VISAKHAPATNAM, India, (Reuters) – India spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Jayant Yadav claimed three wickets apiece in the second innings tthe hosts to a comfortable 246-run win in the second test against England on Monday and a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
England, chasing an improbable victory target of 405, were all out for 158 shortly after lunch on the fifth and final day in Visakhapatnam.
Batting fourth after losing the toss was always set to be a difficult task for England with the wicket offering vicious turn and uneven bounce during the venue’s test debut.
England needed to match India’s first innings total of 455 but were on the back foot after losing five wickets for 80 on the second day. Conceding the 200-run lead proved crucial.
“From disappointingly losing those five wickets on day two – in India you need to score first innings runs – you saw how hard it is to score in India’s second innings,” England captain Alastair Cook said, pointing to his counterpart Virat Kohli’s 167 and 81 with the bat as another decisive factor.
“It’s all about first innings runs and trying to get parity … But from that moment we showed lots of character and fight. We made India work very hard.”
The touring side lost all 10 of their second-innings wickets for 83 runs after openers Cook and Haseeb Hameed combined in a stand of 75 runs on Sunday.
Ben Duckett’s poor series continued when he fell without scoring to Ashwin, caught behind miscuing a sweep shot against the world’s top-ranked bowler after England resumed on 87-2.
Moeen Ali did not last long either, out to left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja for two after failing to show any of his usual fluidity in a 31-ball knock.
Joe Root, playing his 50th test match, was key to England’s slim hopes after Cook fell on the last delivery of the fourth day.
England’s best batsman had an early reprieve on nine when Kohli failed to hold a catch at leg slip off Ashwin.
The right-hander was then given out, caught behind on 11 against Ashwin, but managed to overturn the decision on review with replays showing he had missed the ball.
After Moeen’s dismissal, Root and Ben Stokes kept India at bay for more than 11 overs before debutant spinner Jayant clean bowled Stokes with a delivery that spun and beat the left-hander’s edge.
Paceman Mohammed Shami then removed Root for 25 when he extracted reverse swing from the new-ish ball and hit the batsman’s pad. Root failed to have the decision overturned on review.
Shami also claimed the wicket of Adil Rashid before lunch.
Ashwin, who took his 22nd five-wicket haul in the first innings, cleaned up Zafar Ansari for a duck after lunch.
Jayant trapped Stuart Broad and James Anderson lbw in successive balls, with Anderson becoming the first English batsman since 1906 to be dismissed for first ball ducks in both innings of a test match.
England defeated India 2-1 in 2012 after losing the first test and Kohli said his team would not be complacent when they go to Mohali for the third match starting on Saturday.
“We have played some really good cricket. We have maintained nice momentum as far as the first two games are concerned,” said the Man of the Match. “We respect the team England is.
“We need to strike the right balance of not getting too desperate and at the same time not relaxing either.”