Ashwin bags nine in his 100th Test as India cruise to innings win

India 477 (Gill 110, Rohit 103, Padikkal 65, Sarfaraz 56, Bashir 5-173) beat England 218 and 195 (Root 84, Ashwin 5-77, Bumrah 2-38) by an innings and 64 runs


England’s tour of India ended in woeful fashion, as some spineless top-order batting resulted in a massive defeat in the fifth Test in Dharamsala within three days.

Needing 259 to make the home side bat again, England was bundled out for 195, losing by an innings and 64 runs and handing India a 4-1 series victory.

That margin would have been even larger had it not been for Joe Root’s 84. England was 113-6, only for Root to coax runs from the tail when the contest was effectively over.

The inept batting overshadowed James Anderson’s early morning achievement. Anderson had Kuldeep Yadav caught behind to become the first pace bowler to reach 700 Test wickets.

Shoaib Bashir completed his second five-wicket haul of the series, and India was bowled out for 477. In blameless conditions, England’s minimum requirement was to drag the match into a fourth day.

Instead, they folded to off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who marked his 100th Test with a mesmerising 5-77.

R Ashwin holds up the ball after completing his five-for•Mar 09, 2024•BCCI

Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope played horrendous strokes, Zak Crawley turned to leg slip, Ben Stokes’ defence was flimsy and Ben Foakes was bowled slogging. In between, Jonny Bairstow belted 39 off 31 balls before Kuldeep pinned him.

At least Root showed some stomach for the fight, but could not prevent a one-sided drubbing inside eight sessions of play.

While this is England’s first series defeat under Stokes, this loss is their seventh in 12 Tests and ends a poor winter across formats that also included a meek defence of the 50-over World Cup.

A quite different England team will turn attention to defending the T20 World Cup in June, with the next Test coming against West Indies at Lord’s in July. (BBC) 

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