- It’s Stephan Shemilt
- Senior cricketer in Visakhapatnam
Second Test, Visakhapatnam (fourth day of five):
India 396 (Jaiswal 209; Anderson 3-47) and 255 (Gill 104; Hartley 4-77)
England 253 (Crawley 76; Bumrah 6-45) and 292 (Crawley 73; Bumrah 3-46, Ashwin 3-66)
India won by 106 runs; list level 1-1
The series between England and India is at 1-1 after a target of 399 to win the second Test seemed to overtake the visitors in Visakhapatnam.
Looking to complete a run that would have broken many records, England were bowled out for 292 to lose by 106 runs on the fourth day of the season.
England started strongly and reached 95-1, but the promoted Rehan Ahmed was trapped leg-by-leg by Axar Patel to show the regular fall of wickets.
Opener Zak Crawley looked like England’s best hope, batting with grace for 73. When he was given out lbw to Kuldeep Yadav on review, the game was gone.
A little hope remained the same for Ben Stokes, only for the skipper to be run out at random by a direct hit from Shreyas Iyer. At that point, with 179 needed and three wickets to spare, India can rest easy.
Ben Foakes and Tom Hartley slowed India to 56, Hartley surviving two overs that would have given Ravichandran Ashwin his 500th Test wicket.
Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah was called upon and bowled an eagle to Foakes and when Shoaib Bashir was caught behind off Mukesh Kumar, Ashwin was again bowled in the event.
But Bumrah uprooted Hartley’s stumps to finish with three in the innings and nine in the match, leaving Ashwin on 499 wickets going into the third Test at Rajkot on 15 February.
Going far away in England
This was a big question, even for an England team that has made a habit of chasing big fourth-order scores and secured a stunning victory in the first Test in Hyderabad last week.
What is considered possible by England, their supporters and a cautious Indian team says a lot about how Stokes’ team has played in the last two years.
After the misfortune of losing the toss, England did very well with the ball, especially as their three spinners had three previous Test caps combined.
In the end, the visitors were reduced to 6-68 in their first over, as they were bowled by the brilliant Bumrah. It left them with little to do in the chase.
England will spend the holidays in Abu Dhabi with their families. It is believed that Joe Root has survived the finger damage he suffered here and that Jack Leach, who missed the test with a knee injury, is recovering well.
Stokes’ men will rest easy in the knowledge that they have already achieved more on the tour than some realised. England will see the next three Tests as an opportunity, but they are also very difficult.
England faded after a strong start
On Sunday evening, James Anderson spoke of England trying to chase down their target within 60 or 70 overs on Monday. From 67-1 overnight, England got off to a good start, with Crawley driving Bumrah and Ahmed attacking Axar.
India came back, there were chances for England to score, but Ahmed’s mistake in play with Axar opened the door.
There could be an argument whether England’s brutality amounted to recklessness, even if Root’s dismissal alone was bad. Perhaps affected by his finger, he played nine balls in which he hit four fours, a six and survived the lbw check. From the 10th over he targeted Ashwin and was caught.
Crawley played well for his second half of the match and was perhaps unlucky to be repeated on Kuldeep’s fifth delivery of the day. Jonny Bairstow was bowled in front by Bumrah at lunch.
Stokes was playing alone inside and came on for Bumrah’s post-lunch blast, then fell spectacularly. Called on by Foakes for one, Stokes looked good and was beaten by Shreyas at mid-wicket.
Foakes and Hartley showed spirit, Ashwin was given a long bowler to complete his feat, but in the end Bumrah needed just six runs to produce the short ball that Foakes got out.
Mukesh became the first skipper other than Bumrah or Anderson to take a wicket in the series and the stage was set for Ashwin, only for Bumrah to whistle through Hartley’s defence.
India is back
This was a strong fight from India, who bounced back from Hyderabad’s scare to complete the list without the five players they picked first.
They have been led by young batsmen who can form the backbone of their line-up for years to come. Yashasvi Jaiswal made an impressive double in the first innings, Shubman Gill made a sure century in the second.
But England’s biggest bully is the incredible Bumrah, whose ability to move the ball quickly and threaten to become a sure thing in the series. Guests should ponder the way to deal with his entertaining skills during the break.
India has a proud domestic history. They have not lost a series in the country for 12 years and remain favorites despite England’s dominant display in the first two Tests.
The home side is hoping to welcome back Ravindra Jadeja and batsman KL Rahul after injury, but there is no word yet on Virat Kohli, who has not played in Hyderabad or Visakhapatnam for personal reasons.
‘England showed a lot of fight’ – reaction
England captain Ben Stokes on TNT Sports: “Coming into the last innings we had all the confidence in ourselves that we could run it down. The way we went about it is what we have.
“Congratulations to India, obviously we were on the wrong side of the result, but it was another good game.”
Indian captain Rohit Sharma: “We know we were up against a good challenge, the last few years England have been playing some really good cricket so it’s always going to be tough. It’s a good win but it’s a tough game.”
Player of the match Jasprit Bumrah: “I’m glad we won, and it feels really good to help make things better.”
Former England player Phil Tufnell: “England showed a lot of fight but the Indian players were very good, they showed a lot.”