India vs England: Hosts seal comprehensive victory; Key learnings
A comprehensive five-wicket haul from Axar Patel handed India a mammoth victory over England in the second Test at Chepauk. India have bounced back in style to square the four-match Test series 1-1. Ravichandran Ashwin stole the show with his incredible all-round display throughout the Test. Earlier, a blistering 161 by Rohit Sharma set the foundation of India's victory. Here are the key learnings.
A memorable Test for Ashwin
Ashwin has had a dream run in Tests since the Australian tour. His contribution in the Sydney Test gave a testament of his character. This time, he dazzled on his home ground as spectators returned to cricket. A 29th five-wicket haul in the first innings was already suffice to dent the plight of England. However, a 106-run knock proved his mettle as an all-rounder.
Rohit slammed a counter-attacking 161
Just like Ashwin, Rohit showed his class in the first innings. The latter finally broke the shackles, hammering his seventh Test ton. Despite speculations regarding his reckless approach, Rohit continued with his onslaught and played shots all around the ground. He smashed 18 fours and two sixes during his astonishing knock. Rohit has now smashed four of his seven Test hundreds as an opener.
Pant shines, makes his mark behind the stumps
Another Indian batsman who kept on attacking was Rishabh Pant. After showing his master-class Down Under, the youngster punished the England bowlers. In the first innings, he rightly attacked the English spinners after Ajinkya Rahane departed. He remained unbeaten (58) as the Indian innings folded on 329. Besides, Pant also impressed with his glove-work, especially in the second innings, affecting a couple of stumpings.
A dream debut for Axar Patel
After missing the series opener due to injury, all-rounder Axar Patel was handed his debut Test cap in the second Test. He was spectacular in the first innings, claiming two scalps. However, the second innings brought the best out of him as he completely destroyed England by varying his pace. In a match where Ashwin ruled the roost, Axar's magnificent five-for stood out.
Indian batsmen used the sweep shot to tackle spin
The second Test saw a shift in technique by a number of Indian batsmen. The likes of Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane employed their sweep shots to perfection in order to tackle sharp turns. This shot was also used by Ashwin in the second innings. Meanwhile, Kohli too seemed to have learned from his mistake of playing against the spin, in the second innings.
India should continue with their mission!
India have retained their pattern of losing the series opener before bouncing back. The determined Team India, which did so in Australia, seem to replicate it against England. Kohli made it more special by claiming his 21st Test win as captain at home, having emulated MS Dhoni's record. The mission should continue as India can't afford to lose another Test in the series.