All-round India beats England by 8 wickets, takes 2-0 lead

Nothing unpredictable happened on Day Four as India patiently saw off England’s resistance and raced away to an eight-wicket victory with more than a day to spare in the third Test here on Tuesday.

India takes 2-0 lead and will face England in the fourth Test in Mumbai next.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Nothing unpredictable happened on Day Four as India patiently saw off England’s resistance and raced away to an eight-wicket victory with more than a day to spare in the third Test here on Tuesday.

The resounding victory gave India an unassailable 2-0 lead with two to go in the series. Ahead of the fourth Test in Mumbai that starts from December 8, England has plenty of time to introspect and re-strategise.

> Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details

As India chased 103, Parthiv Patel and Cheteshwar Pujara did not let the eight-ball duck of M. Vijay to provide a flicker of hope to England. Patel, in particular, capitalised on the opportunity to score a breezy, unbeaten 67 and struck the winning-boundary in the 21st over.

It was clear that the calm presence of fellow-Gujarathi Pujara did not impact the left-hander’s natural stroke-play as he reached 50 off 39 deliveries. When the target was 15 runs away, Pujara’s ended up top-edging an attempted sweep to short fine-leg. That brought skipper Virat Kohli to the middle and soon Patel’s inside-out cover-drive carried India past the finish-line.

Rahul on track for speedy recovery:



The BCCI chairman of selectors M.S.K. Prasad said India opener K.L. Rahul will make a complete recovery from his forearm injury within the next four days. Prasad is in Chennai to watch the Ranji Trophy match between Delhi and Vidarbha.

"K.L. Rahul will be fit and fine to play in another three or four days, according to the report we received from the physio," he said.

He added that the selection committee's "open to consider options" for India's last two Tests versus England in Mumbai and Chennai.

When play began on Tuesday, England was 56 runs behind with six wickets in hand. It hoped Joe Root could carry the fight to the home side.

Not surprisingly, night-watchman Gerald Batty departed to the second ball he faced from Ravindra Jadeja The dangerous Buttler attacked for an 18-ball 18 before offering a skier to Jadeja off Jayant Yadav. These two early wickets kept alive India’s hopes of keeping the England innings in check.

Coming together at 107 for six, Root (78) and Hameed (59 not out) took turns to delay the inevitable, doing their bit in England's 236.

Hameed, playing his last innings of the series before returning home to insert plate on his fractured left hand, showed he could deal with this Indian attack.

>Third Test: Stats corner

Even as Hameed took time to get started – needing 19 deliveries for his first run – Root showed why he is regarded as among the best Test batsmen. He did not let the bowlers intimidate him and smartly rotated the strike without missing opportunities to punish the loose deliveries.

Eventually, it took a smart reflex catch – left-handed pluck by lone slip-fielder Ajinkya Rahane – off Jadeja to end Root’s knock before lunch, reducing England 152 for seven.

Hameed, dropped on six by Patel off Ashwin, showed no serious signs of discomfort from the finger-injury that had kept him off the field in India’s first innings and from opening the second innings.

Having added 45 runs with Root, Hameed raised 43 with Woakes and 41 with last-man James Anderson to ensure India chased at least a three-figure target.

It was the second new-ball that hastened the end of the England innings. Mohammad Shami softened up Woakes with a short delivery that struck the batsman’s helmet and brought down the stem guard. Up next was another rising delivery that Woakes fended to Patel. Two deliveries later, Shami’s short ball to Adil Rashid was hooked into the waiting hands of Umesh Yadav at fine-leg.

This reduced England to 195 for nine with Hameed on a patient 23 from 127 deliveries. Sensing the end of the innings was round the corner, Hameed changed gears.

He smashed 36 runs off 29 deliveries dotted with five boundaries – two each off Shami and Ashwin before adding one off Jadeja – in addition to the six off Ashwin that helped him reach his half century before the run-out of Anderson ended the England innings.