Anthony De Mello Trophy, 2021
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
Date: 05 February-09 February, 2021
RR: 3.3 | England beat India by 227 runs
That's a wrap to the first Test match. England have now stretched their winning streak to six matches away from home and it turned out to be a really special 100th Test for Joe Root. On the other side, after the high of Australia, India have come crashing down and will have to do a bit of soul-searching. You can expect a backlash from them when these two teams meet again in the second Test match in Chennai. It's starting on Saturday, 13th February. Do join us at 0930 local (0400 GMT) for all the action. Until then, it's goodbye and cheers!
England captain, Joe Root is also the Man of the Match! Says that it was a crucial toss to win and it was a good wicket to bat on. Credits the bowlers as well for taking 20 wickets in very alien conditions. Adds that they knew it's going to be a good wicket and the first partnership was crucial to get them going and they carried on from there brilliantly. On his own batting, Root replies that if they want to win here, someone will have to score big, it was him this week and it could be someone else in the next week. Root knows that India will come hard at them in the next match. On his thought process regarding not declaring in the second innings, Root replies that the idea was to get to 400 and then speed things up but it didn't materialize. Further says that the most important thing for them was to make sure that an Indian win was out of the equation. On whether he did that due to the inexperienced spinners, Joe states that it was more about the bowling group to not worry about the run rate and just deliver its skills. He is happy that the boys handled that pressure really well. Speaking of James Anderson, Root calls him the GOAT of English cricket who consistently challenges himself and is still getting better and fitter. He terms Jimmy as a great role model for the rest of the group and hopes he continues for long.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli is looking visibly disappointed. Says that they didn't put enough pressure on the English batsmen in the first innings. He tells that the pitch was on the slower side on the first two days as scoring runs and rotating the strike was easy. Feels the intensity in the field from them was not up to the mark but it got better in the second innings. Adds that as a side they are looking to improve things that weren't up to the mark and admits that England were the better team. Kohli mentions that you need your bowling unit to step up as a group which didn't happen. Also adds that there is a lot left to be desired with the bat. Tells that it was a hard grind and England were ready to do it and were more equipped. Regarding the toss, Kohli replies that losing it ended up being a reason which they didn't think it would be but the Indian skipper doesn't want to make any excuses and is looking forward to work on their mistakes. States that it's going to be a hard-fought next three Tests as they will not let things slip away like it did in this Test. Super V wants his boys to show good body language and understand the pace of the pitch well and at the end of the day, Kohli feels it's all about the mindset. Stresses that there will be hiccups but they are a side which always looks to improve. On Rishabh Pant's chirping from behind the stumps, Kohli smiles and replies that he is fun on the field and they want him to continue like this as his personality is really helpful to maintain good energy in the field.
To quickly summarize this Test match, we will have to start by saying that England outplayed India comprehensively in all the facets of the game. Joe Root's double century laid the platform as the touring team posted a gigantic total on the board. India were not at their absolute best with the bat in the first innings as they failed to save the follow-on. Although England didn't enforce it and came out to bat again. In their second essay, it was all about scoring quick runs and building on their 241-run lead however Root was criticized for not declaring the innings. Anyway, the English skipper knew what he was doing and his bowlers backed him by picking 10 wickets in the second innings as well. Stay tuned for the presentation...
Jack Leach also comes up for a quick word. Says that it's his first time in India and he knew there will be pressure and is happy to pick a few wickets. On Pant, he jokes that he thought he is playing in the Indian T20 League and adds that he enjoyed that battle, just tried to stay strong and the English boys helped him a lot. Mentions that he had a long time without much cricket and bowling long spells in the heat of Sri Lanka really helped him. Shares that he just wanted to bowl consistently and not concede too many. He is glad to get the win and calls it a team effort.
James Anderson comes for a quick chat. Says that it came out well and he got the reverse going. Informs that he just wanted to bowl in the right areas. Shares that it was important to get the movement in the air as the pitch was on the slower side. Tells that he is feeling great, enjoyed his time in Sri Lanka and has carried that form here. Says that it's exciting times to be with this group. Admits that it's been a tough wicket to work on and they would now look to rest well. Regarding Joe Root, Anderson says that he has been leading the team from the front and hopes that he continues with his form and others chip around him.
Virat Kohli spent some time in the middle to stroke a half-century and his partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin provided India with some hope. But soon the inevitable happened as Ashwin got dismissed by Leach and Stokes went through the defense of the Indian skipper. An excellent win for the English team and they will be over the moon!
Fantastic win for England! They have taken the lead in the series and also jumped on top in the ICC World Test Championship, swapping positions with India who slip to 4th now! The tourists were the favourites this morning but given India's recent form, all four results appeared possible. India started positively with Shubman Gill ready to play his shots and Cheteshwar Pujara offering good defensive solidity. Jack Leach though broke that stand and after that, James Anderson produced a masterclass of reverse swing bowling. He removed Gill and Aijnkya Rahane in quick succession and followed that up with the prized scalp of Rishabh Pant. Washington Sundar failed to repeat the heroics of his first innings and the writing was on the wall for the hosts.
What happened there? Is Ishant Sharma hit-wicket? The umpire is getting it checked upstairs. The replays show that the bails fall off without any contact from the batsman. Is it too windy there? Given as a dead ball as the bails were off even before the batsman had played his shot to a short ball.
Jasprit Bumrah is the last batsman.
Ishant Sharma is in next.
Drinks break. Ashwin and Kohli offered good resistance in the last hour but the former eventually fell a few overs back. Virat Kohli is showing excellent form but is running out of partners. He would be looking to farm more strike and stretch this match.
Shahbaz Nadeem is the new batsman.
Change in bowling. Ben Stokes replaces Anderson in the attack.
Shout for an lbw! Not given. Joe Root has a word with his keeper and Leach before signalling for the DRS.
James Anderson to steam in from the other end.
We're back! The players are also back on the field. India resume their fight for survival. Four wickets in the bank but they can't count too much on the last three batsmen. England would be looking to wrap things up in this session itself. Can they succeed? Let's find out. Jack Leach to bowl...
... DAY 5, SESSION 2 ...
For India, all their hopes of saving this Test match are pinned on the shoulders of Virat Kohli. He has batted with intent and is on 45 at the moment but the Indian skipper will need support from the other end. Ravichandran Ashwin had a difficult stay so far in the middle and he is the last skilful batsman left for the home team. Can the current pair provide resistance? We will find out when the afternoon session begins at 1210 local (0640 GMT).
Apart from James Anderson, the other England bowlers weren't consistent enough. Jack Leach did well to bowl good lines and removed Pujara but largely he and his spin partner, Dom Bess were not up to the mark. Jofra Archer bowled a hostile spell just before Lunch and England would be hoping that he will do the same after the break as well.
A terrific morning session for England. They are looking like a happy bunch as they leave the field for the Lunch break. The day though started well for India. Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara batted positively at the beginning and the former also completed his half-century. But, the introduction of James Anderson changed things drastically. The English legend put on an exhibition of reverse swing bowling and removed both Gill and Rahane in quick succession, sending their stumps flying. Jimmy also dismissed the dangerous Rishabh Pant and pushed India into a corner.
Physio comes out yet again! This time to perform the concussion test. Ashwin is fine and he has not changed his helmet. Two more balls left in this session...
Physio comes out again! Last time it was on the fingers, this time it's the forearm. Ashwin is wearing the arm-guard on his right hand as well.
Physio is out in the middle. It's the bowling hand of Ashwin which is getting the treatment. India would hope there is nothing serious.
Jofra Archer to bowl.
Ravichandran Ashwin is the new batsman.
DRS time! Huge shout for a caught behind against Washington Sundar. The finger stays down and England review it.
Dom Bess is back for another spell.
Washington Sundar arrives in the middle.
Root is having a word with Anderson as the latter goes to his bowling mark.
Drinks break. India did well in the morning session but the ongoing over of James Anderson has thwarted their hopes of either saving or winning this Test match. Out walks the talk of the town - Rishabh Pant. Can he do it again? 328 needed more.
Huge shout for an lbw! The umpire shakes his head. Joe Root has a word with his bowler and takes the DRS.
Ajinkya Rahane is the new batsman.
James Anderson is into the attack.
Dom Bess is into the attack. He dismissed Kohli in the first innings and Root is again banking on him.
Virat Kohli walks in next at number 4.
Jofra Archer to operate from the other end. Will he get some reverse going?
Enough of talking, let's dive in! The men concerned are on the field. Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara are the overnight batsmen. Will it be a terrific Tuesday for India? Straightaway, Jack Leach is into the attack. Let's play...
A quick interview with James Anderson. The English seamer says that it is going to be a hard day for them and adds that they saw India showing good fight recently in Australia. Mentions that it will be a day of hard work. Tells that the surface is very abrasive and they are not far away from getting reverse. He is looking forward to work well in tandem with the spinners.
Which team is on top? You will see the scorecard and say England. And it's true as well. But the way they were defensive in their approach last evening was bizarre. Before that, everyone waited for them to declare but they kept on batting and eventually got all out. Was the Pant factor playing too much in their minds? It appeared that they watched the Gabba Test too deeply and wanted to play it safe. Will that cost them a good chance to take the series lead? We will find out as the day progresses.
Something for the Indian fans to feel confident! Famous stats man, Mohandas Menon has tweeted - 'On the fifth final day at the Chepauk in Chennai... In 1986 - India made 347 in 86.5 overs to TIE the Test against Australia. In 2008 - India made 256/3 in 69.3 overs to win by six wickets against England (target - 387). Today - India need 381 (with 9 wickets) in 90 overs.' Are we in for another miraculous result for the home team?
Greetings, everyone! After four days of engrossing action, here we are waiting to find out the result of the first Chennai Test. 9 wickets and 381 runs - that's the equation! Two results look more probable at the moment - England's win or a draw but after what happened at the Gabba, you have to give an outside chance to India as well. Having said that, to score these many runs on a turning Chepauk pitch is next to impossible. Whichever way you slice it, one thing is guaranteed - A fascinating day to cap off this Test match. Stay tuned for more...
... DAY 5, SESSION 1 ...
Right then. It has been an intriguing 4 days of Test cricket and this game is heading right into the wire now. 381 needed for India to win. England needs 9 wickets to take the first Test and let's not forget, that a draw is also on the cards. A wonderful final day of the Test cricket beckons and with everything on the line, it will be interesting to see which team comes out on top. So join us for Day 5 at 0930 local (0400 GMT). Until then, stay safe and cheers!
Ishant Sharma is in for a chat. He starts by saying that it has been a roller coaster ride but adds he has enjoyed it. Tells there are a lot of mentors in his life who have taught him how to bowl in the subcontinent and abroad. Smiles and says his body is a bit sore as he has played just shorter formats and bowled 35 overs. Tells if they get a good start on Day 5, they can chase it down as they have a fearless target. On how he felt of the pitch, Ishant smiles and says he felt like they were playing on the road in the first two days. Tells the ball started to spin after that. Ishant feels they bowled well and did a good job to restrict them on the first day on a flat-track.
A day with which England will be very happy. This is exactly what their plan was - to bundle the Indian tail quickly before the Lunch break, then come out and add some more quick runs and ensure that their lead is a big, fat one and then have a go at the Indian openers right towards the end of the day and hopefully snare some wickets. The only thing that they will be slightly unhappy with is that they could only remove one Indian batter but they will still be happy with how things have panned out for them. Both their spinners, Bess and Leach were also making the ball talk towards the end of the day and the signs are looking good for the visitors heading into Day 5.
The day started nicely enough for the Indians as the duo of Sundar and Ashwin battled it out for the first hour, but once Ashwin fell, the batting just collapsed. India came out with fire, with the ball, and were just phenomenal as they were right on the money right from ball one as Ashwin bundled Burns on the first delivery. India kept chipping away at the wickets while the English players kept trying to add to their massive lead. Led by Ashwin, who snared 6 wickets, they bundled the English Lions for 178. Coming out with the blade, they would have been hoping that Rohit and Gill could fend off the challenge until Stumps but Rohit could not hang around and the duo of Gill and Pujara ensured no more casualties occurred.
Wow, what a brilliant day of cricket we have witnessed! Simply superb. Both India and England were ferocious in their approach and it is due to their efforts that this Test is going right to the wire. Sure, it looks tough and the total seems big to scale down for the hosts, but that's what was said about the final Test at the 'Gabba between India and Australia last month and we all know what happened in that game, don't we?
Bess time! Dom Bess is into the attack for the first time in this innings. He bowled beautifully in the first innings. Can he do the job in the second as well?
Anderson time! James Anderson is into the attack for the first time in this innings.
India's new wall, Cheteshwar Pujara, marches to the crease.
Jack Leach to share the new ball with Archer.
We are back for India's fourth innings! The England players make their way out to the middle, followed by Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill. Jofra Archer will start with the ball.