Humiliated in the first test, India have bounced back at Chennai.
The pitch was called all sorts of names by a variety of pundits, but India managed to get 329 on it, with Rohit Sharma slamming 161 in an innings that made many people think he was going to get a triple century.
That England fell away for 134 in their first innings is perhaps more indicative of their failings against high quality spin bowling than anything else. And that was what we saw in Chennai, England, who had reigned supreme in the first test when the pitch seemed to be relatively flat, ended up being bamboozled by spin here.
India had found some fight, as epitomised first by Rohit Sharma during their first innings, then Ashwin with the ball in England’s first innings. England were left trying to find some residue to fight on with. And when they had India 106-6, you got the sense that they were finally getting their heads up.
Then Ashwin walked in.
Ashwin who had struggled for runs before this test match and was increasingly being seen as a liability. He walked in and he didn’t leave again until India had scored 286. Along the way he hit his fifth test match hundred, achieving a rare feat of scoring a hundred and taking a five-for for the third time. He got to his century with a boundary, though the ball flew off the outside edge.
From there, there was only really one way this game was going to end.
Victory when it came must have been sweet for India, but for the fans watching at home or in the stands-and the seating arrangement really was strange-the entire series has now been opened up.
With the series level at 1-1, one has to wonder what strategies both teams will take going into Ahmedabad. India will be happy that they’ve managed to win here, though their batting experienced frailties in both innings once again, and had it not been for Ashwin they might well have been on the ropes.
For England, their bowling has been in fine form, and if their batting can adapt to the conditions as it did in Sri Lanka they will be able to compete.
All in all, it does seem as though we are in for a real fun ride for the remaining tests of this series.
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