Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin predictably completed the annihilation of clueless England batsmen, emphatically bringing India back in contention for the World Test Championship final with a series-levelling 317-run victory in the second Test in Chennai on February 16.
Debutant Patel made full use of favourable conditions to bag 5 for 60 in 21 overs while Ashwin finished with a match-haul of eight wickets, not to forget his classy hundred with the bat.
They demolished England for a paltry 164 on the fourth day in pursuit of an impossible target of 482, giving India their biggest win over the tourists in terms of runs.
India have now risen to second in the WTC standings and need to at least win one more and draw another in the four-match series to make the cut for the final in June.
After a crushing 227-run defeat in the first Test, Virat Kohli couldn’t have imagined a better comeback going into the crucial Day/Night Test in Ahmedabad in just over a week’s time.
“The conditions were challenging for both sides, but we showed more application with the bat. We didn’t panic out there looking at the turn and bounce, we showed grit, got into the game and scored 600 runs in the game,” an ecstatic Kohli said in the post-match presentation.
While critics, mostly from the English side, had panned the pitch but two hundreds and three fifties by the home team batsmen showed that it was all about understanding of conditions and brilliant application from the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ashwin, Kohli, Rishabh Pant and debutant Patel.
From the visitors’ own ranks, No.9 Moeen Ali went on a six-hitting spree in his 18-ball 43 to show the ones above him in the order, how it is done on a dust bowl.
“Credit to India, they outplayed us in all three departments. It has been an education for us, you could come up with conditions like these and we have to learn from this and find a way to score runs,” said Kohli’s opposite number Joe Root.