Spinners rattled English batting lineup for the second time in the match as India beat the visitors by 246 runs in the second Test of the five-match series at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, in Visakhapatnam on Monday.
Right from the start of the match, nothing went right for Alastair Cook’s men, who lost the toss on the dry looking pitch and had to bowl first in perfect batting condition.Indian captain Virat Kohli, who missed out in the first match, made full use of the good batting conditions, as he along with Cheteshwar Pujara scored 226 runs for the third wicket partnership, as hosts were bowled out for 455 in their first innings. Kohli scored an astonishing 167 off 267 balls, where he struck 18 glorious boundaries, whereas Pujara scored an excellent 119 off 204 balls, where he smashed 12 fours and two sixes.
For England, all-rounder Moeen Ali and returning pacer James Anderson picked three wickets each. In reply, the visitors were put into trouble by off-spinner Ashwin, who picked his first fifer of the series, as England were all out for 255 on the third day.All-rounder Ben Stoke finished the innings as the highest scorer, as he scored timely 70 off 157 balls, and he was equally supported by wicket keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow (53), as the duo added crucial 110 runs for the sixth wicket partnership after Cook’s men were reduced to 80-5 at one stage.
Indian team decided not to enforce follow on, and were bowled out for just 204 in their second innings, setting a mammoth target of 405 for England to win the match.Kohli was once again the highest scorer for the hosts, as he smashed brilliant 81 off 109 in tough batting conditions.For England, pacer Stuart Broad and leg-spinner Adil Rashid picked four wickets each.
In chase of such a huge target in spin friendly conditions, England’s evident real plan was to somehow save the match.Both openers Cook and young Haseeb Hameed shared 50 overs during the partnership stand, where they scored just 75 runs before Hameed was dismissed in the last hour of the play on day four.However, the visitors dealt a serious blow in the second last over of the day, when all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja dismissed the English captain, who scored a hard fought 54 off 188 balls, where he struck four boundaries as well.
On the last morning, India’s spinner was on the song right from the word go, as off-spinner Ashwin dismissed young Ben Duckett, who went without scoring just in the sixth over the first session.
Soon after, Ali, who was dismissed for one in the first innings, faced another failure as he was dismissed by Jadeja, after he scored just two off 33 balls. The biggest wicket of the day came near the lunch break as pacer Mohammad Shamid dismissed Joe Root, who was the last man standing in the way of the Indian victory, as he was given lbw after he scored 25 off 107 balls.
Cook’s men were soon dismissed for 158 just after the lunch break, as the hosts now lead the five-match series 1-0.For his outstanding batting performance in the match, Kohli was awarded the man of the match award.