ICC Test Championship Paytm Test Series
India VS England, 3rd Test
Played at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
Played on 24 -25th February 2021
England 1st Innings 112 All Out (Zack Crawley 53, Joe Root 17, Axar Patel 6/38, Ravichandra Ashwin 3/26) and
England 2nd Innings 81 All Out (Ben Stokes 25,Joe Root 19, Axar Patel 5/32, Ravichandra Ashwin 4/48)
India 1st Innings 148 All Out (Rohit Sharma 57*, Virat Kohli 27, Ravichandra Ashwin 17, Joe Root 5/8,Jack Leach 4/54) and
India 2nd Innings 49/0 (Rohit Sharma 25* and Shubman Gill 15*)
India won by 10 wickets
India Leads the Series 2-1
Player of The Match: Axar Rajendra Patel.
England losing the 3rd test at Iconic Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad by 10 wickets and conceding 1-2 lead to India is knocked out of the ICC Test Championship 2021. Axar Patel (11 Wickets for 70 Runs) and Ravichandra Ashwin (7/74) championed India, in inflicting humiliating 10 wickets hammering of England. Winning by 10 wickets (India scoring 145 and 49/0 against England 112 and 81). It was a replay of Bollywood Blockbuster “LAGAN“ of Amir Khan coming to real life. English lions were teased and tormented.
India effectively sealed the fate of England to a mere spectator of the ICC Test championship final at Lords in June 2021 against New Zealand. Even if England manages bouncing back (very unlikely) in the last test at Ahmedabad (off course red ball), it will be Australia qualifying for the final for the 2-2 series outcome. It looks most likely that India winning the series would make it an epic final.
The historic first test at Iconic Narendra Modi stadium at Sardar Ballabvhai Patel Sports Complex Ahmedabad lasted only two days. It will be remembered for setting several milestones. The day night SG Pink ball test saw the lowest ever 112 and 81=193, two innings runs scored by a touring team in India. It was also the shortest ever test (ended 98 minutes before the scheduled closure on day two) in India. The first, First Class match played in the refurbished largest stadium since 2031, is the shortest ever completed test since 1935.
Many differed about the nature of the wicket. Home teams always prepare wickets at home venue to suit their case. Sometimes ICC reports if the nature of the surface is unsuitable for fair play. Victorious captain Virat Kohli rated it, “Very Good” where his won team succumbed from 99/3 to 148 all out in the first innings in the morning session of day two. Alistair Cook termed it “So Hard“. Indian Maestro Sunil Gavaskar diplomatically called it “Challenging”. According to Andrew Strauss it was “Too Much In Favour Of Spinners “. Spinners took 28 out of the 30 wickets that fell. English captain occasional spinner had an amazing figure of 5/8 in the Indian 1st Innings.
It was the 100th test for Ishant Sharma. He got the first wicket of the test. But could only bowl 5 overs in the test. Ravichandra Ashwin became the second fastest bowler in the history of test cricket (77th test, while Muttiah Muralidharan required 72 test) taking 400 test wickets. Local boy Axar Rajendra Patel playing only for the injury of Ravindra Jadeja ,in his 3rd test turned the hero taking 11 wickets for 70 runs in the match.
Engalnd winning the toss and electing to bat lost the advantage managing only 112 in the first innings. The way Zack Crawley played delightful strokes in his 53 in the 1st Innings even 200 in the 1st innings could make the test interesting. Bowling unchanged from one end for 21.4 overs Patel mesmerized Englishmen on day one wicket taking 6/38. India was not looking at all in discomfort ending the day at 99/3. Rohit Sharma was rollicking. But the wicket was turning and dusts started emerging from the dry wicket even from the first session. 13 wickets fell in day one and 11 to the spinners.
Day two at Modi stadium would definitely be discussed for a long l time in cricket fraternity. English strategy of appearing with four pacers (Anderson, Broad, Archer and Stokes) and lone specialist spinner Jack Leach was hotly debated. The home team had two pacers (Ashwin and Bumrah) and two frontline spinner (Axar and Ashwin). But it was the golden fingers of English Captain Joe Root, which tormented Indian batsmen traditionally considered the best players of spin. His 5/8 almost turned the match upside down. India starting the afternoon at 99/3 dramatically collapsed losing 7 wickets for 49 runs. India getting all out scoring 148 got a crucial 43 runs first innings lead.
England appearing for batting in the second innings after early tea looked panicked ,shaky and apprehensive. Off course wicket was playing tricks , turning and odd balls misbehaving. But English batsmen had no skills of playing spin. Their apprehension brought their demise. Axar and Ashwin rattled them mostly with straight deliveries those did not turn. They hardly danced down to wicket and hardly tried smothering the spin. Getting all out for 81 in 30.4 overs they left India scoring 49 only for the win. Observers felt even a 120 runs winning target could be tricky. Axar taking yet another 5/32 raised a question whether he would become another Stuart Macgill the unfortunate talented Aussie Leg spinner remaining under the shadow of Iconic Shane Warne. Ravindra Jadeja for his superior all round skill would be favored over him logically.
YES THE WICKET WAS TRICKY. BUT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE ENGLISH BATSMEN BATTED PRETTY POORLY AS WELL.
Rohit and Gill made it cakewalk for India stroking off 49 without any drama in 7.4 overs only.
INDIA IS NOW FAVORABLY PLACED FOR THE OPPORTUNITY OF PLAYING THE FINAL OF ICC TEST CHAMPIONSHIP AT LORDS UNLESS ENGLAND BOUNCES BACK AT THE 4th Test On the same venue.
BDST: 1510 HRS, FEB 26, 2021