Ahmedabad (TIP): India registered only their second Test victory inside two days, overhauling a meagre target of 49 against England in the day-night third game to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-match series here on Thursday, February 26. The last time India won inside two days in a Test was in 2018, beating Afghanistan in Bengaluru. England”s previous Test loss inside two days came way back in 1921 against Australia. There was no end to England”s batting woes against the spin duo of Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin as the side folded for 81 in its second innings. This was the team”s lowest Test total against India. Openers Rohit Sharma (25) and Shubman Gill (15) then completed the formalities in 7.4 overs, barely half an hour into the final session of the day. Earlier, Patel picked five wickets in the English second essay, adding to his outstanding haul of six in the first innings. His became the best bowling performance in a pink-ball match.
Ashwin, on the other hand, added four more to his first-day spoils of three scalps to cross the 400-wicket mark in the longest format.
He became the fourth Indian after Anil Kumble (619), Kapil Dev (434) and Harbhajan Singh (417) to achieve the feat.
England”s scorecard bore a dismal look with all-rounder Ben Stokes 25 and Ollie Pope”s 12 being the best contributions.
In the afternoon session, India”s first innings folded for 145 with opener Rohit Sharma top-scoring with a 66-run knock. England captain Joe Root returned career-best figures of 5/8 for his team.
Ashwin Becomes Fastest Indian To 400 Test Wickets
India off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin became the fastest Indian bowler to 400 Test wickets on Thursday. Ashwin, playing his 77th Test, was on 397 wickets at the end of England’s first innings of the ongoing third Test and dismissed England batsmen Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope and Jofra Archer in the second innings to get to the milestone. Ashwin is only behind Sri Lanka‘s Muttiah Muralitharan in the list of fastest players to 400 wickets in Tests. Muralitharan got there in just 72 matches. Other Indians to have picked more than 400 wickets are Anil Kumble (619), Kapil Dev (434) and Harbhajan Singh (417).
Ashwin opened his account in the second innings by trapping Stokes lbw and then followed it with bowling Ollie Pope.
The 400th wicket was Jofra Archer, who missed with an expansive sweep shot as the ball hit him low on the pad. India appealed and the on-field umpire gave it out.
Ashwin’s moment was briefly interrupted as Archer reviewed the decision only for DRS to return three reds and complete a well-deserved feat for India’s premier off spinner.
Ashwin picked three wickets in England’s first innings where the visitors were bowled out for 112.
The 34-year-old has been in good form with both bat and ball in this series, having picked up 23 wickets in the series thus far and scored 176 runs including a century in the second innings of the second Test.
He became the fourth-highest wicket taker for India in international cricket on Day 1 of the third Test as he went past Zaheer Khan’s tally of 597 wickets.
In addition to 400 Test wickets, Ashwin has 150 wickets in ODIs and 52 in T20Is since his international debut in 2010.