Mohali: India spinners once again held centrestage as the hosts produced a clinical performance to cruise to a comfortable eight-wicket victory on the fourth day of the third cricket Test and thereby take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
The trio of Ravichandran Ashwin (3/81), Ravindra Jadeja (2/62) and Jayant Yadav (2/21) shared bulk of the spoils to dismiss the visitors for 236 in their second innings. Comeback man Parthiv Patel then made a mockery of the target of 103 runs, smashing his way to an unbeaten 67 off 53 balls studded with 11 fours and a six.
Fittingly he finished the match with a boundary over extra cover in company of Virat Kohli. Parthiv and Cheteshwar Pujara (25) added 81 runs in only 15.2 overs in what turned out to be an easy chase completed in 20.2 overs.
Parthiv was in a mood to display his ‘T20 skills’ as he took on the pacers and spinners alike with minimum fuss. The 50 came off 39 balls with eight boundaries and a six. His prowess at the top of the order will give Kohli and coach Anil Kumble another option for opening slot.
Earlier, credit should be given to young Haseeb Hameed for his gritty unbeaten 59 off 156 balls coming in at No 8 due to a finger injury that helped England cross 200-run mark. He hit six fours and a six off Ashwin to complete his second Test half-century. It was because of the teenager that India had to chase a 100 plus target.
It was a match where England were outbatted and outbowled by an Indian side that has been plagued by injuries. But Ashwin as usual put up a lion-hearted performance once again scoring a 72 and bagging four wickets. Equally creditable was the all-round effort of the other two specialist spinners — Jadeja (90 run and 4 wickets) and Jayant (55 runs and 4 wickets).
Having polished off the top-order save Joe Root, the question on fourth day was not how but when will India finish the match. The only wicket that would have seriously bothered them was that of Joe Root. But post Root, Hameed did put up a fight but it was always for a losing cause.
Root, who was standing between India and victory, was dismissed for 78 by Jadeja (2/39 in 23 overs), who got one to turn away sharply as the edge was taken by an alert Ajinkya Rahane, who reacted quickly to stretch his right hand.
Root played 179 balls hitting six fours in the process. Root got an able ally in young Hameed as the duo added 45 runs in 119 balls for the seventh wicket stand. It was this pair that erased the 134 run deficit. Once Jadeja removed the gutsy Root minutes before lunch, the writing was there on the wall.
But Hameed delayed the inevitable and showed that he is one for the future with correct technique and a temperament to match with it.
England: 283 & 236 all out in 90.2 overs (Joe Root 78, Haseeb Hameed 59 not out; Ravichandran Ashwin 3/81, Jayant Yadav 2/21).
India: 417 & 104 for 2 in 20.2 overs (Parhtiv Patel 67 not out; Chris Woakes 1/16).