Indian players hold the trophy as they pose for photographs after defeating England on the Day Three of the 4th Test, at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday. (More reports on page 7). (PTI)
AXAR Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin once again made a mockery of an eternally confused English batting line-up as India cantered into the inaugural World Test Championship final with a resounding innings and 25 run victory on the third afternoon of the fourth and final Test here on Saturday. All India needed was a draw to book a Lord’s date in June with Kane Williamson’s New Zealand but Patel (24-6-48-5), in company of Ashwin (22.5-4-47-5), literally blew England away in a session and half for a paltry 135 in 54.5 overs to complete a 3-1 rout, ensuring that the Anthony De Mello Trophy will stay at the Cricket Centre in Mumbai.
It was another two and half days finish but even the most partisan England experts like their former skipper Michael Vaughan have admitted that the 22-yard strip had almost nothing to do with their side’s abject surrender. A case in point could be India’s first innings score of 365 and a lead of 160 on the same track where England could cumulatively manage only 340 runs across two innings.
This was one Test match where Indians, even before a ball being bowled, created an illusion of a turning track. It was a ploy of playing with the minds of a team that was already in a negative zone. A lot of credit for this victory should go to the indomitable Rishabh Pant, who played the enforcer on the second day with a magnificent hundred, and Washington Sundar, who notched up a chiselled 96. These two knocks literally made it impossible for England to make a comeback as a total of 365 seemed like 650.