Cricket: India Beat England Easily, Win Series 4-1

England’s tour of India ended with a one-sided final test match which was completed within three days in Dharamsala. Ultimately, the Indians won by an innings at 64 runs to take the series 4-1.

England won the toss and looked good for the first session of the day, getting to 100-1 before collapsing to 218 all out. Zak Crawley was once again the only batter who could get a meaningful score, making 79 before being dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav.

The English middle order have been the big let down for the team in the series, with Ben Stokes, Jonny Baistow and Joe Root playing below average. 

For the Indians, Ravichandran Ashwin picked up 4 wickets in just 11.4 overs and Yadav had a 5-for for 72 runs.

The Indian first innings got off to a great start with all three of the top order batsmen getting good starts. Yashasvi Jaiswal scored a quick-fire 57 off just 58 balls to put his team in a strong position. Rohit Sharma and Shubhman Gill then pushed on, each scoring a century to push the score past 300. 

In the end, the Indian’s were able to amass a score of 477 to put them 259 runs ahead of the visitors. 

Shoaib Bashir was the pick of the bowlers for England, spinning his way to 5 wickets for 173 runs. James Anderson and Tom Hartley each picked up 2 wickets apiece as well.

Needing 259 to make the home side bat again, England didn’t put up much of a fight, only managing 195 in their second innings. That margin would have been even bigger if Joe Root hadn’t played a solid innings of 84 to prop up a woeful time with the bat.  

Ravichandran Ashwin starred with the ball, marking his 100th Test with a terrific 5-77. 

It should be noted that the top order played some awful strokes, looking like they wanted out of the match. Root was the only player who seemed to want to get stuck in.

Ending at 4-1,this series promised so much for England after they pulled off a sensational win in the first Test in Hyderabad. Unfortunately for them, they just seemed to unravel more and more as the series went on.

India has always been an incredibly difficult place for visiting teams, as they win the 17th successive series which dates back to 2012. The real disappointment for England will be the chance squandered in the second and third tests which they had a chance in.

England will however take some solace in the fact that Harry Brook missed the whole series and Jack Leach played only one Test. They also saw some talent in the spin department as Tom Hartley and Shoabi Bashir impressed in spinning conditions. 

The attention for both teams will now switch to the T20 World Cup which is scheduled to be held in June later this year. England will attempt to defend their title from two years ago.

James Anderson Becomes First Fast Bowler to 700 Wickets

One of the silver linings for the English team was James Anderson becoming the first pace bowler to take 700 Test wickets. The 41-year-old reached the landmark by dismissing Kuldeep Yadav on the third day in Dharamsala. Anderson has reached the milestone in 187 Tests, at an average of 26.52.

Anderson is third all-time on the list of wicket-takers in Tests behind Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan and Australia’s Shane Warne. Muralitharan ended his career with a total of 800 wickets and Warne with 708. 

The nearest pace bowler to Anderson is fellow English fast bowler Stuart Broad, who claimed 604 wickets before his retirement last July. The duo are the only two pace bowlers to reach over 600 wickets, with Australia’s Glenn McGrath previously holding the record at 563.

Of all of Anderson’s 700 wickets he has taken 434 at home and 266 overseas. 117 wickets were taken within the Ashes Tests against Australia. His most successful year came in 2010 when he took a total of 57 Test wickets. He passed 50 in a year on two other occasions, in 2013 and 2017.