Indians have utilised the home advantage pretty well after the first match defeat in Chennai. They wrapped up the second and third test match before the initial period of 5 days. The Ahmedabad wicket was so far the best turning track in this series. The ball turned and spun from day one; in fact, session one as 30 wickets went down in under 2 days in the third test.
After Ishant got Sibley in his 100th test match, spinners reigned supreme as India won the third test in under 2 days. It was a phenomenal performance by the spinners that led India to win the match in just five sessions. We expected the pitch to give something to seamers after day one; instead, it got better and better for the spinners after the first day.
Axar Patel highlighted day one as he bagged his career-best figures of 6/38 in his home ground. Axar was brought into the squad as a like-for-like replacement for injured Jadeja. The left-arm spinner kept the bowl straight to the stumps by changing his pace, and that was all he needed to grab a six-wicket haul. Ashwin also picked three crucial wickets as India bowled out England at 112 in the first innings.
India was batting well in the second innings before Jack Leach picked the ball and took his run-up. Leach, the only consistent bowler in this England line-up, has been bowling pretty well in the ongoing series. The left-armer ended up with the figures of 4/54 in the second innings and got prominent wickets of Rohit, Pujara, Kohli and Rahane. Leach got India’s top four, whereas Joe Root wrapped up the tail.
England captain Joe Root got his maiden five-for in test cricket and ended up with magical figures of 5/8. Root’s five-for bowled India at 145 and gave England a fair chance to win the test match from there. However, England again struggled against spin in the second innings, and this time it was even worse. Axar once again bagged a five-for and achieved the best match haul in day-night tests for spinners,
Ravichandran Ashwin entered the 400 club as he picked up his 400th wicket in the third innings. He also became the second-fastest bowler to do so after Muttiah Muralitharan. Ashwin grabbed four scalps in the third innings and ended up with the figures of 4/48.
Axar and Ashwin’s excellent bowling display gave India a target of just 48 to win the test match. Rohit Sharma finished the match with a six as India won by 10 wickets.
England was bowled out at 81 in the third innings, which is also their lowest total against India. India bowled out England in just 30 overs, and the highest partnership for England was 31 runs between Root and Stokes. They also posted 112 in the first innings.
England has particularly struggled against spin in this series, and they will have to pull their socks up to come back in the series to draw it.
The Indian team has almost assured their place in the World Test Championship (WTC) final. All India needs is a draw in the fourth test match to qualify for the finals. On the other hand, England is ruled out of the WTC race with their recent loss against India. However, they can spoil India’s chances if they win the last match.
With England ruled out, India and Australia are the only two teams that can join New Zealand in the finals. Australia has no upcoming test matches scheduled in the next few months. However, they will go straight into the finals if England wins the last test match against India. India is the favourites to qualify, but they will again have to overcome the England challenge to go through the finals.