CHENNAI: England left India facing a world record chase of 420 runs on Monday with one day to go in the opening Test in Chennai.
India lost star batsman Rohit Sharma as they began their bid to overhaul the mammoth target after England were all out for 178 in their second innings on day four. But India will take confidence from their recent experience in Australia where they successfully chased 328 to hand the hosts their first defeat at Brisbane’s Gabba ground since 1988.
At Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium, Ravichandran Ashwin took six wickets to help see England off, before the hosts reached 39 for one at stumps. Left-arm spinner Jack Leach bowled Sharma for 12 on a deteriorating pitch.
Shubman Gill, on 15, and Cheteshwar Pujara, on 12, were batting at the close with India needing another 381 runs to win the first of the four Tests. On a dominant day for spinners, Ashwin claimed his 28th five-wicket haul in England’s second innings that ended into the final hour of play.
Ashwin said he was expecting England to go big on runs in their second innings after deciding against making India follow-on. “I think the approach was something we expected that they will put 430-440 on the board, so we were also trying to manage our overs accordingly,” said Ashwin.
“I am not sure what went on inside their dressing room, but I’d like to think in Test match cricket the bowlers being tired and coming out to bowl another spell all these things get factored in (when not enforcing the follow on).”
Ashwin though said it was “bizarre” to see the SG balls — used in Indian Tests — tear through the seam as early as overs 35 and 40. “It was bizarre, I haven’t seen an SG ball like that in the last so many years but yes it could be due to the pitch and the hardness of it through the centre which is making the ball scuffed up,” he said.
The off-spinner sent back Rory Burns with the first ball of the innings and struck crucial blows, including taking Ben Stokes for seven. Skipper Joe Root top-scored with 40 off 32 deliveries. He hit 218 in the first innings of his 100th Test.
Root hit seven boundaries before being trapped lbw by paceman Jasprit Bumrah. Ollie Pope (28) and Dom Bess (25) also helped England build a big lead.
England won toss
England 1st innings 578 all out (Root 218; Bumrah 3-84, Ashwin 3-146)
India 1st innings 337 all out (Pant 91; Bess 4-76)
England 2nd innings
R. Burns c Rahane b Ashwin 0
D. Sibley c Pujara b Ashwin 16
D. Lawrence lbw b I Sharma 18
J. Root lbw b Bumrah 40
B. Stokes c Pant b Ashwin 7
O. Pope c R. Sharma b Nadeem 28
J. Buttler st Pant b Nadeem 24
D. Bess lbw b Ashwin 25
J. Archer b Ashwin 5
J. Leach not out 8
J. Anderson c and b Ashwin 0
Extras (nb7) 7
Total (all out, 46.3 overs) 178
Fall: 1-0 (Burns), 2-32 (Sibley), 3-58 (Lawrence), 4-71 (Stokes), 5-101 (Root), 6-130 (Pope), 7-165 (Buttler), 8-167 (Bess), 9-178 (Archer), 10-178 (Anderson)
Bowling: Ashwin 17.3-2-61-6 (nb3), Nadeem 15-2-66-2 (nb3), Sharma 7-1-24-1, Bumrah 6-0-26-1 (nb1), Sundar 1-0-1-0
India 2nd innings
R. Sharma b Leach 12
S. Gill not out 15
C. Pujara not out 12
Total (1 wicket, 13 overs) 39
Fall: 1-25 (R. Sharma)
To bat: V. Kohli, A. Rahane, R. Pant, W. Sundar, R. Ashwin, J. Bumrah, I. Sharma, S. Nadeem
Bowling: Archer 3-2-13-0, Leach 6-1-21-1, Anderson 2-1-2-0, Bess 2-0-3-0
Umpires: Anil Chaudhary (IND) and Nitin Menon (IND). TV umpire: Chettithody Shamshuddin (IND)
Source: The News