Cricket News: India Win Third Test Against England
India win with 10-wickets 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.
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 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.
- It is the eighth two-day Test since World War Two and England’s first defeat inside two days since 1921.
First, India fold…
Having wasted winning the toss on day one, England’s fightback with the ball gave them a route back into the contest.
Jack Leach, who removed India captain Virat Kohli in the final over on Wednesday, struck twice early on day two, bowling Ajinkya Rahane as he tried to cut trapping a sweeping Rohit Sharma lbw for 66.
Root then ran through the lower middle order.
Rishabh Pant was caught behind off Root’s first ball before Washington Sundar and Axar fell in the space of three balls to give the England captain figures of 3-0.
While it was Root’s first five-wicket haul in Tests, it only added the questions over England’s choice to pick one frontline spinner in Leach – a view compounded when Root opened the bowling in the fourth innings.
India collapsed from 114-3 to 145 as Leach finished with 4-48, but an impressive bowling performance was soon to be wasted by England’s batsmen.
…then England collapse again
England’s first showing with the bat put them in a difficult position. The second was feeble and confirmed their fate.
Having seen Crawley bowled first ball, Bairstow attempted to sweep his first delivery and was given out lbw. Although he overturned the decision on review, he was bowled next ball to complete a pair on his return to the side.
After Dom Sibley was caught behind attempting a leg-side heave at Axar, Root and Stokes batted positively in exceptionally difficult conditions but a wicket never felt far away.
Root had already survived a tight review when he was leg before for 19 pushing forward to Axar, and Stokes fell in similar fashion to Ashwin for 25.
Ashwin has now dismissed Stokes 11 times in Tests and, once he fell, the result seemed inevitable.
Ashwin tormented Ollie Pope before bowling him for 12, then had Jofra Archer lbw as he swiped across the line to give him his 400th Test wicket. Playing his 77nd Test, Ashwin is the second quickest bowler to reach the landmark, after Sri Lanka legend Muttiah Muralitharan’s 72.
A series that started so strongly with the bat – England scored 578 in the first innings of the first Test – is teetering on the brink of disarray.
Defeat does not ‘define’ England – what they said
England captain Joe Root: “We’re bitterly disappointed. We don’t define ourselves on a performance like that. It was a very challenging surface.
“We missed an opportunity, more in the first innings than anything. If we’d got 200, that would have been a very good score on that wicket and the game would have looked completely different.”
India captain Virat Kohli: “The result went our way but the quality of batting wasn’t at all up to standard by both teams. We were 100-3 and hoping to get more than we needed. There was a lack of application from both sides.”
India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin: “It felt amazing when the board was flashing 400 wickets and the crowd were clapping for me.
“When we collapsed I thought the game could be in the balance, but Axar Patel pulled it back for us and it was a good performance in the third innings.”
England bowler Steven Finn: “England are going to have to look at their team selection. I’ll be amazed if we don’t see a different balance for the last Test.
“But the most important thing is doing your best to draw a line under this game now. They still have an opportunity to draw the series and it is only two Test matches ago that they produced one of the most complete performances by an England team in the sub-continent for a long time.”
England “misread” conditions in their two-day defeat by India in the third Test, says captain Joe Root.
Seventeen wickets fell on an incredible day in Ahmedabad as India won by 10 wickets and inflicted on England their first loss inside two days since 1921.
“We tried to exploit that pink ball. Seam looked a really threatening option,” Root said.
“We wanted to give our seamers, which we feel is a big strength of ours, a chance to exploit those conditions. Unfortunately it was a slight misread.”
Day-night matches, played with a pink ball, often favour seamers, but Jofra Archer was the only England pace bowler to take a wicket.
James Anderson and Stuart Broad, England’s leading Test wicket-takers of all time, bowled 19 unsuccessful overs – the first time they have both failed to take a wicket in 120 Tests together.
Root, a part-time off-spinner, claimed 5-8 and Jack Leach, England’s only specialist spinner, 4-54 as India collapsed from 114-3 to 145 all out.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took 11-70 and 7-74 respectively in the match for India.
“We thought the wicket would hold together better than it did,” Root said. “Throughout the practice days it seamed around and swung prodigiously.
“Unfortunately [the fast bowlers] didn’t have the impact we anticipated.”
‘The fans have been robbed’
England were bowled out for 81 before India chased 49 to wrap up victory not long into the final session. It was the shortest Test since 1935.
Root said the fans inside the stadium “had been robbed” but stopped short of saying the surface was unfit for Test cricket.
“Let’s not hide away from the fact we’ve been outplayed again – we have to accept that,” Root said.
“It’s a real shame because it’s a fantastic stadium, there’s 60,000 people come to watch a brilliant iconic Test match. I feel for them.
“They’ve come to watch Virat Kohli face Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad or Jack Leach and watch Ashwin against our top batters. And I almost feel like they’ve been robbed.
“Instead they’ve had to watch me get wickets on there, which shouldn’t be the case.”
Former England spinner Phil Tufnell said he felt “a little bit deprived”.
“It was a boiling into a fantastic series and it’s become a bit of a shootout and taken away a bit of the skill from the players,” he said on The Cricket Social.
India captain Virat Kohli blamed “a lack of application” from batsmen on both sides rather than the pitch.
“The result went our way but the quality of batting wasn’t at all up to standard by both teams,” he said.
“Our bowlers were much more effective and that’s why we got the result.”
On other news: Vision To Build World’s Largest Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad