India vs England: Axar Patel, Ashwin star as India beat England to clinch series 3-1, qualify for WTC final
Ahmedabad | Jagran Sports Desk: India on Saturday defeated England by an innings and 25 runs to win the four-match Test series 3-1 and qualify for the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Thanks to five-wicket hauls from Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, India ensured that Joe Root's men are defeated inside three days at the Narendra Modi Stadium in the fourth and final Test of the series.
The fourth and final Test of the series started amid widespread controversy over the pitch. Though the pitch looked suitable for batting, the visitors failed to score big in their first innings and were dismissed for just 205, thanks to Axar Patel who picked four wickets for 68 runs.
The visitors, however, bowled much better and were able to quickly dismiss the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane. However, Rishabh Pant (101) and Washington Sundar (96 not out) lead India fightback and ensured that India take a big 160-run lead over England.
England's miserable performance with the bat continued in the second innings as they were dismissed for just 135 runs, handing India an innings win. Apart from skipper Joe Root (30 off 72 balls) and Daniel Lawrence (50 off 95 balls), all other English batsmen struggled against the likes of Axar (5/48) and Ashwin (5/47).
Root, who slammed a double ton in first Test, said that his team were not able to match India in the series but they now need to move forward.
"It's really important that we have to look after our players in terms of resting them, and we can't keep playing them until they fall over. We need to look after them and rotate them as necessary. It's been a good series, enjoyed the hospitality and loved being here for the series," he said after the match.
Meanwhile, Indian skipper Virat Kohli said that he was pleased with his side performance, especially after losing the first Test match in Chennai. Kohli noted that the toss played a crucial role in the series but his bowlers bowled really well to outclass England in the four-match series.
"We had to pick up our body language after the first game in Chennai. Every team in international cricket is a quality side and we need to work hard to beat them, even at home. Keeping that intensity going is most important and is the hallmark of our team," he said after the match.
India 1st Innings: 365 all out in 114.4 overs. (R Pant 101, W Sundar 96 not out, R Sharma 49; B Stokes 4/89, J Anderson 3/44).
England: 205 and 135 in 54.5 overs. (D Lawrence 50, J Root 30; A Patel 5/47, R Ashwin 5/48).
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma