England defeated India by 227 runs on day five of the first test in Chennai to record a historic victory.
Joe Root's side, needing nine wickets to win on the final day, wrapped up proceedings well before tea after impressive bowling from James Anderson (3/17) and Jack Leach (4/76) to take a 1-0 lead in the four match series.
Bright start for tourists
Leach started off proceedings for England following his peach that dismissed Rohit Sharma late on day four, but the left-armer saw his first over go for eight runs - perhaps a sign of India’s intent of the day.
Jofra Archer started from the opposite end, perhaps a little slow, but it was Leach who struck first when he picked up the vital wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara for 15. Leach, again extracting significant turn from the surface, deceived Pujara, who tried to turn the ball onto the off side. The ball clipped the top of the bat, and looped to Ben Stokes at slip for a simple catch, leaving India 58/2.
Dom Bess was soon into the attack and saw his first ball slapped through mid off, before almost having Shubman Gill caught off a full toss - the opener’s effort just wide of Dom Sibley in the deep.
Gill slapped Bess for six over long on as the youngster continued to impress, with Bess struggling yet again with inconsistencies in line and length.
Anderson at his best
Gill was soon at 50 - his third half century in just his fourth match - but then the James Anderson show began.
The 27th over of the innings saw one of Anderson’s greatest spells. Gill was soon on his way, 50 and out, as Anderson, pitching the ball just wide of off, delivered a beauty, reversing into Gill and sending off stump cartwheeling.
Ajinkya Rahane was in and almost back out immediately, with Anderson, bowling almost an identical delivery, smacking India’s number five on the pads. The umpire said no; impact umpire’s call on review.
But it didn’t matter. The very next ball, a dismissal mirroring Gill’s. Rahane missed, Anderson hit, and off stump was again out the ground. India, in trouble, were 92-4 with a long way to go.
That wicket brought Rishabh Pant in at six. Many were eager to see how the Indian wicketkeeper would play given his attacking nature at the end situation.
As he did in the first innings, Pant took to Jack Leach early, but his stay, overall was short. Anderson struck again, around the wicket to Pant, who, trying to work the ball into the leg slide, flicked a thick outside edge to Joe Root at short cover.
In at seven was one of the heroes of the first innings; Washington Sundar, who ended not out on 85 in India’s first effort.
Like those before him, though, his stay was short. Dom Bess was back into the attack and picked up the all rounder on review, spinning a neat delivery away from the left hander, drawing a thick outside edge that was well held by Jos Buttler.
Bess then started the struggle, delivering three full tosses in a row to Virat Kohli. A batsman of Kohli’s skill and ability wasn’t going to miss out on those, and slapped the Yorkshireman’s efforts back for three fours.
With Bess struggling at one end, Archer was brought back into the attack as play neared lunch. The quick delivered a hostile spell to number eight Ravichandran Ashwin to end the session, hitting him on the glove, arm and helmet, but the spinner stood strong. England, though, would have been more than happy going into lunch.
India captain Kohli was planning on sticking around, and he moved to his 24th test 50 soon after lunch with a flick onto the leg side off Anderson. 74 balls for his effort, with six fours.
Sprinting to victory
Ben Stokes was introduced for his first bowl of the game but looked ineffective as Kohli continued to score, but Leach struck at around 7:30am UK time, ending Ashwin’s fire resistance. The Somerset man, extracting some more bounce, got one to rise on Ashwin and Buttler took another smart catch, this time off the gloves of the Ashwin as he tried to cut.
Stokes toiled away, and Kohli looked in control, guiding the England all rounder through third man for four to go into the 70s. But Stokes struck soon after, hitting a rough patch on the pitch - the ball kept low, leaving Kohli with almost no chance, and he had to turn around and see his off stump out the ground.
Kohli was out for 72, and, with that dismissal went India’s chances. With Shahbaz Nadeem and Ishant Sharma at the crease it was only a matter of time.
Leach drifted another into Nadeem, who edged to Rory Burns via Jos Buttler for a duck, and after England thought they had Ishant soon after, but a replay showed the wind had blown off the bails.
The victory was indeed soon wrapped up, however, as Jasprit Bumrah edged Archer to Buttler for four, leaving India all out on 192 and 227 runs short of England.
The win was England’s sixth in a row away from home, and Joe Root’s 26th as captain, moving him level with Michael Vaughan for the most wins ever as England captain.
One of England’s greatest ever away wins - and the second test begins in Chennai on Saturday.