India registered an emphatic victory at the Narendra Modi Stadium as they inflicted an innings defeat on England and wrapped up the series 3-1 and had their hands on the Pataudi Trophy. The Virat Kohli-led side lost the opening match of the series in Chennai but since then the Comeback Kings were clinical in all the tests and are now placed on top of the ICC World Test Championship Table.
Other than the first two sessions on Day 2 where the match could have gone either way, the hosts dominated the proceedings in all the sessions as the Bharat Army witnessed high-quality cricket at the world’s largest stadium! Here are the Top Performers of the series, Key Moments in the 4th Test, Epic Encounters and Story in Numbers:
Top Performances in the Battle Royale:
1. Rohit Sharma’s 161 in the 2nd Test
India started the 2nd test on a positive note as Rohit Sharma scored 80 runs off 78 balls in the 1st session and later on scored a resilient 161. On a turning track, Rohit’s century was crucial as he laid the foundation for India’s victory.
2. Rishabh Pant’s 101 in the 4th Test
After the loss of 6 wickets and with all of India’s frontline batsmen back into the pavilion, Pant’s 101 was perhaps the best knock of the series, given the context of the game and with a final of the World Test Championship up for grabs.
3. Axar Patel’s 6/38 in the 3rd test
In the first-ever test at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Axar Patel picked 6-fer in the 1st innings at Motera and continued from where he had left off in Chennai when he picked up a 5-wicket haul in the 4th innings.
4. Joe Root’s double century in the 1st Test
England began the series on a winning note and skipper Joe Root’s magnificent double century in the 1st Test was the major difference between the two sides. On a wicket, where the Indian batters struggled to play a big knock, Root showed the way and carried on from his excellent form in Sri Lanka. He dominated the Indian spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Sundar and Nadeem with a wide range of shots.
5. Virat Kohli’s 72 in the 1st Test
Virat Kohli has had a drought in terms of centuries off late in international cricket but the runs and the quality of knocks haven’t dried up as the skipper scored arguably his best knock in Test cricket. On a rank turner where the captain kept losing partners at the other end, he was firm at the crease.
Key Moments in the 4th Test:
1. Siraj’s double-strike in the 1st innings
India started off on an impressive note as they reduced the English batsman to 30-3 after the visitors won the toss and opted to bat first. The openers were dismissed by Axar Patel but Mohammad Siraj got the all-important wicket of skipper Joe Root and No. 3 Jonny Bairstow and laid the foundation as the Indian Cricket Team restricted England to a total of 205.
2. India’s patient approach in the 1st session of Day 2
When India came out to bat on Day 2, they were in a pole position but quick wickets could have meant that the Joe Root-led side was back in the game and that is exactly how things panned on the first session of Day 2. Pujara and Rohit Sharma were at the crease to add on to the overnight score of 24-1 but the duo started cautiously as Anderson bowled tight lines and conceded just 7 runs in 12 overs, bowling 9 maidens (as on lunchtime on Day 2). He got the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane as Jack Leach and Ben Stokes picked a wicket each.
3. Stokes long-spell
England went into the match with just 3 specialist bowlers as they banked on a long batting-order to do the job for them. With Dominic Bess bowling loose deliveries and letting off the pressure, Joe Root had only two frontline bowlers. Ben Stokes, like he has done regularly in his career over the last couple of years, stood up to the challenge and in the gruelling heat of Ahmedabad bowled the most overs in India’s innings like a tireless workhorse.
He scalped the wicket of the star Indian batsmen, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, and reaped just rewards for his performance. He troubled Kohli with the extra bounce as the skipper chased a short ball outside off and nicked it behind while in Rohit’s case he set up the dismissal by bowling outside off and then reverse swung it back into the right-handed batsman when he least expected it and in the process bowled one of the balls of the series.
4. Pant’s counter-attack
At 146-6, India were in a position where a lead of 50 would have been a great luxury for the hosts but Rishabh Pant had other plans. He counter-attacked the England bowlers and hit 13 boundaries and 2 sixes, including one when he was on 94 and brought up his century with slog sweep over midwicket. Pant had method to his madness and brought India back to his game with the attacking shots.
5. Sundar’s 96 and the lower-order contribution
Even after Pant’s dismissal Washington Sundar and Axar Patel joined hands at the crease and showed just why bowling all-rounders are so crucial in the test team. They notched up a century partnership for the 8th wicket as Sundar neared his hundred but an unfortunate run-out, followed by dismissals of Siraj and Ishant Sharma meant that the southpaw was stranded on 96.