Rohit Sharma brought about the winning runs with a six as Team India won the pink-ball Test against England in Ahmedabad by ten wickets to wrap up an emphatic victory with a whopping three days to spare.
On a bizarre second day, Team India collapsed from 99-3 to 145 all out to take a slender 33-run first-innings lead. However, they came back roaring into the Test, bowling out the visitors for 81 before romping to their 49-run target without losing a wicket.
.@ImRo45 (25*) finishes the game off with a SIX!
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 25, 2021
Local boy Axar Patel starred with another five-wicket haul for a ten-for in only his second Test. Ravichandran Ashwin had another good game with the ball, taking four wickets in the second innings to become the second-fastest bowler ever to take 400 Test wickets.
Team India now lead the four-match series 2-1, with the fourth Test coming up in Ahmedabad in a week’s time.
In a game dominated by spinners on both sides, England captain Joe Root picked up a maiden five-for in first-class cricket. It was almost forgotten that Ishant Sharma, playing his 100th Test, picked the first wicket of the match.
England erred by playing a lone specialist spinner in Jack Leach and opting for a three-man pace attack of Jofra Archer, James Anderson and Stuart Broad. But with the ball turning from the first day, the visitors failed to capitalise on winning the toss.
Joe Root and co were bowled out for a meagre 112, with Axar Patel taking a sensational six-four, troubling the visitors with his metronomic accuracy on a turning track.
In response, Rohit Sharma led the way for the hosts, reaching stumps on Day 1 on an unbeaten 57, with Team India only 13 runs in arrears.
However, India failed to get going with the bat on Day-2, losing five wickets to the part-time off-spin of Joe Root. Conceding only a 33-run first-innings deficit, the visitors were right back in the game. But their joy would prove to be short-lived.
The visitors began their second essay on a disastrous note, losing their first two wickets in the first over to Axar Patel without a run on the board.
Joe Root looked to lead a recovery of sorts with his deputy Ben Stokes, who came out attacking the Indian spinners. But just when a partnership seemed to be brewing, Ashwin sent back Stokes to spark another English collapse. The visitors eventually succumbed to their lowest-ever Test total (81) against India.
Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill then got the team home without any hiccups.
India top the table 👏
— ICC (@ICC) February 25, 2021
With the win, Team India are now within touching distance of a place in the World Test Championship final at Lord’s.
A series win will seal the hosts’ place in the summit clash; England are out of the reckoning, as they needed to win the series 3-1. A drawn series will instead see Australia qualify for the final.
With everything to play for in the fourth Test, which starts on March 4, Team India will look to continue their winning run and book their place in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand.