England bowl India out for 192 on day five in Chennai to seal a comprehensive 227-run win in the first Test; Jimmy Anderson takes three wickets in phenomenal spell of reverse-swing bowling, Jack Leach claims four while Virat Kohli’s half-century comes in vain
Last Updated: 09/02/21 9:47am
James Anderson produced a stunning spell of reverse-swing bowling before lunch to lead England to a memorable victory over India in the first Test.
Three wickets for just six runs in a five-over burst broke the game open for Joe Root’s side after Jack Leach had taken the crucial wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara early on.
Virat Kohli (72) provided some resistance for the hosts in Chennai before he was bowled by Ben Stokes and it was left to Jofra Archer (1-23) to wrap up a 227-run win for England, the impressive Leach finishing with figures of 4-76.
Root led the way in his 100th Test match with a double hundred and he moves level with Michael Vaughan on most wins as England captain (26), and in four fewer games, as the tourists go 1-0 up in the four-match series.
The pressure was on England going into the final day after some criticism of their decision not to declare in their second innings on day four, but with three sessions to take nine wickets on a deteriorating pitch, they remained favourites.
India, meanwhile, had talked up the prospect of chasing down 420 to win, resuming on 39-1 with another 381 needed but whether playing to win or draw, they needed to be batting throughout the day.
Pujara’s ability to bat long periods of time was always going to be key to that and England, starting the day with Archer and Leach bowling in tandem, knew the importance of ousting him early.
They got their wish six overs into the day as Leach, having bowled Rohit Sharma the previous evening, took his second with a delivery that spun and bounced from leg stump to take the shoulder of the bat through to Stokes at slip.
After Leach prised out Pujara (15), England’s swing king was brought into the attack in the 27th over and struck twice in a quite brilliant first over.
Shubman Gill (50) had gone to his third Test half-century in typically fluent fashion but lost his off stump as Anderson got the ball to reverse into the right-hander and through the gate.
Two balls later, he rapped Ajinkya Rahane low on the front pad, umpire’s call on impact saving the batsman after England’s review but his reprieve did not last long with the next ball from Anderson jagging back through the gate to send off stump cartwheeling again.
At 38 years of age, Anderson has bowled countless overs for England but few could match this for skill, control and threat to batsmen.
Rishabh Pant (11) followed a few overs later, trying to work a cutter from Anderson (3-17) into the legside and sending a leading edge to Joe Root at short cover.
Dom Bess (1-50) had Washington Sundar (0) caught behind in the next over and while Kohli was showing great poise, Ashwin was peppered by short balls from Archer as India battled their way through to lunch.
Kohli and Ashwin showed their experience after the break, keeping their cool and taking no unnecessary risks in a 54-run stand for the seventh wicket, the skipper looking in fine touch as he reached a 24th Test fifty.
England stayed patient, though, and were rewarded as the last four wickets went down inside seven overs. Leach extracted some extra bounce and had Ashwin (9) caught behind via the glove as he tried to cut, Jos Buttler taking a terrific catch.
India’s hopes rested with Kohli but even he could not save them this time. The ball was still reversing for Stokes (1-13) and when it stayed low as well, Kohli was helpless as the ball thudded into his off stump.
Leach struck again in his next over, another corker, this time to Shahbaz Nadeem, taking the edge and bouncing kindly off Buttler’s pad for Rory Burns to take the catch.
There was an odd moment when England’s players thought Ishant Sharma had stepped on his stumps as he played back to Archer, only for replays to show the off stump and toppled back of its own accord, but the fast bowler did finish things off in his next over as Jasprit Bumrah edged behind.
The catch was Buttler’s last action of the series as he prepares to fly home before returning for the white-ball matches. Ben Foakes will come in and could just be one of a number of changes to the XI in the next three games but that is for another day.
Follow over-by-over text commentary of the second Test between India and England on the Sky Sports App and skysports.com from 3.30am on Saturday.