The Indian cricket team started off their home season on a terrible note as England defeated the Virat Kohli-led side by 227 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match Test series.
Chasing a record 420-run target to win, listless India were bowled out for 192 in 58.1 overs in their second innings. England left-arm spinner Jack Leach took four for 76 and speedster James Anderson bagged three for 17 as the visitors registered a memorable win. All five bowlers took wickets, with fast bowler Jofra Archer, off-spinner Dominic Bess, and pacer Ben Stokes taking one scalp each.
For India, captain Virat Kohli was the top scorer with 72 off 104 balls while young Shubman Gill chipped in with a 83-ball 50.
After losing opener Rohit Sharma’s wicket early, India were left to chase 381 runs on the fifth day of the match with Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara at the crease. However while Gill and later Kohli steadied the mast for India, English bowlers were ruthless in their approach.
Experienced Anderson stood out with his sensational over early in the day where he uprooted the stumps of Ajinkya Rahane and Gill in a span of four balls. The pacer would later return to send Rishabh Pant back to the pavilion, thus potentially ending India’s chance of winning the match.
India’s successful skipper on the Australian tour, Ajinkya Rahane’s performance was also under the scanner after the experienced batsman returned for a duck in the second innings. He had managed just 1 run in the first.
My issue with Rahane the captain is Rahane the batsman.— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) February 9, 2021
After that 100 in Melbourne his scores are - 27*, 22, 4, 37, 24, 1 & 0. After a 100, class players carry their form & carry the burden of players out of form. #INDvENG
India move on to the second Test match now, which starts from February 11, Saturday, at the MA Chidambaram Cricket Stadium. With a spot at the World Test Championship final also at stake, Kohli will need to pull up his socks now.
Feature Image Courtesy: Alastair Grant / AFP