Anthony De Mello Trophy, 2021
Venue: Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad
Date: 24 February-25 February, 2021
RR: 6.39 | India beat England by 10 wickets
That is it from this game! The Pink Ball Test has not lasted long as India has decimated England and now they need to just avoid defeat in the next game to see themselves play in the final of the World Test Championship against New Zealand at Lord's. England is out of contention for that and has a lot of work to do if they are to level the Test series. The fourth and final Test of the series will begin on Thursday, 4th March 2021. That game will be a red ball Test and will begin at 0930 local (0400 GMT). Make sure you join us for that one. Till then, goodbye and take care!
The local lad, AXAR PATEL HAS BEEN NAMED AS THE PLAYER OF THE MATCH. He starts by saying that when things work out, it all looks easy and he just thinks about putting in the work and he just tries to keep things simple. Feels that he is happy that he is contributing with the ball for the team. On his strength, he says that he bowls wicket-to-wicket and makes things tough for the batters and he aims to not let the batters score a lot of runs. On being called Wasim Bhai by Pant, he says that Pant calls him that because they feel that his arm ball is very lethal, just like Wasim Akram's. States that he can bowl faster and also slower, but he smiles and says that what he is doing right now is working and so he will keep doing the same for now. Ends by saying that he will be happy if he can continue this form into the last Test.
The Indian captain, Virat Kohli, says that the result went their way but admits the quality of batting was not up to the standard by both teams. Tells they were looking to score more when they were at 100/3. Feels that the application from the batters was not right as he feels the pitch was better to bat on. Kohli says it was bizarre that 21 out of 30 wickets were off straight balls. Kohli feels the batters need to trust their defense a lot more and feels that is what Test cricket is all about. Kohli smiles and says Bumrah told that he is getting workload management while playing the Test and Ishant said that he is playing his 100th game, yet he is not bowling too much. Further adds that he told them to blame Axar as he is coming in and has just done the job. Kohli says he does not know what is the thing with Gujaratis and left-arm spinners as they always trouble the batters. Kohli says if the wicket offers something, Axar is very dangerous. On Ashwin, he says they need to stand up and take notice of what he has done. Adds he is happy that Ashwin plays for them. Kohli says they need to be ready for the hard grind, which they are. Adds a few extra days off with a tight schedule feels nice.
The losing skipper, Joe Root, starts off by saying that they were in a good position but they could not capitalize and it is something that they will look back on and try to learn and get better. Adds that they will come back stronger. Says that the plastic coating on the ball gathers pace off the wicket and if you put the ball on good areas, then you can make the ball talk. Further tells that they do not define themselves on this performance. Opines that they do not want to take the baggage across to the next game and they will look to build pressure for long periods. Further, he says that they have been able to pick wickets, as they have seen that in this game. On him being the bowler, he laughs and says that if he can scalp 5 wickets, you can tell that the wicket was doing a lot. Ends by congratulating Ishant for his 100th Test and also Ashwin for his 400 Test wickets.
The man of the moment, Ravichandran Ashwin, who has reached the feat of snaring 400 Test wickets is here for a chat! He says that it feels amazing and it is pleasant that it is happening in a winning cause and praises Axar for his performance too. Laughs and says that he is not able to get a grip about how these last 2-3 months have gone by and it all feels too dreamy. Adds that his effort in the lockdown has paid off. Says that he had a chat along with Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli before the Australian tour, he said that they felt that he was bowling well. On his fitness, he says that his body is aging and he tried to get in better physical shape. Also adds that it is extra special to come back like this, after losing the first Test. On being asked if he is bowling his best, he laughs and says that that has been said about him before as well, in the 2015-16 season, where he went through his best phase but opines that whenever someone says he is at his best, he finds another gear and becomes even better and so he hopes that he can do the same now and continue becoming better.
So just a quick summary of the Test. England won the toss which was talk of the tinsel town and decided to bat. That decision did not do much as they were bowled out for 112 with Axar picking up a 5-fer. It looked like they had no chance but they managed to bowl out India for 145 and had a sniff but that did not last long as they had never got going in their second innings and were embarrassingly bowled out for 81. India chased down the score of 49 without breaking a sweat.
No matter how tough the wicket would be to bat on, defending 49 against India was always going to be next to impossible. The tourists tried their best were never in with a chance and a day that started with hope and dreams has ended in what one would call a proper beating and nightmare.
India was absolutely ballistic with the ball in the second session. The spin duo of Ashwin and Axar bowled 30 overs in tandem. The pair shared 9 wickets between them with Axar grabbing 5-fer and finishing the Test with 11-wickets and becoming the first bowler to pick 11 wickets in a Pink Ball Test. Ashwin's 4-fer in the second innings saw him become the 2nd fastest player to get 400 wickets in Test cricket. England never got going with the bat and were bowled out for their lowest total against India in Tests.
England started the day with a bang! They managed to restrict India to under 150 and restrict the lead to just 33, with skipper Joe Root finishing with 5/8 while Leach scalped 4/54. It looked like England had a chance to do something but that was just a false one. A memorable day at the brand new stadium here in Ahmedabad for India. They have outplayed, outclassed, and decimated the tourists.
What a day of Test match cricket! If anyone would have told that this game would end in two days, we are pretty sure everyone would have been laughing at that person but that is what has happened! The hype of the Pink Ball Test was longer than the actual Test as England threw away this Test and are out of contention to play the inaugural World Test Championship final against New Zealand at the Lord's! Emphatic win for India and from 1-0 down, they lead the series 2-1!
England have taken a review against Gill for LBW!
Root to continue from the other end.
We are back for the third session on Day 2, which also looks like it will be the final session of the Test. The Indian batters, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill make their way out into the middle. 38 more needed for them to take a well deserved lead of 2-1 in this series. Jack Leach to bowl for the visitors.
... DAY 2, FINAL SESSION ...
Excellent session for India! They managed to bowl out England first and then have also survived the two overs without losing any wicket. They are well on course to win this game. They need just 38 more runs to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in this 4-match Test series. England have been terrible in this session. Getting bowled out for 81 after doing so well in the first session will hurt the hosts a lot. This looks like a lost cause now but the tourists need to show some fight and make these 38 runs as difficult as possible. Can the tourists do some miracle or will India cruise to victory? Join us for the final session of the day which might as well be the final one of the game.
Will we see Joe Root from the other end? Yes, we will!