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Bazball gets a reality check! India thrash England by an innings to seal series 4-1

NEW DELHI: Premier off-spinner Ravichandran

Ashwin

grabbed a famous fifer in his landmark 100th Test as India hammered England by an innings and 64 runs in the fifth and final game in Dharamsala to seal the series 4-1 on Saturday.
Handing England their heaviest defeat in the ‘

Bazball

‘ era, India wrapped up the contest inside eight sessions as England self-imploded on the third day.

Veteran James Anderson reached 700 Test wickets early in the morning session to be just the third bowler to achieve the feat, but the tourists were never in the game after India took a massive 259-run lead.

Ashwin then returned figures of 5 for 77 to help bowl out England for 195 in the afternoon session at the picturesque Dharamsala stadium.
As It Happened
With the series already in bag, India were playing for crucial World Test Championship points and England made their job simpler with yet another reckless batting performance.

Joe Root was the lone ranger for his team and batted beautifully for his 84 off 128 balls. He was the last batter to be dismissed.

England’s second innings moved at a rather frenetic pace as the batters went on the offensive in their bid to survive against the Indian spinners but failed yet again.
The game appeared to be going only one way when India took a huge 259-run first innings lead in the morning session by posting 477 all out in response to England’s 218 on day one.
Ahead of the final game of their long tour, Stokes had dismissed theories of the departure lounge syndrome but with the way his batters performed, it seemed they were in a hurry to get back home.

The attack at all costs approach clearly did not work for them in India and the debacle has given them plenty to ponder before the start of the English summer.
For India, the series was a remarkable success considering they had the likes of Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami unavailable throughout.
The youngsters, led by Yashasvi Jaiswal, grabbed the opportunities in the seniors’ absence to give the team management more options for the future.
The writing was on the wall after Ashwin ran through England’s self destructing top-order to leave them reeling at 103 for five at lunch.
England skipper Ben Stokes (2) cut a sorry figure after falling to Ashwin at the stroke of lunch with a straighter one.
With

Rohit Sharma

not taking the field due to a stiff back, Bumrah led the side in the middle besides opening the bowling alongside Ashwin.
Ashwin once again got the better of England opener Ben Duckett (2). The southpaw, who had struggled to defend against Ashwin in the previous games, charged down the wicket for a counter-attacking hit but was nowhere near the pitch of the ball, resulting in a bowled dismissal.
Ashwin had a leg slip in place for Zak Crawley (0) with the pitch offering a fair amount of turn and bounce.
The England opener got an inside edge on to the pads and deflected straight into the hands of Sarfaraz Khan at leg-slip
Ollie Pope (19), who is a tentative starter, was Ashwin’s third victim. It was an error in judgement again from an England batter as he went for an audacious sweep off a delivery that went straight with the arm and was also on the shorter side.
Jonny Baristow (39 off 31), also playing his 100th Test like Ashwin, joined Joe Root in the middle and went on the offensive from the word go.
Playing with the spin, Bairstow hammered three thundering sixes off Ashwin on the on-side before being adjudged lbw off

Kuldeep Yadav

. It was another boom and bust knock that Bairstow played in the series.
He exchanged a few words with

Shubman Gill

stationed at first slip and lost his concentration in the process.
Not confident of defending against Ashwin and Co., England continued to use the long handle after lunch and failed miserably.
Ben Foakes went for a wild slog sweep off Ashwin only to miss the ball completely, giving India’s premier spinner his 36th five-wicket haul in Tests.
Bumrah’s fiery spell in the afternoon got him wickets of Tom Hartley and Mark Wood, putting India on the cusp of a massive win.
In the morning, the visitors took less than 20 minutes to wrap up India’s innings with veteran James Anderson finally getting to the 700-wicket mark.
Young off-spinner Shoaib Bashir had Jasprit Bumrah stumped for his second five-wicket haul in his debut series.
(With inputs from PTI)