Debutant Axar Patel completed a fifer along with R Ashwin’s 3-wicket haul as India defeated England by 317 runs in the second Test at Chennai to level the series 1-1. No English batter could show resilience with Moeen Ali (43) top-scoring for the tourists in the second innings. Rohit Sharma (187 runs) and R Ashwin (119 runs, 8 wickets) earlier set up India’s win.
India won a crucial toss and opted to bat first on what was expected to be a spin-friendly track at the MA Chidambaram Stadium for the second Test. The wicket did assist the spinners from the first session itself but opener Rohit Sharma’s superb innings during which he scored a daddy hundred (161) and ensured the hosts reach a solid 329 in the first innings. Ajinkya Rahane too made a crucial knock and the pair’s 162-run stand was the highlight of the Indian first innings.
In response, England were up against the Ashwin challenge who proved too good a spinner for their liking, completing his 29th fifer and helping India take a massive 195-run lead. The in-form England skipper Joe Root was caught of his favourite stroke – the sweep off the bowling of Axar Patel, who claimed the big Root as his maiden Test wicket.
Homecoming for the Chepauk Prince
England might have sensed a glimmer of hope when they had India reeling at 106/6 in the second innings but Ashwin had other ideas. He along with Virat Kohli (62) not only added 96 runs for the 7th wicket but made a statement to those questioning the pitch by reaching his 5th Test hundred. He then returned to pick 3 more wickets in the second innings. Using his height and angles to great advantage, Axar picked a fifer in the second innings to ensure the visitors don’t last long on Day 4 as India completed a fabulous win in the second session.
The teams will now head to Ahmedabad for the last two tests, the first of which would be a Day-Night affair set to commence on February 24.