England scored a dominant and unexpected victory over an incredibly strong Indian side in Chennai last week. Facing an Indian side who were coming off a great series victory in Australia, Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat with England needing to bat long on what looked to be a very good batting wicket.
Root led from the front with a brilliant double hundred, his second in three tests after a brilliant series in Sri Lanka and was supported courageously by Dominic Sibley who fell on the last ball of the first day for 87 to Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah. Ben Stokes joined Root on day two and batted in his typical aggressive style eventually falling for 82 off 118 balls to Left-Arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem on the deep square leg boundary. Root eventually fell for 218 and England a mammoth 578. In response, India lost early wickets with Jofra Archer removing both openers, with pace and bounce.
The damage continued with off-spinner Dom Bess getting Indian Captain Virat Kohli for 1 at caught at short leg. India recovered through the dynamic Rishabh Pant and stoic Cheteshwar Pujara adding over a hundred for the 5th wicket. Pujara was eventually removed by Bess in a freak dismissal caught at mid-wicket after the ball deflected off Ollie Pope’s shoulder at short leg. Pant aided by youngster Washington Sundar helped India reach 337 with James Anderson and Jack Leach helping mop up the tail. England had a huge lead wanting to attack further and did so with Root starring again with a quick 40 as England made 178 at just under 4 runs an over setting India a mammoth total of 420 to win the game and themselves a day and half a session to bowl India out.
India came out to bat on the fourth evening looking confident, in particular Shubnam Gill who played some stylish shots. However, just before the close, Leach was able to remove the other opener Rohit Sharma with a beautiful delivery that beat the bat and clipped the top of the stump with some sharp turn. India started the final day well with Gill going onto make 50, however, the key turning point was James Anderson’s first over of the day where he removed Gill and Ajinka Rahane in the same over with near-identical deliveries that nipped back into the Indian batsman. After that, all the momentum was with England as Leach picked up 3 more wickets, with the rest of the wickets being shared around the rest of the bowling attack. The only real resistance was from Kohli who made 72 but the Indian side was eventually bundled out for 192 with England winning by 227 runs.
Meanwhile, around the world, Pakistan completed a 2-0 series victory over South Africa and the West Indies chased 395 against Bangladesh led by Kyle Mayers who made 210 on debut.
Image via DNA India.