Article Detail

We weren’t expecting anything unexpected on Day 4 of the second Test in Chennai. India were clear favourites after the first three days of intense cricket at Chepauk and the 317-run win just underlined the fact that this young Indian team is morally and physically well equipped to overcome any setback.

This was India’s fifth biggest Test victory in terms of runs. Their biggest still remains against South Africa, which India won by 337 runs in Delhi back in 2015. With this win, With this win, India have now equalled the four-match series 1-1 and, in the race of the Test World Championships, they now need one more win and a draw to seal the final berth.

This Test will be remembered for the local boy Ravichandran Ashwin. Very rarely we get to behold spinners winning a Test match with both the ball and bat. This match produced one of such rare spectacles. 

Chepauk turned out to be a spinners’ paradise and Ashwin capitalised on the conditions the most! He picked up 5-43 and 3-53 in two innings and scored a gritty 106 in the second innings to swing India’s fortunes. Even though he missed the unique feat of becoming the fourth player in cricket’s history to bag a 10-wicket haul and 100 in the same match, he nevertheless created a record that not many would talk about.

Ashwin, on Tuesday, went on to become the only bowler in Test cricket to have 200+ wickets (202) against left-hand batsmen. Muttiah Muralitharan stood second in the list with 191 wickets. What would be another interesting fact to read is, he has now dismissed Ben Stokes 10 times, which included today's wicket as well!

Axar Patel was impressive too in the second innings, returning his first-ever fifer (5-60). This also brought us to Kuldeep Yadav who was playing his first Test match in two years. The chinaman barely got many overs to bowl but whatever little time he got, he picked up a commendable 2-25, which included the last wicket of Moeen Ali (43); and had Md Siraj not dropped a sitter at backward point, Joe Root’s wicket would have been added to Kuldeep’s kitty too.

Talking after the match Kuldeep said, “It's very important when your team is doing well, to keep giving them support. Axar and Ashwin were bowling very well, so my job was to maintain that control. It felt like a debut for me, because I've not played for so long.”

England, from the very beginning of the day, looked absolutely helpless against mayhem that Indian spinners were unleashing. The fast-bowling duo of Ishant Sharma and Siraj got all of 7 overs to bowl today out of 36 overs. 

India will now head to Motera, Ahmedabad, to play the third Test. The ticket sale for the match has already begun and it looks like another keenly-contested battle is on the cards for us.