India crushed England by 10 wickets on Thursday in a rare two day Test triumph that winning captain Virat Kohli said had been “bizarre”, with 17 wickets falling over just two sessions.
Spinner Axar Patel took 11 wickets over two innings as India outplayed their rivals in all departments in the day-night game to take a 2-1 lead in the four match series.
The wildest moment of the day came int he space of an hour and half though, as England captain Joe Root tore India apart in a ridiculous bowling spell to claim career-best figures of 5-8 on a pitch that was taking massive turn.
England had been bowled out for a measly 112 on Day 1, with Root only adding 17 runs to that score before being out lbw to Ravichandran Ashwin.
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17-wickets fall within 59 overs!
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The next day it was Root getting Ashwin out and the opposing spinner was the former’s fourth victim, in a crazy half-hour of cricket that left fans and India stunned.
India reached 5-117, having already surpassed the England first-innings score, when Root brought himself on to bowl in a desperate move.
His first ball was edged by Rishabh Pant and caught behind, giving Root his first wicket.
He then proceeded to get Washington Sundar and Axar Patel and his figures were 3-0 with three maidens. India hardly knew what had just happened.
Root takes 5/8 to DECIMATE India!
Root then had Ashwin caught out to bring up his fourth wicket and his best ever Test bowling figures.
Root then trapped Jasprit Bumrah lbw to bring up his fifth wicket and roll India for 145 before the first break.
In 101 Test matches before this one, Root had taken 32 wickets at an average of 47.34 and a best innings of 4-87.
He became the first England captain to take five wickets in a Test innings since Bob Willis in 1983.
Root’s spell pulled India back in and made a game out of the third Test but India ended up cruising to victory in what Kohli branded a “bizarre” day of cricket.
Root dismissed Pant with his first ball!
Rohit Sharma hit a six to see India to their meagre second innings target of 49 without losing a wicket in the world’s biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.
“I have never been part of a Test match where things have moved so quickly,” said Kohli.
“It was bizarre that out of the 30 wickets, 21 were off straight balls,” he said praising his spin bowlers but hitting out at the batsmen on both sides.
The quality of the pitch was also a major talking point with Michael Vaughan tweeting: “Entertaining .. YES .. but this is a awful pitch for Test cricket .. !!!! Complete lottery on day 2 !!”
Spinners ruled the contest claiming 28 of the 30 wickets that fell on the viciously turning track.
It was only the second Test in India’s cricket history to end in two days. The last was their thrashing of Afghanistan on their Test debut in Bangalore in 2018 and there have been less than 25 in Test history.
England’s last two-day Test was when they beat West Indies at Headingly in 2000. The result rules England out of contention for the World Test Championship final. India need a win or draw in the fourth and final Test to book their meeting with New Zealand at Lord’s in June.
Ball tracking denies Axar a hat-trick!
England were skittled out for 112 and 81 and Patel has now taken at least five wickets in three of the last four innings of the series. India scored 145 in their first innings.
Patel was brilliantly supported by Ravichandran Ashwin who took seven wickets in the match and went past 400 Test scalps when he trapped Jofra Archer lbw for nought.
He is the fourth Indian bowler after Anil Kumble (619), Kapil Dev (434) and Harbhajan Singh (417) to pass 400 wickets.
Patel struck with the first ball of the innings to send back Zak Crawley and got Jonny Bairstow for his second straight zero on the third delivery.
Ashwin 2nd fastest EVER to 400 wickets
Root, who took five wickets earlier, put on 31 runs for the fourth wicket with Ben Stokes who top-scored with 25.
Ashwin trapped Stokes lbw to end the stand and Patel claimed Root for 19. Earlier India were bowled out for 145 in their first innings after resuming the day on 99-3.
Root returned career-best figures of 5-8 in 6.2 overs of off spin in support of Leach, who took four wickets.
The final match starts on March 4 in the same stadium giving England little time to boost morale.
This could well be the most insane day of Test cricket I have ever seen
— Rick Eyre on cricket (@rickeyrecricket) February 25, 2021