India 759 for 7 dec (Nair 303*, Rahul 199) beat England 477 (Moeen 146, Root 88, Jadeja 3-106) and 207 (Jennings 54, Cook 49, Jadeja 7-48) by an innings and 75 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
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In Mumbai, England had slipped to an innings defeat after batting first and scoring 400. In Chennai, they batted first again and scored 477. At lunch on the fifth day, they were 97 for no loss in their second innings, trailing by 185. This was a flatter pitch than Mumbai, less bouncy and a lot slower. Surely it couldn’t happen again?
It did. This time, they lost by an innings and 75 runs, their punishing seven-Test tour of the subcontinent ending at 3.56pm IST, with a draw nine overs away. In Mirpur, they had lost all ten wickets in one session. Here, in less frightening conditions, they lost all ten in 48.2 overs, for the addition of 104 runs, after their openers had added 103.
Ravindra Jadeja was India’s matchwinner, taking seven wickets for the first time in a Test innings and ten for the first time in a match as well as grabbing two catches, including what was surely the catch of the series. England, though, were their own worst enemy, batsman after batsman getting himself out to hasten India to a 4-0 series win.
England still had six wickets in hand when the final session began, and, in Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes, batsmen at the crease with three hundreds between them in the series. But Jadeja hounded them, pounding the rough outside their off stump relentlessly. Moeen stepped out, looking to hit him off his length, and only found a leaping R Ashwin at mid-on. Stokes went on the back foot, looking to work him with the turn. The ball stopped and popped to midwicket.
This was no longer an entirely flat pitch. It still wasn’t doing much for the bowlers from the Pattabiraman Gate End, but there was something in it now for those approaching from the Anna Pavilion End. England could have negotiated it if the decisions made by their top order hadn’t exposed Nos. 8 and 9 to it. Amit Mishra bowled the No. 8, Liam Dawson, with a googly as he looked to drive against the turn. Umesh Yadav had the No. 9, Adil Rashid, caught off the leading edge, at point, by, who else, Jadeja.
Out of the attack for seven overs, Jadeja returned with 12 overs remaining. Stuart Broad saw out the first over of his spell, but could do nothing about the first ball of the second; it jumped out of the rough as he stretched out to defend, and popped up off the glove to leg slip. Three balls later, it was all over. Turn and bounce again, this time to the right-handed Jake Ball. The No. 11 poked, and it was Virat Kohli, fittingly, who caught the ball at slip.
Broad and Ball, the Nos. 10 and 11, were the only two England batsmen dismissed while trying to defend. It was an indictment of their approach after they had made the best possible start to the fifth day, a wicketless first session.
Both sides of lunch, Jadeja had threatened to dismiss Alastair Cook for the sixth time in the series. He produced a loud lbw shout with his first ball of the day, turning the ball past the inside edge when Cook, on 25, pressed forward to defend. India did well not to review umpire Marais Erasmus’ not-out decision: replays suggested the ball struck Cook in line with off stump but would probably have spun past leg stump. Then, on 47, Cook shuffled across his stumps and missed a flick; this time India reviewed, and ball-tracking suggested the ball was turning too much to hit leg stump.
Eventually, Cook’s shuffling unease about getting lbw caused him to play at a ball fired a long way down the leg side, and he effectively glanced the ball straight to leg slip. He fell one short of a half-century in his final innings of this long and difficult tour of the subcontinent, and what might possibly be his final innings as England’s captain.
It was a typical innings in cussedness if not in length, taking no risks and forcing India to bowl their best balls at him even as he struggled against both Jadeja and Ashwin, who had beaten his outside edge frequently in the first hour. There was a dropped catch too, Ashwin finding dip and turn in the third over of the day to find his outside edge, but not the desired support behind the wicket, the ball bouncing off Parthiv Patel’s gloves.
Keaton Jennings had played the spinners well, sweeping and reverse-sweeping confidently and also using his feet to try and get to the pitch and work Jadeja and Amit Mishra with the turn. This enabled him to clip both of them for fours through midwicket, but having done this to go from 50 to 54, he stepped out again, premeditatedly, and Jadeja fired it in low and full. The ball hit Jennings on the front foot, and then bounced up into the face of his bat, and looped back for a simple return catch.
Joe Root, England’s best batsman of the series, got himself out six overs later, sweeping unwisely off the line of the stumps. The ball was too full for the shot, and it sneaked under his bat and hit his front pad instead. India reviewed Simon Fry’s not-out decision – a fair call, given it wasn’t immediately apparent whether the ball had straightened enough to hit the stumps – and ball-tracking said it was hitting more than 50% of leg stump.
Jonny Bairstow was next to go, perhaps unfortunate to see a perfectly acceptable flick, off a full, leg-stumpish Ishant delivery balloon into the air, the ball perhaps stopping on him. He was even more unfortunate that Jadeja was the fielder sprinting from midwicket towards the square leg boundary with his back to the pitch, looking over his shoulder to keep his eye on the ball. Perhaps no one else on the field would have been able to pull off the catch.
Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo