India Eye Series Levelling Win After Ashwin Skittles Out England

India Eye Series Levelling Win After Ashwin Skittles Out England

15 February 2021 06:56 pm

2nd Test -England Vs India - Chennai - Day 2

India maintained a firm grip on the second Test after spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed his 29th five-wicket haul to help skittle out England for 134 on the second day in Chennai on Sunday.

The hosts were 54 for one at stumps with Rohit Sharma on 25 and Cheteshwar Pujara on seven.

Left arm spinner Jack Leach trapped Shubman Gill leg before for 14, as the opener walked back after an unsuccessful television review.

India built a commanding lead of 249 with Sharma, who made a sparkling 161 on day one till batting at the crease.  , surviving a stumping chance on 20 and had a lbw decision overturned when on 22, to end the second day 25 not out.

Although questions were asked about the deteriorating pitch at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, India are in sight of a series levelling victory in the four-match series, after their crushing defeat in the opening Test a few days ago.

Former Australia player and TV commentator Mark Waugh said the Chepauk pitch was "unacceptable", as it started to crumble so early in the game.

India could only add 29 runs to their overnight 300 for 6, as Rishabh Pant hit an unbeaten 58 belting two two straight sixes before their innings ended in the first hour of play.

Ali claimed four wickets, including two in three balls in his first over of the day and bowling just the second over of the morning. Fast bowler Olly Stone took three.

Ashwin ended with 5-43 as England collapsed in reply to India's 329, conceding a lead of 195.

Debutant left-arm spinner Axar Patel and pace bowler Ishant Sharma claimed two wickets apiece.

Ashwin became the second-highest wicket taker in home Tests for India with 268 scalps, surpassing Harbhajan who got 265.

The 34-year-old veteran off-spinner's 29th five-wicket haul in 76 Tests, equalled Australia legend Glenn McGrath's feat.

After Rory Burns was lbw to the third ball of the England innings, playing all around a straight one from Ishant, who got his 301st Test wicket, the spinners got to work.

Ashwin had a sweeping Dom Sibley caught off the back of the bat, Dan Lawrence held at short leg and then went on to bowl out Ben Stokes.

But it was Patel claiming Root for his maiden Test wicket that raised the roof in the stadium, where fans were allowed for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic erupted.

Coming into his 101st Test with scores of 228, 186 and 218 in his previous three matches, Root mistimed a sweep and was caught at short fine leg.

Foakes who made an unbeaten 42 off 107 balls helped England avert the follow-on putting on 35 with Ollie Pope. The pair batted for over 50 minutes before pace bowler Mohammed Siraj struck with his first ball of the Test, removing Pope for 22.

Ben Foakes then found an able partner in Jack leach to put on an invaluable partnership of 25 runs for the 9th wicket, to ensure that India batted next.

Ravichandran Ashwin then wrapped up the innings when he went on to bowl out Stuart Broad.