India Thump England To Seal Spot In World Test Championship Final

India Thump England To Seal Spot In World Test Championship Final

8 March 2021 12:11 am

4th Test - England Vs India - Ahmedabad - Day 3

Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel took all 10 wickets on Saturday, as India thumped England by an innings and 25 runs inside three days to win the fourth Test and seal the series 3-1.

India's 13th consecutive Test series victory at home also secured their place in the June final of the World Test Championship against New Zealand.

Ashwin bowled Dan Lawrence for 50 and ended England's second innings on 135 to seal the match with more than two days to spare, in the world's biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.

Ashwin, who was named player of the series, led the bowling chart with 32 wickets followed by Patel, who played one game fewer, on 27. England spinner Jack Leach was third with 18 scalps.

Overall, Ashwin and Patel claimed 59 wickets between them, at averages of 14.71 and 10.59 respectively, as English uncertainties on even vaguely spin-friendly surfaces were ruthlessly exploited.

“The comeback (after losing the opening Test) pleased me the most,” Virat Kohli said after leading India to their third consecutive victory in the series.

“The first game was a bit of a hiccup, when England outplayed us.”

Earlier, Washington Sundar was left stranded on 96 not out, as India posted 365 in reply to England's below-par 205 in the first innings.

Sundar's century-plus stand with Rishabh Pant on Friday had turned the game on its head, and the left-hander stitched together another such partnership with all-rounder Patel to bat England out of the contest.

A maiden Test century, however, eluded Sundar who stood crestfallen as India lost their last three wickets in five deliveries at the other end.

When they returned, Ashwin reduced England to 10-2, dismissing Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow with successive deliveries.

Crawley completed a difficult first tour of Asia by edging Ashwin to slip - the first time he had not been dismissed by left-arm spin across four Tests in Sri Lanka and India - and Bairstow then turned his first ball straight to leg slip for a third duck in four innings.

Patel got opener Dom Sibley for three and then Ben Stokes for two after the left-hand batsman miscued a sweep and was caught at leg gully by Kohli.

Ashwin effectively ended England's resistance when he trapped Joe Root lbw for 30.

England lost wickets at regular intervals to go down tamely in 54.5 overs.

The visitors have scored more than 200 just once in their last six innings.

England fast bowler James Anderson made an impression with his three wickets and 14 maidens in 25 overs.

Root topped the batting chart with 368 runs, including 218 in the opening Test that England won convincingly.

“The last three games have been testing for us and we haven't been able to match India,” Root said at the presentation ceremony.

“We've got a huge year of Test cricket ahead of us and it's really important we become a better side for this experience and keep looking to evolve and move forward.”

Pant was awarded the man-of-the-match for his belligerent 101, while Ashwin's series haul of 32 wickets, along with a century in the second Test, earned him the player-of-the-series award.

India coach Ravi Shastri singled out Pant's performance with the bat and behind the wickets as “magnificent”.

“He was told in no uncertain terms that he has got to respect the game a little more. He's got to lose a bit of weight and work hard on his keeping,” said Shastri.

“Yesterday's innings was the best counter-attacking innings I have seen in India. He built a partnership with Rohit playing against his nature - to do that is not easy.”

It was a memorable debut series for left-arm spinner Patel who registered his fourth five-wicket haul in his third Test.

The two teams now head into five Twenty20 internationals starting March 12 at the same Ahmedabad venue.