Former England batsman Ian Bell has ruled out any chance of England winning the ongoing second Test against India in Chennai and has advised them to focus on taking some momentum back. Powered by Ravichandran Ashwin’s century on a challenging pitch, India set England a mammoth 482 runs to win after being bowled out for 286 on the third day at Chepauk. Also Read - India vs England, Motera Pitch Controversy: Rohit Sharma Claims Batsmen Committed Mistakes
Ashwin benefitted from two dropped catches to score 106 off 148 – his first three-figure in the format since 2016. Alongside his captain Virat Kohli, the allrounder arrested an Indian collapse that saw them lose five wickets in the first session. Also Read - Anil Kumble Would Have Taken 1000 Wickets on Such Pitches: Yuvraj Singh
“India are going to win this Test,” Bell tweeted after India’s innings ended in the final session of the day’s play. “England came into this Test with all the momentum. A combination of India brilliance, bad luck (toss) & selection means they’ve lost a great deal of it. England must wrestle some momentum back now.” Also Read - IND vs ENG: Ravichandran Ashwin Anointed 'Modern-Day Legend' After Record-Equalling Feat
Ashwin, for the third time in his career, has taken a five-wicket haul and hit century in the third Test. He had taken 5/43 – his 29th in Tests – to help India bowl out England or 134 as they took a big lead on the basis of first innings.
Ashwin’s innings featured 14 fours and a six and he was the last wicket to fall when bowled by England pacer Olly Stone. Kohli was the next best scorer in the innings, hitting 62 off 149 with seven fours.
England are aiming for an unassailable 2-0 lead after their crushing 227-run win in the series opener, also played at the same venue but on a different pitch.
The pitch has polarised opinions with the likes of Michael Vaughan terming it as a ‘beach’ while Sunil Gavaskar thrashing those claims that the pitch is anything but unplayable and instead called it as challenging.
The third and fourth Test of the series will be played in Ahmedabad.