England succumbed to the last day pressure as India won the 2nd Test in Vishakhapatnam by a massive margin of 246 runs.
India, who took a massive lead of 200 runs, batted and bundled out England for 204 in their second innings. Skipper Virat Kohli again was the stand out performer and scored an impressive 81.
The visitors were outplayed in every department and couldn’t tackle the Indian spinners, the trio of Ashwin, Jadeja and Jayant. Yesterday the Indian team set a target of 405 for England which by all means was impossible to chase down. So the English side had to bat out some 150 odd overs to save the game.
Openers Cook and Hameed started steadily for them and they came out with the simple intention, that is to survive and see out the day’s play. Hameed however departed after a 25 run knock which yielded 144 balls, thanks to Indian magician Ashwin who trapped him front of the wicket. Alastair Cook was the second victim and he lost his wicket in the last over of the day, again another LBW dismissal, this time the bowler was Jadeja. England were on 87-2 last night and had to bat out the whole 5th day to save the match.
But today the English batsmen were bamboozled by the Indian bowlers. They kept on loosing wickets to the spinners, as debutant Jayant Yadav was particularly impressive. Mohammad Shami also took the important wicket of Joe Root as England team had to surrender against the spin trio of the hosts. Ashwin and Jayant cleaned up the tail and Bairstow’s fighting 34 had no effect as India won the 2nd test by a mammoth margin of 246 runs.
Virat Kohli was judged Man of the Match for his classy batting displays in both the innings while Ravichandran Ashwin was another contender, courtesy of his 8 wickets. The win gives India a 1-0 lead in the series. The next match starts in Mohali from 26th November.
Alastair Cook: “It wasn’t a great moment to fight so hard, so was disappointing to get out at the end. Think we saw the first day was easiest to bat, then you can see it became harder. It was a good toss to win, no doubt. From losing those five wickets on day two – you have to score first-innings runs – but from that moment we showed a lot of character and fight. We made India work very hard. We played some good cricket at stages in these first two games. We need to win a couple of games to get ourselves back in the series.”
Virat Kohli: “It’s been a lucky ground for me and it remains a special ground, similar feel I get to Adelaide. You want to play exciting cricket because so many people come to watch. They help you through tough situations. We wanted to make sure we batted five sessions, get 450+ which is what we did, then the bowlers were always on top. Scoreboard pressure really counts. There wasn’t much happening in the wicket, but the batsmen succumbed. I knew I was striking the ball well. The biggest positives are how the fast bowlers bowled and Jayant’s debut. It’s always priceless those contributions and it speaks volumes of his character. I’m really happy for him. For a young guy to come in and tell me the field he wants, it shows he knows what he is doing. I knew the batsmen uncomfortable. Was lovely to have five bowlers who can pick up wickets. We’ve been playing some really good cricket, we don’t want to be complacent but don’t want to be desperate, either. We respect England.”
Photo by Mike Prince