Amazing performance - GulfToday

Amazing performance

Ravichandran-Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin

India’s home record has been impressive and after the heroic feat in Australia, Team India were considered more than favourites to win the series against touring England. But Joe Root’s performance in the first Test came as a bolt from the blue for the home side and a loss started becoming apparent after the first innings itself. A sharp turnaround at Chennai and India is back in contention (“Ashwin stars as India thrash England to level Test series 1-1,” Feb. 16, Gulf Today).

While Root set the pace in the first Test, it was good to see Ravichandran Ashwin take the game in his stride at Chennai and put India in the driver’s seat early on. His five-wicket haul helped bowl out England for 134 in the first innings in response to the host’s 329. In all he claimed eight wickets and scored 106 in the second innings to guide India to a 317-run victory inside of four days.

It was a whiff of fresh breath to see India bounce back so emphatically, thanks of course to Ashwin, after the crushing first Test defeat. More than that is was evident that the team too gelled better. Of course credit also needs to be given to left-arm spinner Axar Patel. His five-wicket haul on Test debut was an outstanding achievement.

A win like this puts India in good stead for the ICC World Test Championship final qualification. Both India and England need to win the series to take the second place in the final against New Zealand later this year.

There is some time before the third Test, a day-night match, begins in Ahmedabad. Kohli and his men by now must have understood that they cannot take the English side for granted. The Indian side has shown that it has the resilience to fight back. Hope they continue with that spirit.

Aaron D’Souza
By email

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