India crush England inside two days

AFP

26th February, 2021 10:38:19 printer

India crush England inside two days

India crushed England by 10 wickets on Thursday in a rare two day Test triumph that winning captain Virat Kohli said had been "bizarre".

Spinner Axar Patel took 11 wickets over two innings as India outplayed their rivals in all departments in the day-night game to take a 2-1 lead in the four match series.

Rohit Sharma hit a six to see India to their meagre second innings target of 49 without losing a wicket in the world's biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.

"I have never been part of a Test match where things have moved so quickly," said Kohli.

"It was bizarre that out of the 30 wickets, 21 were off straight balls," he said praising his spin bowlers but hitting out at the batsmen on both sides.

"The result went our way but the quality of batting was not at all up to standard from both teams to be very honest," said Kohli, who has now beaten M.S. Dhoni's Indian record of 21 Test wins at home as captain.

England captain Joe Root, who won the toss, chose to bat and then saw two dramatic collapses, was shocked by the defeat but insisted it would not "define" his side that won the first Test so convincingly.

"We will use the hurt from this week as motivation going into that last game. We will come back stronger for it," he insisted.

Spinners ruled the contest claiming 28 of the 30 wickets that fell on the viciously turning track.

It was only the second Test in India's cricket history to end in two days. The last was their thrashing of Afghanistan on their Test debut in Bangalore in 2018 and there have been less than 25 in Test history.

England's last two-day Test was when they beat West Indies at Headingly in 2000.

The result rules England out of contention for the World Test Championship final. India need a win or draw in the fourth and final Test to book their meeting with New Zealand at Lord's in June.

 

- Ashwin 400 -

England were skittled out for 112 and 81 and Patel has now taken at least five wickets in three of the last four innings of the series. India scored 145 in their first innings.

Patel said he thrives on the mind games with opposing batsmen.

"Strangle their runs and then get them to make mistakes. Bowling more and more dot balls is my strength," said the new spin hero.

Patel was brilliantly supported by Ravichandran Ashwin who took seven wickets in the match and went past 400 Test scalps when he trapped Jofra Archer lbw for nought.

He is the fourth Indian bowler after Anil Kumble (619), Kapil Dev (434) and Harbhajan Singh (417) to pass 400 wickets.

Patel struck with the first ball of the innings to send back Zak Crawley and got Jonny Bairstow for his second straight zero on the third delivery.

Root, who took five wickets earlier, put on 31 runs for the fourth wicket with Ben Stokes who top-scored with 25.

Ashwin trapped Stokes lbw to end the stand and Patel claimed Root for 19.

Earlier India were bowled out for 145 in their first innings after resuming the day on 99-3.

Root returned career-best figures of 5-8 in 6.2 overs of off spin in support of Leach, who took four wickets.

The final match starts on March 4 in the same stadium giving England little time to boost morale.

"I think, more than anything, we shouldn't have any baggage going into the last game. We have some fine players and batsmen who are more than capable of making big scores," said Root.


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