Visitors England notched up a historic test win in Chepauk, Chennai against an in-form Indian side fresh from their series victory in Australia. The England side, led by skipper Joe Root, go atop the ICC Test championship ranking with this 227 run victory over India.
Chasing a target of 420 runs, the Indian team was bowled out with the help of a dominant bowling performance courtesy of Jimmy Anderson and Jack Leach in the fourth innings to help England gain its first test win in England after nine years.
England 1st Innings
After Joe Root won the toss, England decided to bat first on a Chepauk wicket known for its big scores. Despite the best efforts of the Indian bowling attack, the strong England batting line-up reached a huge total of 578 runs, with everyone except Dan Lawrence posting runs on the board.
Captain Joe Root playing his hundredth test match scored a magnificent 218 runs, with all-rounder Ben Stokes and opener Dom Sibley also scoring 84 and 87 runs respectively. India’s bowling attack looked blunt for most of the 190 overs that they bowled in the first innings, with the scrutiny falling over spinners Shahbaaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar who were quite expensive.
The inclusion of a Nadeem over Kuldeep Yadav had raised quite a few eyebrows and although he did pick up 2 wickets, it wasn’t enough to silence the critics.
India 1st Innings
Coming into bat, India were all out for 337 runs after playing 96 overs. The Englishmen bowled really well, especially spinner Dom Bess who picked up 4 wickets. Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar and Cheteshwar Pujara all got runs on the board. Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane disappointed as they only scored 6 and 1 runs.
Captain Virat Kohli had to labour during his time on the pitch and was dismissed by Dom Bess for a measly 11. Ashwin contributed 31 runs as a lower-order batsman, but India’s tail soon collapsed.
England 2nd Innings
In spite of having an over 200 run lead, England decided not to ask India to follow-on. But their second innings was in stark contrast to their first as the pitch started to wear.
The spin genius of Ravichandran Ashwin was on display as the veteran picked up his third 6 wicket haul against England to contain English side to a 3rd innings total of 178. Ashwin also became the third spinner in the history of test cricket to pick up a wicket on the first ball of an innings, after he dismissed opener Rory Burns in the third innings.
Pacer Ishant Sharma also picked a wicket in the 3rd innings to become the sixth Indian bowler to have 300 test wickets. Yet, despite restricting England to a low 3rd innings score, India still had a target of 420 runs to chase on the final day of the test.
India 2nd Innings
India raced to a good start in the 4th innings of the match over 30 runs scored in a little over 6 overs. But, Rohit Sharma soon fell to spinner Jack Leach who bowled brilliantly in the 4th innings.
The fourth day ended with Pujara and young Shubman Gill on the crease. India got off to a good start on the fifth day as Gill reached his third fifty in his fourth test, but a 7-over spell from Jimmy Anderson soon reduced India’s middle order to ashes. The veteran pacer picked up Gill and Rahane, whose batting woes continue despite getting a hundred Down Under, in the same over. He also got rid of danger man Rishabh Pant for 11.
Captain Virat Kohli looked to fight but Jack Leach and other bowlers picked up wickets at a regular interval. By the time Kohli got out to Ben Stokes for 72, it was all but over for India. The hosts closed their innings at 192 runs falling well short of the 420 runs target.
India will be looking for a strong comeback in the next three matches after suffering their first home defeat since losing to Australia in March 2017. England will be looking to continue their winning streak of 11 test matches but they will be missing wicketkeeper Jos Buttler for the next matches.
As part of ECB’s rotational policy, the wicketkeeper will be rested for the next tests. However, that shouldn’t be detrimental to the test series which still promises to be a grand spectacle for cricketing fans around the world.