India beat England by an innings and 25 runs to win the four test series 3-1 in Ahmedabad on Saturday. With this win India also sealed a final spot in the World Test Championship final at Lord’s vs New Zealand. India was expected to win but no one could have thought that England would fold up so early on Day 3 as Axar Patel (5 for 48) and Ravichandran Ashwin (5 for 47) took all the 10 wickets in the second innings.
In the Indian batting line up Washington Sundar was left stranded on an unbeaten 96 as India was bowled out for 365 runs, with a 165 runs lead just at the stroke of lunch. At that 160 was more than enough for Indian spinners to weave their web around the English batsmen. All the England batsmen lacked application, temperament, technique or determination to play the Indian spin duo of Ashwin and Patel.
The England batsmen started soon after lunch when Ashwin dismissed Zak Carwley (5) and Jonny Bairstow (0) of consecutive deliveries. Axar got his first wicket when Dom Sibley’s sweep shot hit Shubman Gill on his pads at forward short leg, the ball bounced high up in the air for Rishab Pant to take a simple catch. Ben Stokes paddle sweep was caught by Indian captain Virat Kohli at backward short lrg as England were reduced to 30/4.
Ollie Pope (15) added 35 runs with his skipper Joe Root but his aggressive instincts couldn’t take him far as he danced down the track to a delivery by Axar, missed it and was stumped by Pant. Root (30) then misjudged the length of an Ashwin delivery and was trapped plumb in front to complete England’s misery. Dan Lawrence, 50 of 95 balls delayed the inevitable with a gritty half century, but eventually ran out of partners at the other end. England were bowled out for 135 in 54.5 overs in their second innings, handing the hosts another massive win.
Washington Sundar displayed great composure and maturity in his 96 run knock. Sundar’s 113 run stand with Pant for the seventh wicket in Day 2 took India ahead of the England total and his 106-run partnership with Axar (43) for the eight-wicket on Day 3 ensured that there were no comebacks for the England team. Sundar hit a six and 10 fours in his knock and though he was unlucky he ran out of partners and missed his maiden Test hundred, his knock was as good and invaluable as a century.