Good news for Indian cricket fans as Virat Kohli’s men have taken a huge step towards sealing a berth in the ICC World Test Championship final with a thumping win over England in the just-concluded third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on Thursday. Now, India need to need to win or draw the last Test at the same venue to book a place in the final of the World Test Championship at the Lord’s cricket ground. New Zealand have already sealed their spot for the final. Also Read - IPL 2021: MS Dhoni Fined For 12 Lakhs For Slow Over-Rate in CSK's Season Opening Match Against Delhi Capitals
Kohli and Co. have played six series in the WTC 2019-21 cycle in which they have won 11 Tests, lost four matches and played a single draw. India boast a solid winning percentage of 71 and have accumulated 490 points so far after the pink-ball Test. Whereas, New Zealand, who have a total of 420 points, have participated in five series under WTC – won seven matches and lost four. If England win the fourth and final Test against India at Motera, Australia will automatically qualify for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand. Also Read - IPL 2021: Harshal Patel Knows About His Role For Royal Challengers Bangalore in Advance, Says It Gave me Lot of Clarity
Australia occupy the third position in the ICC World Test Championship points table with 332 points and 69.2 percentage. They had played four series – won eight matches and lost four. Australia have also played a couple of draws. Meanwhile, England are out of race for final in the World Test Championship. With a percentage of 64.1 and 442 points – England have won 11 matches, lost six and played three draws in the WTC cycle. Also Read - MS Dhoni vs Rishabh Pant in IPL 2021 Preview: Chennai Super Kings Take on Delhi Capitals in Their Season Opener at Wankhede Stadium
Talking about the third day-night Test, India registered only their second Test victory inside two days, overhauling a meagre target of 49 against England to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-match series.
The last time India won inside two days in a Test was in 2018, beating Afghanistan in Bengaluru. England’s previous Test loss inside two days came way back in 1921 against Australia.
There was no end to England’s batting woes against the spin duo of Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin as the side folded for 81 in its second innings. This was the team’s lowest Test total against India.
Openers Rohit Sharma (25) and Shubman Gill (15) then completed the formalities in 7.4 overs, barely half an hour into the final session of the day.
Earlier, Patel picked five wickets in the English second essay, adding to his outstanding haul of six in the first innings. His became the best bowling performance in a pink-ball match.
Ashwin, on the other hand, added four more to his first-day spoils of three scalps to cross the 400-wicket mark in the longest format.
He became the fourth Indian after Anil Kumble (619), Kapil Dev (434) and Harbhajan Singh (417) to achieve the feat. England’s scorecard bore a dismal look with all-rounder Ben Stokes 25 and Ollie Pope’s 12 being the best contributions.
In the afternoon session, India’s first innings folded for 145 with opener Rohit Sharma top-scoring with a 66-run knock. England captain Joe Root returned career-best figures of 5/8 for his team.