2nd Test: Five-star R Ashwin spins India into ascendency against England
- India vs England: R Ashwin reasserted himself as one of the top spinners in the world as he picked up another five-wicket-haul to help India strengthen their grip on the second Test against England in Chennai.
R Ashwin reasserted himself as one of the top spinners in the world as he picked up another five-wicket-haul to help India strengthen their grip on the second Test against England in Chennai. Ashwin starred with 5/43 – his 29th five-for in Tests – as England were bundled out for 134 in their first innings, allowing India to take a strong 195-run lead. It later swelled to 249 after India finished on 54/1 in their second innings at stumps.
India began the day on 300/6 but could only add 29 more runs to their overnight total. Rishabh Pant scored a blazing half-century – the sixth of his career – before he was left stranded at the non-striker’s end. Olly Stone finished 3/47 and along with Moeen Ali (4/128) bowled India out for 329. India had the perfect start to their innings when Ishant Sharma sent Rory Burns back for 0 – his second consecutive duck in the series – and extended England's misery once the spinners came on.
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Ashwin straightaway got into the thick of things with the wicket of Dom Sibley before Axar Patel scalped the prized wicket of England captain Joe Root for his maiden Test wicket. At the stroke of lunch, England lost Dan Lawrence and were reduced to 39/4 at the interval. The narrative did not change much in the afternoon as Ashwin castled Stokes with a lovely delivery that took him past Harbhajan Singh as the second-highest wicket-taker in India.
In between, fast bowler Mohammed Siraj struck with his first ball of the match, getting Ollie Pope out caught down leg courtesy a brilliant catch from Pant diving to his left. Ashwin and Axar continued to bamboozle England batsmen on a pitch that was becoming more menacing to bat on. Ben Foakes held one end but wickets continued to tumble at the other.
Ajinkya Rahane took a fine catch to remove Ali. The batsman nicked Axar to Pant 's legs before the ball lobbed in the air and Rahane completed a sharp catch at slip. Ishant and Ashwin cleaned up the tail with the off-spinner getting to his 4th five-for in Chennai to wrap up the England innings.
In reply, India began positively but lost Shubman Gill, out LBW for 14. Rohit Sharma continued where he left off in the first innings, playing dazzling shots. He survived an LBW appeal, taking a successful review which showed the ball hitting the bat before hitting the batsman's pad.
Brief Scores: India 329 and 54/1 (Rohit Sharma 25*; Jack Leach 1/19) lead England 134 all out (Ben Foakes 42; R Ashwin 5/43) by 249 runs.