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India vs England: Ashwin, Axar spin hosts to a memorable 10-wicket win in 3rd Test

India vs England: Ashwin, Axar spin hosts to a memorable 10-wicket win in 3rd Test
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India vs England: Ashwin, Axar spin hosts to a memorable 10-wicket win in 3rd Test  (Photo/twitter)

Highlights

Ravichandran Ashwin registered a special record in Test cricket while he helped India, along with Axar Patel, to defeat England in the third Test on Thursday.

Ravichandran Ashwin registered a special record in Test cricket while he helped India, along with Axar Patel, to defeat England in the third Test on Thursday.

Ashwin became the second-fastest bowler to 400 Test wickets and fourth Indian overall to claim 400 Test scalps. He finished with a total of seven wickets, while local boy Axar Patel picked 11 wickets as India thrashed England by 10 wickets in the third Test at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad. With the win on Thursday, India went 2-1 up in the ongoing four-match Test series against England.

After bowling England out for 112 in the first innings, the hosts also struggled with the bat in their second innings. Joe Root bagged his Test cricket's maiden five-wicket haul and Jack Leach picked four wickets as India were bundled out for 145, handing England a lead of 33 runs on Thursday. Later in the day, the English side suffered a nightmare innings when India's spin duo of Axar and Ashwin derailed their batting line up.

England got bowled out for 81 in the second innings and set India a target of 49, which the home side chased down before the end of Day two's play.

Axar, playing his only second Test for India, finished with figures of 11 for 70 – which was the best figures in a day-night Test. Ashwin and Axar claimed their respective feats on the second day of the third Test.

Ashwin overtook New Zealand great Sir Richard Hadlee and Dale Steyn of South Africa, who were joint-second on the list of fastest bowlers to 400 scalps in the longest format. The duo took 80 Tests while Ashwin bagged the 400th in his 77th match. Muttiah Muralitharan reached the milestone in 72 Tests.

The 34-year-old Chennai spinner clinched the landmark wicket by removing England tail-ender Jofra Archer in England's second innings on Thursday. Ashwin was the fourth Indian to enter the 400-club in Test cricket after Anil Kumble (619 wickets), Kapil Dev (434 wickets), and Harbhajan Singh (417 wickets).

Interestingly, Ashwin was also the quickest bowler to 300 wickets in the history of Test cricket, reaching the milestone only in his 54th match. He had bettered Australian legend Dennis Lillee (56 Tests) to become the new record holder. At that time, Ashwin was also the second-fastest ever to 200 Test wickets, behind Clarrie Grimmett (36). Ashwin had reached the milestone in 37 Tests. Pakistan's Yasir Shah now holds the record for being the fastest bowler (33 Tests) to 200 Test wickets.

Meanwhile, Axar – the Player of the Match, now has 18 wickets from two Test appearances.

Reacting to India's magnificent win in the third Test, captain Virat Kohli termed the game as "bizarre" while he also pointed out that India's batting did not match their standards even though it was a good wicket to bat on in the first innings.

"To be honest, I don't think the quality of batting was up to standards. We were 100 for 3 and then we were bowled out for less than 150. It was just the odd ball turning and it was a good wicket to bat in the first innings. It was bizarre that 21 of the 30 wickets fell to straight balls, Test cricket is about trusting your defence. Lack of application ensured it was a quick finish. Bumrah said I am getting work load management while playing. Ishant said I am playing my 100th game and still don't get to bowl. I have never experienced this before.

A bizarre game that got over in 2 days. A lot of people were relieved when Jaddu got injured. But then this guy comes in. Bowls it quicker and from a bigger height as well. If the wicket has something in it, Axar is very lethal. I think we need to stand up and take notice of what Ashwin has done. In Tests, he is a modern-day legend. As a captain, I am so pleased he is in my team. We have to be ready for the hard grind. Few days extra off with a hectic schedule is welcoming," Kohli said at the post-match presentation.

With the disappointing loss in the third Test, England is officially out of the 2019-21 World Test Championship (WTC). However, India need to win the fourth Test to qualify for the final, which is scheduled to be held in June. A draw result in the series will mean Australia will play already-qualified New Zealand in the final at the Lord's.

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