Ashwin and Patel destroy England on Day 3; claim place in WTC final – India vs England

India defeated England 3-1 to claim their place in the WTC final

India vs England day 3 – Ashwin and Patel destroy England

India claimed their place in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand after spin bowlers Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel took 5 wickets each, punishing England following another poor batting display on Day 3.

After India added another 71 runs on top of their 294 total from yesterday, in which Washington Sundar finished on 96 not out from 174 balls, England couldn’t force the hosts to bat again after a feeble second innings saw them go 135 all out – winning by an innings and 25 runs.

Different day, same poor batting display

England's Dan Lawrence scored a half-century against India
Lawrence’s half-century was England’s only positive of the day against India

England needed 160 to make India return to bat. However, a combination of subpar batting by the visitors as well as stunning bowling by Ashwin (5-47) and Patel (5-48) saw them split all 10 wickets, despite Dan Lawrence’s half-century from 95 balls.

England was doomed from the get-go, falling to 30-4 in just over 13 overs. Zak Crawley was first to go when Ashwin’s first over led to Crawley (5 off 16) being caught at first slip by Ajinkya Rahane. Then on the next ball, Jonny Bairstow was dismissed for a first-ball duck when he was caught at short leg by Rohit Sharma.

Dom Sibley (3 off 21) was caught by Rishabh Pant after Patel’s full ball on middle (9.6 overs) before Ben Stokes (2 off 9) was caught by Virat Kohli at short leg (13.1 overs).

Dan Lawrence was the only England batsman – Joe Root held out for over an hour with his 30 off 72 – to put up any real numbers against India’s bowling onslaught, scoring a half-century from 95 balls before his dismissal by Ashwin was the final wicket taken.

“India’s spinners tormented the England batsmen”

India celebrate during Day 3 against England
India’s Ravichandran Ashwin was awarded player of the series for his superb bowling against England

As per with the past 2 tests, England couldn’t handle the elite bowling of India spinners Ashwin and Patel – with England losing all their wickets to spinners for the third successive test.

BBC’s Stephan Shemit called their performance a “mastery” as well as noting that Ashwin and Patel’s “sleight of hand, natural variation and relentless accuracy” was the cause for England’s struggles with the bat on Day 3.

This is clearly evident when you consider the Indian duo finished the series with 59 wickets between them – although Patel missed the first test. This clearly speaks volumes as to how effective and dominant they were, with Ashwin being awarded player of the series for his fantastic effort with the ball.

“The scars from this defeat will take a long time to heal”

England's batting was terrible against India
England’s Jonny Bairstow was dismissed for a first-ball duck against India on Day 3

Although there’s no denying that India dominated with their bowling – England didn’t exactly help themselves with their batting. Another dreadful display by the visitors saw 6 of their batters in the second innings dismissed with less than 6 runs.

The Telegraph’s Chief Cricket Correspondent, Nick Hoult, says how “the scars from this defeat will take a long time to heal” as well as describing their batting as “pitiful” before adding how England’s “callow batsmen” were “not good enough”.

It’s impossible not to agree with Hoult. England failed to adjust to India’s spinners, falling consistently with poor decision-making and disappointing techniques that ultimately cost the visitors dearly.

Albeit their 578 in the first test, England only managed to score over 200 once in the following 3, unable to produce a 50-run partnership since the first innings of the series – thoroughly demonstrating a selection issue within the England ranks that needs to be addressed with their T20 against India looming on the horizon.


Reactions following India’s Day 3 massacre against England

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