Poms dance to Patel Rap

Axar takes fifer in his maiden Test as Indian spinners demolish visitors by 317 runs to level series 1-1

Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin predictably completed the annihilation of clueless England batsmen, emphatically bringing India back in contention for the World Test Championship final with a series-levelling 317-run victory in the second Test here on Tuesday.

Debutant Patel made full use of favourable conditions to bag 5 for 60 in 21 overs while Ashwin finished with a match-haul of eight wickets, not to forget his classy hundred with the bat.

They demolished England for a paltry 164 on the fourth day in pursuit of an impossible target of 482, giving India their biggest win over the tourists in terms of runs.

India have now risen to second in the WTC standings and need to at least win one more and draw another in the four-match series to make the cut for the final in June.

After a crushing 227-run defeat in the first Test, Virat Kohli couldn’t have imagined a better comeback going into the crucial Day/Night Test in Ahmedabad in just over a week’s time.

While critics, mostly from the English side, had panned the pitch but two hundreds and three fifties by the home team batsmen showed that it was all about understanding of conditions and brilliant application from the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ashwin, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and debutant Axar Patel.

From the visitors’ own ranks, No 9 Moeen Ali went on a six-hitting spree in his 18-ball 43 to show the ones above him in the order, how it is done on a dust bowl.

The Indian team currently is so strong that it could afford to rest its best pacer Jasprit Bumrah, miss out its premier all-rounder Ravindra jadeja but yet make a telling statement, nullifying any advantage that England team might have possessed.

Opener Rohit should come in for special mention considering the start that India needed after first Test disaster. Rohit set the tone and then it was a Test match that Ravichandran Ashwin will remember forever.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021 | PTI | Chennai

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