Ashwin stars as India thrash England

Afp, Chennai

17 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Ashwin stars as India thrash England

India cricketers celebrate after winning the second Test against England at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday. – Collected PHOTO

India captain Virat Kohli said Tuesday his side showed more “grit” and “determination” to thrash England in the second Test, playing down complaints about the difficult pitch.

With local hero Ravichandran Ashwin claiming eight wickets in the match and scoring 106 in the second innings, India completed a 317-run victory inside four days in Chennai.

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel claimed a five-wicket haul on his Test debut as England were out for 164 while chasing an unlikely 482 on day four.

Some said the Chennai pitch, which crumbled from nearly the first day, was not fit for a Test.

But England made no public complaint and Kohli rejected the criticism and said his side played a “perfect game”.

“I think our application with the bat was outstanding,” said the India captain.

“The conditions were challenging for both sides but we showed more application and grit and determination to battle it out.

“We didn't panic out there looking at the hard turn and bounce on that pitch.”

Kohli highlighted that India scored 600 runs over two innings despite the conditions, and winning the toss made no difference.

England captain Joe Root conceded that his side were “outplayed in all three departments this week” and had to learn quickly before the third Test in Ahmedabad.

But he added: “I would say it was a challenging wicket. I do think that it was an important toss to win.”

England, struggling since the opening day, kept losing wickets after resuming on 53-3 on day four.

Root departed for 33 soon after lunch, falling to Patel.

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav joined in to finish off the innings, taking Moeen Ali after he smashed 43 off 18 balls.

Ashwin's five wickets to help bowl out England for 134 in the first innings in response to India's 329 set the tone for the host's dominance.

England conceded a lead of 195 and then struggled on a pitch that offered turn from day one.

Both sides need to win the series to take the second place in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand later this year. The third Test -- a day-night match -- will begin in Ahmedabad on February 24.