Bumrah stars as India down England to level series
Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah took a match haul of nine wickets to lead India’s 106-run win over England in the second Test on Monday and level the five-match series.
Chasing a record 399 for victory, England were bowled out for 292 in the second session on day four in Visakhapatnam, despite an attacking start and Zak Crawley’s 73.
Bumrah and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who ended the match on 499 Test wickets, took three each in the final innings and the pace spearhead bowled Tom Hartley to seal the win.
Shubman Gill set up the comeback victory for the hosts with his 104 on day three to set England, who won the opening Test, a daunting target.
England came out swinging with their “Bazball” brand of cricket, Crawley and company hitting boundaries despite losing wickets.
Skipper Ben Stokes said he had “full belief” that they could chase the total down.
“The way we have gone about taking on challenges like that is what we are about,” he said.
“In moments like that, when you have scoreboard pressure, that is when we get the best out of ourselves as individuals,” added Stokes.
“The way we applied ourselves and put India under pressure was great, unfortunately we didn’t end up on the right side of the result.”
India’s left-arm spinner Axar Patel got a key breakthrough when he trapped Rehan Ahmed lbw for 23, after the nightwatchman hit five fours in his 31-ball knock.
Ollie Pope hammered five boundaries in his brief stay at the wicket, before Ashwin had him caught at slip on 23.
Joe Root showed no signs of the finger injury which kept him out of the field for much of Sunday as he reverse-swept for two fours.
But he fell for 16 while attempting a slog off Ashwin, who remains one away from entering the 500-wicket club.
The chase soon lost steam with two wickets in five balls before lunch, including Crawley out lbw off left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
The lbw appeal was turned down by the on-field umpire but India successfully reviewed the call.
Jonny Bairstow followed just four balls later, with England at 194-6.
Stokes attempted to get the chase back on track after lunch, but a direct hit by Shreyas Iyer had the left-hander run out on 11 while eyeing a quick single.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes (36) and the left-handed Hartley (also 36) put on a stubborn stand of 55 but Bumrah, named player of the match, broke through to get Foakes caught and bowled.
The Three Lions nevertheless stuck to their fearless style, which has got them 14 wins in 20 matches under coach Brendon McCullum, nicknamed “Baz”, and Stokes.
Bumrah played a key role with his six wickets in England’s first-innings total of 253 as the tourists conceded a crucial lead of 143.
“He’s a champion player for us, he has done the job for us for a while,” said Indian skipper Rohit Sharma.
“When you win a game like that you have to look at the overall performance. We know that winning a Test match in these conditions is not going to be easy, the bowlers stepped up.”
Veteran England pace bowler James Anderson finished with a match haul of five wickets to take his tally to 695 in a glittering Test career, which began in 2003.
The third Test starts February 15 in Rajkot and the teams will take a break beforehand, with England expected to fly to the United Arab Emirates for the week.