India crush England to seal Test series 4-1

Ravichandran Ashwin claimed 5-77 in his 100th test

India players celebrate after the match REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Pramod Thomas

INDIA beat England by an innings and 64 runs in the final test to win the five-match series 4-1 at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium on Saturday (9).

Having conceded a lead of 259, England were all out for 195 in their second innings on day three of the contest.

Joe Root made 84 and Jonny Bairstow (39) also got a start while other England batters simply surrendered before India’s formidable spin attack.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed 5-77 in his 100th test for a match haul of nine wickets.

It was England’s first series defeat under the captaincy of Ben Stokes.

India grabbed a handy first innings lead of 259 and then reduced England to 103-5 to stay on course for a comprehensive victory.

Ashwin wrecked England’s top order with a three-wicket burst on day three. Stokes fell on the stroke of lunch with the tourists still 156 runs behind.

Earlier resuming on 473-8, India could add only four runs before losing their last two wickets.

England warhorse James Anderson became the first fast bowler to claim 700 test wickets when he dismissed Kuldeep Yadav (30) caught behind.

The travelling “Barmy Army” fans gave Anderson a standing ovation but their morale sagged soon after England walked out to bat, having conceded a significant first-innings lead of 259.

India harnessed Ravichandran Ashwin with Jasprit Bumrah for new ball duties, and the off-spinner bowled Ben Duckett (two) in his first over.

The opener had charged so far down the track that he would have been stumped even if he was not bowled.

Ashwin struck again in this third over, dismissing Zak Crawley for a duck.

Crawley, England’s leading scorer in the series, could only turn the ball to Sarfaraz Khan at backward short leg.

Ollie Pope made a breezy 19 before attempting a sweep against Ashwin, and Yashasvi Jaiswal took a running catch to dismiss the England vice captain.

Jonny Bairstow smacked Ashwin for three sixes in an enthralling duet between two fierce competitors both playing their 100th test.

Kuldeep Yadav, replacing Ashwin in the attack, ended Bairstow’s entertaining knock of 39, trapping him lbw.

Ashwin returned to disturb Stokes’ stumps with the final delivery before the lunch break.