India thumped England by an innings and 25 runs inside three days in the fourth and final test to complete a 3-1 series victory in Ahmedabad on Saturday (March 6).
India’s 13th consecutive test series victory at home also secured their place in the June final of the World Test Championship against New Zealand.
Having conceded a first-innings lead of 160, England needed a vastly improved batting performance in their bid to level the series.
But their frailties against spin bowling were laid bare again as Joe Root’s men folded for 135 with more than two days to spare in the match.
India’s spin duo of Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin wreaked havoc, taking all 10 wickets between them, ensuring India took the series despite losing the opening match.
“We found ourself in some sticky situations, and all of these tests barring… yes, all three tests after the 1-0 situation and I think every time, somebody managed to stand up. I think that ability to stand up was directly relational to how we’ve bonded together as a team in these moments,” said Ashwin.
Ashin also praised the team spirit, partly created by the team being forced by health restrictions to live in a “bio-bubble” for about the last six months.
“I think the team morale, the team spirit and also the kind of bonding the team’s built because of these bio-bubbles is something that I’ve not experienced in the last decade of cricket that I’ve played with the team,” he said.
For Root, the series had been one of missed opportunities after they had won the opening test.
“There have been times when we’ve had a chance to wrestle the game in our favour, get on top, we just didn’t manage to do it. I think India played those important key moments better than us the last three games, and they deserve the credit for being able to do that better than we could,” he said.
(Production: Mike Brock)