Ashwin and Axar seal thumping win for India

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Image courtesy Twitter account of R Ashwin
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India thrashed England by 317 runs on Day 4 of the second Test match, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

The hosts levelled the four-match series 1-1, after losing the first Test match in the same venue.

The victory was crucial for India in the context of World Test Championship.

To make the cut for the title clash against New Zealand, they need to win the series at least with a 2-1 margin.

Chasing a target of 482 runs, England were bowled out for 164 in the second innings on a turning track.

The hosts began Day 4 on a strong note, as the English batting order crumbled against Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel, who registered his maiden five-haul in his debut Test match.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (3/53) first sent back Dan Lawrence (26) and then removed Stokes (8) to add to the misery of the visitors.

Axar Patel (5/60) lured Ollie Pope (12) into a lofted sweep and was caught by Ishant Sharma.

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav got his first wicket of the match when he had Ben Foakes (2) caught by Patel.

Skipper Joe Root (33) kept one end tight in the morning session but was unlucky to get an unplayable ball from Axar Patel. The ball rose wickedly and Root could do nothing except edge it to the slips.

Once Root was back in the pavilion, it was not difficult for India to wrap up the innings. 

All-rounder Moeen Ali was the top performer for England, scoring a brisk 43 off 18 balls.

Kuldeep Yadav registered two dismissals but it was apparent that he doesn’t quite enjoy skipper Kohli’s confidence and more worryingly, looks to have lost his trademark chinaman delivery.

Both sides face each other again in the third Test match in Ahmedabad, which starts from February 24.

This loss is sure to raise questions about England’s contentious rotation policy.

As usual, former skipper Michael Vaughan was quick to question it, as reflected from his tweet.

India 329 (Rohit 161, Rahane 67, Pant 58*, Moeen 4-128) and 286 (Ashwin 106, Kohli 62, Moeen 4-98, Leach 4-100) beat England 134 (Foakes 42*, Ashwin 5-43) and 164 (Moeen 43, Axar 5-60) by 317 runs