Stellar performances from English skipper Joe Root, veteran pacer James Anderson and left-arm spinner Jack Leach guided England to a 227-run win over hosts India in the first Test of the four-match series between the sides. On the last Day of the Chennai Test, the visitors bowled out India for 192 to seal the game with the huge margin.
The platform for the memorable victory was set by Root only in the first innings. The English skipper, who was playing his 100th Test match, scored a mammoth 218 after opting to bat first at MA Chidambaram Stadium. Dominic Sibley’s 87 and Ben Stokes’ paced-knock of 82 inspired England to 578 by the morning of Day 3. Another highlight of the innings was that India bowled as many as 20 no balls.
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Before the host openers could set themselves up to laid good foundation, an absolute peach from Jofra Archer got better of Rohit Sharma and the latter departed on mere 6 runs. India suffered the jolt when they were just 9. Soon, Archer also sent Shubman Gill (29) back to the hut and India found themselves truly in hot waters. The wicket on the day kept misbehaving at times and Virat Kohli fell victim to it after edging a delivery from Dominic Bess to Ollie Pope at short leg. Rishabh Pant continued from where he left in Australia and scored a brisk 91 which was followed by an unbeaten 85 from Washington Sundar as India got bundled out for 337, trailing by 241 runs.
England’s second innings saw India’s spin wizard Ravichandran Ashwin cashing in on the opportunity and registering 6/61 on the Chennai track. Joe Root, however, decided not to declare the innings as the guests finally got wrapped up for 178, setting a target of 420 runs for India. Before India could even think to threaten England, a ripper from Jack Leach rattled Rohit Sharma’s stumps to let the hosts end Day 4 at 39/1.
On Day 5, the pitch turned to its venomous best and England bowlers were on the money from the first session only. Leach outplayed Pujara to get him caught out in first slip. Following this, Gill and Kohli added 34 runs for the third wicket and India started dreaming of a draw, but the Anderson magic was still due to happen. The swing master dismissed Gill (50) and Ajinkya Rahane (0) in a gap of four balls to open the floodgates. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals since then and Stokes cleaned up Kohli (72) to informally seal the game. Leach and Archer took one each to complete the formality and lead England home with a 227-run win.