India hit back to level series after crushing victory over England

England suffered a crushing 317 run defeat by India on the fourth day of the second test in Chennai.

The visitors lost all ten wickets to spin after chasing an improbable 482 on a deteriorating pitch for victory to level the series with two tests to come.

Winning the toss is key to winning the match

India won a very useful toss on the opening morning of the test and elected unsurprisingly to bat first. On a pitch that had more pace and bounce than the one used for the opening test of the series; England were without Jofra Archer due to an elbow injury. Ollie Stone coming in for Archer with a like for like replacement.

It was Stone who struck the first blow by having Shubnam Gill(0)lbw to the ninth delivery of the day. Cheteshwar Pujara(21) edged Lack Leach to slip before the big wicket of Virat Kohli. The Indian captain lasted only five balls before being bowled by Moeen Ali for a duck to leave India 86-3.

India rescued by Rahane and Sharma

The hosts were rescued by a fourth wicket partnership of 162 between Rahane and Rohit Sharma that took the game away from England. Both batsmen were particularly severe on Ali as the spinner went for five an over. However, Ali got his revenge when he bowled Rahane(67).

Joe Root picked up the wicket of Ravi Ashwin(13) late in the day, but the opening day belonged to Ashwin who went on to a magnificent 161 before holing out to deep square leg. At the close it was India who were the happier of the sides after closing on 300-6.

India added a further 29 runs on the second day to be bowled out for 329 with Rishabh Pant undefeated on 58. Ali came back well to finish with figures of 4-128 including two wickets in two balls.

England struggle early on

England’s reply started off badly when lost Rory Burns(0) was dismissed with the third delivery of the innings. The visitors troubles continued when they slumped to 39-4 with Sibley(16), Root(6) and Lawrence(9) back in the pavilion. Essex’s Dan Lawrence getting out to the last ball before lunch with England in disarray on 39-4.

The afternoon session continued in the way of India dominating with wickets falling at regular intervals. Only Ollie Pope(22) and a fine unbeaten 42 from Ben Foakes offered any resistance to the relentless accurate Indian attack.

Ravi Ashwin spinning India to success

Aswin proving once again what a key player he will be for India in this series by claiming 5-43.

With a lead of 195 India were firmly in control and by the close of play had extended their healthy lead to 249 despite losing Gill(14).

Foakes proving why he is number 1

England fought back on the opening session of the third day with some outstanding glovework from Foakes as five wickets fell in the morning with India 156-6 at lunch.

Worryingly for England Ashwin and Kohli were still at the crease with the pair about to dominate the afternoon session. The duo added 96  when Ali broke the partnership by trapping Kohli(62) lbw. The Worcestershire all rounder struck again to have Yadav(3) lbw.

Innings dominated by Ashwin

If England thought the tail would wag then they were wrong as a wonderful innings from Ashwin(106) was ended by Stone as India were dismissed for 286 with Leach taking 4-100 and Moeen 4-98.

England were left 482 to win in just over two days or more realistically two days to hang on for a draw.

Those hopes were soon dashed when debutant Axar Patel trapped Sibley(3) lbw. Ashwin then had Burns(25) caught at slip as India smelt blood. With the close of the day approaching, England sent in Jack Leach as a nightwatchman which backfired when Leach was caught at slip first ball to leave England in big trouble at the close on 53-3.

India poised for a comfortable victory

On the fourth day it was a case of when not if India would wrap up victory. By lunch they were only three wickets away from their target having reduced England to 116-7.

A confident innings from Lawrence(26) was ended by Ashwin who also picked up the wicket of Stokes(8). Patel returned back into the attack and had Pope(12) caught at midwicket.

Right on the stroke of lunch Foakes(2) perished to leave England on the brink of a heavy defeat.

Straight after lunch Root’s(33) dogged resistance was ended when he edged to slip of Patel. The slow left armer then had Stone(0) lbw sweeping for a five for on debut 5-60.

The end was in sight for England despite an entertaining knock from Ali(43) which was ended when he was stumped by Pant to give India a convincing win and level the series 1-1 with two tests to come.

The third test which will be a day-night affair starts at Ahmedabad on the 24th February with India very much back in this series.

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