New Delhi, November 21
Ravichandran Ashwin and Jayant Yadav shared six wickets between them to guide India to a huge 246-run win against England on the fifth and final day of the second Test in Visakhapatnam, thereby securing a 1-0 lead in the five-match series on Monday. Chasing 405, England crumbled to 158 all out just four overs into the second session in a dominant performance by the home spinners, led by Ashwin who finished with match figures of 8/117 with debutant Jayant Yadav picking up 3/30 in second innings. England, who lost their first two wickets in 60 overs, capitulated under sustained pressure on the final day, with Indian bowlers picking the remaining eight within 37 overs.
A sorry collapse in which they lost their 10 wickets for 83 runs after a 75-run opening stand – a defiant display put up by Alastair Cook and Haseeb Hameed as they blunted the Indian attack, sowing seeds of a spirited fight in their chase of a mammoth target. Monday morning extinguished those faint hopes with the hosts landing quick blows, picking five wickets within the first session and then completing the formality just fours overs into the second with Jayant and Ashwin wiping off the tail to extend India’s unbeaten run to 16 Tests at home.
England’s best hope for survival rested on the shoulders of Joe Root who had Ben Duckett, a walking wicket, for company. And soon, Duckett added another chapter to his wretched tour of the subcontinent, caught by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha off Ashwin for a 16-ball duck. Unlike Day 4, when India had to wait for over 50 overs for their first scalp, they had an early success, taking 33 deliveries to make the first strike.
Jadeja, as usual, was quickly going through his overs, not allowing the batsmen to settle in with a probing line. Moeen Ali was the new man in and Jadeja got one to pitch on the rough from where the ball bounced, took the shoulder of his bat and flew to Man of the Match Virat Kohli who completed the catch standing at backward short leg.
Root was beaten on several occasions and might just have thought it’s going to be his day when he was reprieved by Kohli on 9 when he failed to hold on to a sharp catch at backward short leg and then successfully reversed a caught behind decision. In between, he struck three boundaries, all against Ashwin. Ben Stokes, who scored a fighting 70 in the first innings, was done in by an excellent delivery from Jayant Yadav as he got one to turn sharply that beat the left-hander and crashed on the off-stump. England had lost half their side and Mohammed Shami hastened their collapse with the big wicket of Root, who unsuccessfully reviewed an lbw decision, departing for 25. Shami then removed Adil Rashid (4) to take India closer to victory.
Jonny Bairstow, who partnered Stokes in the first innings for a defiant stand, remained positive, sweeping and punching to collect seven fours either side of the lunch break and cut a sorry figure watching the inevitable remaining unbeaten on 34.
New Delhi, November 21