33 (92b, 3x4). Ben Stokes c Kohli b Ashwin 8 (51b), Ollie Pope c Ishant b Axar 12 (20b, 1x4), Ben Foakes c Axar b Kuldeep 2 (9b), Moeen Ali st Rishabh b Kuldeep 43 (18b, 3x4, 5x6), Olly Stone lbw Axar 0 (5b), Stuart Broad (not out) 5, Extras (b-6, lb-1) 7, Total (all out in 54.2 overs) 164.

Fall of wkts: 1-17 (Sibley, 8.2), 2-49 (Burns, 15.6), 3-50 (Leach, 16.6), 4-(66, Lawrence, 25.1), 5-90 (Stokes, 37.6), 6-110 (Pope, 43.5), 7-116 (Foakes, 48.3), 8-116 (Root, 49.2), 9-126 (Stone, 51.1).

India bowling: Ishant 6-3-13-0, Axar 21-5-60-5, R. Ashwin 18-5-53-3, Siraj 3-1-6-0, Kuldeep 6.2-1-25-2.

Result: India won by 317 runs.

Man of the Match: R. Ashwin.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 5:44:24 PM |

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