By Matthew Henry
ENGLAND succumbed to a 10-wicket defeat against India inside two days of an astonishing third Test in Ahmedabad.
On a scarcely believable day when both sides collapsed and 17 wickets fell in two sessions, India completed the quickest Test win since 1935 not long into the final session. England began the day with a thrilling fightback, turning India’s overnight 99-3 into 145 all out.
But, faced with a first-innings deficit of 33, England were bowled out for 81 as India’s spinners ran riot once again.
In a frenzied start to their second innings, England lost Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow within three balls – both bowled by Axar Patel.
Ben Stokes and Joe Root briefly calmed the raucous atmosphere but their dismissals in consecutive overs sparked a sorry procession to England’s lowest Test total in India. Spinners were responsible for every wicket to fall on the day – and 28 of the 30 in the match – Joe Root taking 5-8 in the first session, Axar 5-32 and Ravichandran Ashwin 4-48, including his 400th Test scalp. India cruised to their target of 49 inside eight overs, an incredible game wrapped up before the floodlit conditions of a day-night Test could have an impact. Victory gave India, who lost the first Test, an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series with one match to play and ended England’s hopes of qualifying for the World Test Championship final this summer.
England blown away on wild day
If the first day of this Test was remarkable – England bowled out for 112 despite winning the toss – the second was one of the most incredible in recent memory.
Neither side got to grips with a turning pitch, at least not until India’s chase when England were demoralised after their second collapse of the game.
The 17 wickets fell in 53 overs for the loss of 127 runs, the match over with almost 30 overs remaining on the second day.
The fact that Root, a part-time off-spinner, claimed such extraordinary figures showed the difficulties faced by batsmen. The spinners found extravagant turn but wickets often fell to deliveries that skidded on.
Although England’s fightback brought them back into the contest, the skill and relentless accuracy of Axar and Ashwin proved too much for a side that also collapsed twice in the second-Test defeat. Had England mustered another 100 runs India would have had a difficult chase. Instead, under little pressure, Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma cantered to victory in one-day mode to the delight of the crowd in the world’s largest cricket stadium. England’s defeat in numbers
England lasted 476 balls across two innings – the fifth fewest in their Test history. England scored less than 200 runs in the game for only the seventh time, and the third since 1904. (BBC Sport)
ENGLAND 1st innings 112
INDIA 1st innings o/n 99-3
Rohit Sharma lbw Jack Leach 66
Shubman Gill c Zak Crawley b Jofra Archer 11
Cheteshwar Pujara lbw Jack Leach 0
Virat Kohli b Jack Leach 27
Ajinkya Rahane lbw Jack Leach 7
Rishabh Pant c Ben Foakes b Joe Root 1
Ravichandran Ashwin c Zak Crawley b Joe Root 17
Washington Sundar b Joe Root 0
Axar Patel c Dominic Sibley b Joe Root 0
Ishant Sharma not out 10
Jasprit Bumrah lbw Joe Root 1
Extras: (b-2, lb-2, w-1) 5
Total: (all out, 53.2 overs) 145
Fall of wickets: 1-33, 2-34, 3-98, 4-114, 5-115, 6-117, 7-125, 8-125, 9-134.
Bowling: James Anderson 13-8-20-0, Stuart Broad 6-1-16-0, Jofra Archer 5-2-24-1, Jack Leach 20-2-54-4, Ben Stokes 3-0-19-0, (w-1), Joe Root 6.2-3-8-5.
ENGLAND 2nd innings
Zak Crawley b Axar Patel 0
Dominic Sibley c Rishabh Pant b Axar Patel 7
Jonny Bairstow b Axar Patel 0
Joe Root lbw Axar Patel 19
Ben Stokes lbw Ravichandran Ashwin 25
Ollie Pope b Ravichandran Ashwin 12
Ben Foakes lbw Axar Patel 8
Jofra Archer lbw Ravichandran Ashwin 0
Jack Leach c Ajinkya Rahane b Ravichandran Ashwin 9
Stuart Broad not out 1
James Anderson c Rishabh Pant b Washington Sundar 0
Total: (all out, 30.4 overs) 81
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-0, 3-19, 4-50, 5-56 Root, 6-66, 7-68, 8-80, 9-80.
Bowling: Axar Patel 15-0-32-5, Ravichandran Ashwin 15-3-48-4, Washington Sundar 0.4-0-1-1.
INDIA 2nd innings
Rohit Sharma not out 25
Shubman Gill not out 15
Extras: (b-8, lb-1) 9
Total: (7.4 overs) 49
Bowling: Jack Leach 4-1-15-0, Joe Root 3.4-0-25-0.