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India within touching distance of dethroning WTC toppers Australia after thrashing England in Vizag

Feb 05, 2024 06:05 PM IST

India had earlier slipped to the fifth spot in the World Test Championship points table after the loss in Hyderabad

Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin picked up six wickets between themselves as India thrashed England by 106 runs in Visakhapatnam in the second Test and levelled the five-match contest 1-1 on Monday. Bumrah, who scripted a five-wicket haul in the first innings, finished with 3 for 46 in 17.2 overs, where he fittingly picked up the final wicket of the match with a reversing delivery that hit the top of off, while Ashwin ended with 3 for 72 in 18 overs, just one short of his 500th career dismissal, as England were folded for 292 runs in an improbable pursuit of 399 runs.

India's players shake hands with each other after winning the second Test cricket match between India and England at the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam(AFP)

England bazballed right from the start of Day 4, picking up where they left off last evening, with Zak Crawley churning out a calculated fifty, while Rehan Ahmed lived dangerously in their 45-run stand before Axar Patel ended the partnership by dismissing the 'night hawk'. Ollie Pope then looked to settle in, but Ashwin soon found some drift and loop across the right-handers and England lost two quick wickets, Joe Root, who walked in with a damaged finger, being the other batter. Crawley and Jonny Bairstow then began to cause trouble for India, but Kuldeep Yadav and Bumrah struck in the space of three deliveries to pin England 6 down at the stroke of lunch.

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In the second session, Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes stitched a partnership with a rare display of caution as England went past the halfway mark of the chase. Yet, in the only moment where Stokes erred in concentration, the England captain was sent packing following a direct throw from Shreyas Iyer.

Even though the chase was almost done and dusted at 220 for seven, Foakes and Tom Hartley weaved a valiant 55-run stand, before Bumrah did the needful for India. He deceived the wicketkeeper-batter with a slower one, and later, with a reversing delivery, picked up the final wicket, dismissing Hartley.

Where does Team India stand in WTC points table after win against England in 2nd Test?

India had slipped to the fifth spot in the World Test Championship points table after the loss in Hyderabad. From being second-placed with percentage points of 54.16 after the South Africa series, where they won in Centurion, India had 43.33 after the end of the first Test against England.

However, the Rohit Sharma-led side reclaimed their second spot in the WTC points table for the ongoing 2023/25 cycle with 52.77 points from three wins (and a draw) in six matches after the win on Monday. Australia remain atop with a PCT of 55, from six wins (and a draw) in 10 matches so far.

The win in Visakhapatnam has now put India on the verge of taking back the top spot in the table. If they can beat England in the third Test, which begins from February 15 in Rajkot, they will have a PCT of 59.5 and hence topple the Aussies, who will play their next Test on February 29 against New Zealand. India hence will not only have the chance to dethrone Pat Cummins and his men, but also consolidate their lead by claiming the England series in the fourth match, which begins on February 23 in Ranchi.

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