Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel shut critical former English cricketers with a top-class display on a regular Indian wicket in the fourth Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium as India win by an innings and 25 runs.
While Ashwin picked his 30th five-wicket haul during the course of the England innings on Saturday, Axar picked his fourth as India stormed into the final of the World Test Championship after sealing the series 3-1 on the third day of the Test.
He might not have impressed with his batting but Test deputy Ajinkya Rahane was spot on with his low catches. If Axar and Ashwin starred with the ball, it was a masterclass display of slip catching by Rahane.
It was a no-show from the English batsmen once again as they looked completely clueless after walking into the middle in the post-lunch session with the score of 6/0.
Dan Lawrence (50) was the only player who had some answer to the duo of Ashwin and Axar as none of the other batsmen seemed to have the technical acumen to dig in, barring skipper Joe Root (30).
But once Ashwin sent back Root, it was all about delaying the humiliation for the English batsmen. Ashwin picking up Jonny Bairstow for a golden duck only added to England’s misery.
All-rounder Ben Stokes, who had scored a gritty half-century in the first innings, came in with a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, but he could manage just 2 before Axar had his number.
Earlier, resuming the third day on 294/7, India managed to pick a substantial 160-run lead as they scored 365. Rishabh Pant (101) and Washington Sundar (96 not out) were the top scorers while Rohit Sharma and Axar made useful contributions of 49 and 43 each.
Brief Scores: England 205 and 135 (Daniel Lawrence 50, Ravichandran Ashwin 5-47, Axar Patel 5-48); India 365 (Rishabh Pant 101, Washington Sundar 96*)