Axar-Ashwin bamboozle England as India win pink-ball Test by 10 wickets, take 2-1 lead in the series

WION Web Team
Ahmedabad, Gujarat Published: Feb 25, 2021, 07.40 PM(IST)

India win pink-ball Test by 10 wickets (Photo: BCCI) Photograph:( Twitter )

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India on Thursday took a 2-1 lead in the four-test series after defeating England by 10 wickets at the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad.

India on Thursday took a 2-1 lead in the four-test series after defeating England by 10 wickets at the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad.

England looked clueless against Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel as the spin duo picked up a combined 18 wickets in both innings to bundle England out for 112 and 82 respectively.

While Ashwin went on to achieve the monumental feat of 400 Test wickets – becoming only the third Indian to touch the landmark – local boy Axar Patel, playing just his second Test, registered his maiden 10-wicket-haul in Test cricket.

The two teams went with contrasting decisions in terms of team selection. England picked up three pacers in their playing XI whereas India went with three spinners – suggesting both the captains read the pitch differently.

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Having won the toss, England opted to bat first and India’s decision to play three spinners came to fruition as captain Virat Kohli handed the ball to Axar in the sixth over of Day 1. While Axar and Ashwin spun the web around the English batters, the crowd inside the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium went abuzz.

Zak Crawley was the only batsman to achieve a half-century in the first innings, with the second-highest being 17 by Joe Root as England finished the innings with just 112 on board. Axar picked up six, Ashwin three and Ishant – playing his 100th Test – one.

With India’s innings starting during the twilight phase, England persisted with their three seamers. While the troika did trouble the Indian openers early on, Rohit Sharma went on to get his half-century. India’s batting line-up did suffer a collapse on Day 2, courtesy some fine bowling by Jack Leach and Joe Root – who picked up his first five-for in Test cricket – as India were bundled out for 145 runs, taking a 33 run lead.

With the sun out in Ahmedabad on Day 2 of the pink-ball Test, Ashwin and Axar bowled 30 overs in tandem and picked up nine wickets. Washington Sundar was given his first over of the match and the youngster scalped a wicket in his fourth delivery to bundle out England for just 81.

With a target of 49 on board, Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill played their strokes and finished the match in the third innings of Day 2.

India, with the thumping win, take a 2-1 lead into the four-Test series and will be looking to wrap up the series and a spot in the ICC World Test Championship final when they take the field for the fourth Test at the same venue, starting from March 4.

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