Ashwin, Axar run through England as India levels series 1-1

India's spinners patiently ran through the England line-up on Day Four of the second Test as India grabbed a 317-run win.

R. Ashwin (centre) celebrates after dismissing Ben Stokes. He finished with eight wickets in the match. - BCCI

On a wicket chastised for being a rank turner and unsuitable for batting, Rohit Sharma’s first-day century coupled with Player of the Match R. Ashwin’s hundred and match haul of 8 for 96 helped the host side beat England by 317 runs and square the four-match series in Chennai on Tuesday.

Brilliant glovework

The morning belonged to Ashwin and Rishabh Pant. After contributing with two superb one-handed catches in the first innings, Pant dived to pouch an Ashwin delivery that nutmegged an advancing Dan Lawrence, before whipping the bails off.


Ashwin then shifted his focus to Ben Stokes, bowling 35 dots to him before inducing a thick inside edge that went to Virat Kohli at slip. Stokes fell for an uncharacteristic 8 off 51 balls. This was also the 10th time Ashwin had got the better of the talismanic English all-rounder in Tests.


And when Ben Foakes swept Kuldeep Yadav straight to the man at midwicket, just two minutes before lunch, the chinaman left-armer had his first wicket since the SCG Test in 2019. This was after Mohammed Siraj had dropped Joe Root off Kuldeep’s bowling.

Gill taken for scans

Shubman Gill, the India opening batsman, was taken for a "precautionary scan" on the fourth morning of the second Test in Chennai. who Gill copped a blow in his left forearm while fielding at forward short-leg on the third evening.

Maiden five-for

Axar Patel then dismissed Root and Olly Stone soon after lunch to claim his maiden Test five-for and become the second Indian left-arm spinner after Dilip Doshi to take five wickets on Test debut. Moeen Ali delayed the inevitable with some lusty blows - he hit a hat-trick of sixes against Patel - before his stumping off Yadav ended England’s sub-continental winning run. The visiting side folded for 164 in the fourth innings.

India, currently No. 2 in the World Test Championship (WTC) table, needs to win this series by a 2-1 or 3-1 margin to qualify for the WTC final at Lord’s later this year. England can qualify for the final if it wins the series 3-1. Australia will make the cut if if both India-England Tests are drawn, or an England win and a draw.

The next Test will be a day/night affair at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, starting from February 24.

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