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England crash to defeat to India in second Test


Axar Patel takes five second-innings wickets as England bowled out for 164 on day four in Chennai after Moeen Ali (43 off 18) cameo; four-match series tied at 1-1 heading into day-night third Test in Ahmedabad from Wednesday, February 24

Last Updated: 16/02/21 9:01am

Virat Kohli’s India side trounced England by 317 runs in the second Test in Chennai (Pic credit – BCCI)

England crashed to a 317-run defeat to India in the second Test after being bowled out for 164 on day four as the hosts drew level at 1-1 in the four-match series.

England, who began Tuesday’s play in Chennai on 53-3 in their notional pursuit of 482 for victory, were dismissed early in the second session in 54.2 overs when Kuldeep Yadav had Moeen Ali (43 off 18) acrobatically stumped by Rishabh Pant.

Moeen – who will now fly home and miss the last two Tests having opted to leave the England bubble – went down swinging, hitting three sixes in a row off the five-wicket Axar Patel (5-60) and five in total during a pulsating cameo, with captain Joe Root (33) the only other batsman to pass 26.

England captain Joe Root made 33 on the fourth day in Chennai (pic credit - BCCI)

England captain Joe Root made 33 on the fourth day in Chennai (pic credit – BCCI)

Ravichandran Ashwin (3-53) took his tally of wickets in the match to eight but missed out on becoming the fourth player in Tests to complete a century and take a 10-wicket haul in the same game, a club that includes Sir Ian Botham, who achieved the feat against India in Mumbai in 1980.

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan (against Zimbabwe in Khulna in 2014) and Pakistan legend Imran Khan (against India in Faisalabad in 1983) are the other two players to do the famous double.

India’s thumping win – a week after they were thrashed by 227 runs in the first Test – snapped England’s six-match winning streak in overseas Tests and ensured the sides will head to the day-night third Test in Ahmedabad from February 24 all square.

Ravichandran Ashwin hit a hundred and bagged eight wickets in the match during a terrific all-round performance (Pic credit - BCCI)

Ravichandran Ashwin hit a hundred and bagged eight wickets in the match during a terrific all-round performance (Pic credit – BCCI)

England will be without Moeen but seem set to welcome back seamers James Anderson and Jofra Archer – the duo missing the second Test due to rest and an elbow injury respectively.

Batsman Zak Crawley is also in a 17-man squad after sitting out the Chennai fixtures with a wrist injury, while Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood are included after being rotated out for the opening two Tests.

Root’s side will also hope for a better pitch than the much-maligned Chennai turner – not that that should be used a reason for their comprehensive defeat in the second Test.

India just played better cricket, albeit in conditions they are more familiar with, amassing 615 runs from their combined 181.4 overs as opposed to England’s 298 from their 114.1.

Rohit Sharma scored 161 in India's first innings of 329 after Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat (Pic credit - BCCI)

Rohit Sharma scored 161 in India’s first innings of 329 after Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat (Pic credit – BCCI)

Virat Kohli had the fortune of winning the toss but his men made the most of that advantage by positing 300-6 on day one, an effort underpinned by Rohit Sharma’s 161, the opener’s seventh Test hundred and first against England.

India added only 29 runs to their score on day two but their total looked formidable and so it proved as England were torpedoed for 134 in 59.5 overs in reply – Ashwin (5-43) the chief destroyer as Root’s men carded their lowest-ever first-innings score in India.

The home side led by 195 after first innings, an advantage they swelled to 481 on day three after making 286 in their second innings – Ashwin (106) and Kohli (62) rallying their side from 106-6 with a seventh-wicket stand of 96 before Ashwin pressed on to complete a 134-ball, fifth Test hundred.

England’s seemingly impossible task became even more difficult as openers Dom Sibley (3) and Rory Burns (25) fell to spin on the third evening – nightwatchman Jack Leach (0) suffering the same fate.

Ashwin was a key difference maker in the Test (Pic credit - BCCI)

Ashwin was a key difference maker in the Test (Pic credit – BCCI)

Root and Dan Lawrence (26) came through the first six overs on day four, only for Lawrence to then be brilliantly stumped by Pant down the leg-side after advancing to Ashwin from the first ball of the seventh.

Ashwin turned his first delivery of the day between Lawrence’s legs and the unsighted Pant whipped off the bails.

Ashwin then had Ben Stokes (8) caught at slip by Kohli after the England batsman inside-edged onto his pad playing for spin that did not materialise, while Ollie Pope (12) was caught on the slog-sweep off Axar.

Ben Foakes (2) was also out sweeping Kuldeep on the stroke of lunch – the bowler bagging a belated wicket after Mohammed Siraj had dropped Root off his bowling as the England captain reverse-swept on 32.

Root then gloved a pretty unplayable ball from Axar to Ajinkya Rahane at slip after the break and when the same bowler pinned Olly Stone lbw for a duck, England were 126-9.

Moeen’s innings provided some late fun but this was a chastening defeat for England after the highs of the first Test.

Ben Foakes kept beautifully for England in the second Test (Pic credit - BCCI)

Ben Foakes kept beautifully for England in the second Test (Pic credit – BCCI)

There were still some positives, principally the exceptional wicketkeeping of Foakes, Moeen’s eight wickets and salvo with the bat and the skill and pace of fast bowler Stone as the trio featured in their first Tests since 2019.

The series is now fascinatingly poised with two Tests remaining, as is the battle to be New Zealand’s opponents in the World Test Championship Final at Lord’s in late June.

England must win the final two Tests to qualify, while India must triumph at least 2-1 – with any other set of results meaning Australia will take on the Black Caps at the Home of Cricket.

England and India’s first focus, though, is the pink-ball Test in Ahmedabad, before the series concludes at the same venue with a regular day game from Thursday, March 4.

Follow text commentary of the day-night third Test between India and England in Ahmedabad on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app from 8.30am on Wednesday, February 24.





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