June 25, 2021
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IND Vs ENG, 3rd Test: Spinners' Day Out As India Need 49 To Win On Day 2 - Dinner Report

At the dinner break, India were 11 for no loss needing only 38 runs in the final session to complete the formalities and also throw England out of the World Test Championship final contention

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IND Vs ENG, 3rd Test: Spinners' Day Out As India Need 49 To Win On Day 2 - Dinner Report
India national cricket team celebrates fall of an England wicket
Courtesy: BCCI
IND Vs ENG, 3rd Test: Spinners' Day Out As India Need 49 To Win On Day 2 - Dinner Report
outlookindia.com
2021-02-25T19:31:36+05:30

Axar Patel outfoxed batsmen with 11 non-turning deliveries on a rank turner as England were shot out for their lowest score of 81 against India leaving the hosts with an easy 49-run target to complete a victory in the Day/Night Test inside two days.

Day 2 Blog | Scorecard | News

At the dinner break, India were 11 for no loss needing only 38 runs in the final session to complete the formalities and also throw England out of the World Test Championship final contention.

In only his second Test, Patel (15-0-32-5), with a match-haul of 11/70, relentlessly hit the good length area and hoodwinked England batsmen, who played for turn only to find that there was none on offer from him.

At the other end, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (15-3-48-4) was an ideal foil, becoming the fourth Indian bowler and second fastest in the world to complete a commendable milestone of 400 wickets with the dismissal of Jofra Archer.

This was after England skipper's fabulous career-best spell of 6.2-3-8-5 resulted in India's dramatic collapse from 114 for 3 to 145 all out.

India lost as many as seven wickets for only 31 runs after looking solid at 114 for 3 at one stage in the game but England lost all 10 in an entire session in which no pacer was seen in action.

Ironically, it was the non-turning deliveries from Patel that had the England's rank and file pressing the panic button as they pre-empted away turn every time.

Whether it was Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow or skipper Root, everyone lost the mind-game as Ashwin also joined the fun with records tumbling one after another.

When Axar sent back Ben Foakes, he became the first spinner to get 11 wickets in a pink ball Test match.

With a match poised for a two-day finish, ICC will be watching the Motera track with a 'Hawk Eye' even though the debate can continue for ages whether it was the turn that did the batsmen in or the lack of it.

A case in point would be the wickets taken by the two left-arm spinners -- Patel and Jack Leach.

They bowled deliveries at a speed between 88 kmph and 92 kmph with a round arm action and pitched them on good length leaving batsmen in two minds -- whether to play forward or go backwards.

While a bowler might end up getting the man of the match, Rohit Sharma (66, 96 balls)'s innings was 24-carat gold given that other batsmen looked like sitting ducks.

But Indian batsmen save Rohit did have a torrid time during an afternoon session when Root and Leach made their lives miserable.

Ajinkya Rahane, who has never had much success against slow left arm bowlers, was rapped on the pads as Leach fired one in and it was not much of an issue for umpire Nitin Menon to adjudge him leg before.

Suddenly, a pitch, on which India looked way more comfortable, started to challenge and just like England in the second session on the first evening, the Indians wilted under pressure.

Rohit missed a sweep off Leach and Menon's decision was retained as per Umpires' Call.

Once Rohit was gone, it was time for Root to enter the scene and do a Michael Clarke (6/9 with his left arm orthodox in Mumbai 2004) as Rishabh Pant (1), Washington Sundar (0) and Patel (0) were accounted for in quick succession.

At one point, Root's figures were 3-3-0-3 as he exploited the friendly conditions, repeatedly hitting the rough which helped him dismiss three left-handers in succession.

Root's superb effort led to a cheeky tweet from former England captain Michael Vaughan, "Indian batsman can't play off spinners from Yorkshire."

He was referring to the green top strips that are always on offer at the Leeds.

Ravichandran Ashwin (17) and Ishant Sharma (10 not out), who hit his first ever six in his 100th Test appearance, scored a few which proved to be priceless in the end.


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