India crush England in fourth test to take series 3-1

India crushed England by an innings and 25 runs in Ahmedabad to win the fourth test and take series 3-1.

On the same ground where the previous test lasted only two days, at least this went one day longer. However, the result was the same as the last test, a resounding Indian win.

England’s batting woes continue again

England never recovered from conceding a first innings deficit of 160 runs. They were dismissed in their second innings for just 135.

Surprisingly when England named their side on the opening morning they left out Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer.

Unlike the 3rd test where they only went in with one spinner, for this test two were named. Dom Bess was back into the side to join his fellow Somerset twirler in the eleven named at the toss.

Much better pitch at Ahmedabad

England won the toss and decided to bat. The pitch was far superior to the one used last week, with help for both the seamers and the spinners.

India struck early when Dom Sibley(2) inside edged onto his stumps off Axar Patel. Fellow opener Zak Crawley(9) soon followed after chipping straight to mid-off.

Bairstow to the rescue for England

By the time Joe Root(5) went to seamer Mohammed Siraj England were in a perilous position on 30-3. Jonny Bairstow steadied the ship to make 28 before Siraj pinned the England captain lbw.

The visitors were indebted to Ben Stokes(51) who made a half century before Washington Sundar trapped him leg before.  A stand of 45 for the sixth wicket was ended when Ollie Pope(29) was dismissed in an unfortunate fashion.

The Surrey batsman played at a delivery from Aswin with the ball striking his back leg pad into the hands of short leg.

Lawrence’s composed innings rescues the visitors

Wickets began to fall cheaply with only Dan Lawrence showing any resistance to go on and make 46 as England were bowled out for 205. Patel taking 4-68 and Ashwin 3-47.

By the close of the opening day India had lost Shubman Gill(0) third ball to Jimmy Anderson. Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujura ensured there would be no further alarms for the hosts to close on 24-1.

England hit back against hosts

England needed a good first session on the second day and duly delivered. Stokes picked up the wicket of Virat Kohli(0) after banging the ball in short with the Indian captain nicking behind. Anderson had Rahane(27) caught at second slip just before lunch as England fought back into the match.

After lunch Stokes struck to trap Sharma one short of his half century. By the time Ashwin(13) chipped Leach to short midwicket, England were right back in this test as India slipped to 146-6.

Pant and Sundar to the rescue

However, not for the first time a big partnership rescued the hosts to turn the match around. Rishabh Pant and Sundar added 113 for the seventh wicket before Pant’s excellent knock of 101 was ended by Anderson.

The Indian wicketkeeper has excelled in this series with bat and glovework behind the stumps.

His 101 came off 118 balls including 13 fours and 2 six’s and was his fifth score of 50 or more in his last six tests.  By the close of play India had moved their score on to 294-7, with a more than useful lead of 89 runs.

Another big partnership holds up England

England struggled to break an eighth wicket partnership between Sundar and Patel before Axar Patel(43) was run out to give England some joy.

Stokes wrapped up the innings with Sundar unlucky not to reach three figures, finishing undefeated on 96. India were eventually bowled out for 365, an overall lead of 160.

Yet again England struggle against spin in the sub continent

England, not for the first time in this series were totally undone by spin as Ashwin and Patel ran through the side. The visitors slumped to 65-6 with only Root(30) offering some resistance.

Lawrence(50) capped a fine game by bringing up his half-century before becoming Ashwin’s fifth victim of the innings as England were dismissed for 135.

All ten wickets to fall were taken by the spin duo of Ashwin 5-47 and Patel 5-48 as India wrapped up another comfortable win. The hosts have deservedly also booked their place in the final of the World Test Championship.

India proving why they are so hard to beat

In truth, England have been well beaten by a side who have possessed a trio of three spinners, who have out bowled England’s spinners.

Ashwin, Patel, Pant and Rohit Sharma have been the stars for India in this series. Despite a disappointing series for England there is certainly some positive signs for Dan Lawrence, who looks comfortable in test cricket.

India deserves a huge amount of praise after looking down and out after the first test they lost by 227 runs. There may be a message to the rest of the cricketing world out there, ignore India at your peril.

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