MUMBAI, (Reuters) – Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin blew away England’s lower order resistance to spin India to a crushing series-clinching victory on the final day of the fourth test at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday.
The touring side, who resumed the final day on 182 for six, were only able to add 13 runs to their total as Ashwin (6-55) took all four remaining wickets in a little more than half an hour and the hosts won by an innings and 36 runs.
The five-wicket haul was the 24th for the world’s top-ranked test bowler and his seventh 10-wicket haul, after the 30-year-old also took six wickets in England’s first innings, inspired India to an unassailable 3-0 lead. England had beaten India in their last three test series including a 2-1 triumph on their last visit to the South Asian country in 2012 but the tourists have been thoroughly outplayed by the hosts since drawing the opening match in Rajkot.
“This series win is probably the sweetest of all we’ve won so far in the past 14-15 months,” India captain Virat Kohli said at the presentation following his side’s fifth series victory in a row. “It could not get any better.
“To win at Wankhede, going three-nil against a top quality side that has beaten us convincingly last two times, it feels really good.” Trailing by 49 runs entering the final day, England’s hopes of making India bat again rested on a pair of wicketkeeper-batsmen — Jonny Bairstow, who was unbeaten on 50 overnight, and Jos Buttler.
Bairstow, however, misread Ashwin’s ‘carrom’ ball, a finger-spinner delivered with the knuckle, to be struck in front of the wicket after adding just a run to his overnight score and was unable to overturn the leg before decision on review.
There were some angry words exchanged between James Anderson and the India players when the England number 11 walked in to bat with the umpires forced to intervene to prevent the incident from escalating further.
The fifth and final test will be played in Chennai from Friday.