Jubilant England after the victory
Jubilant England after the victory

Chennai: England secured their sixth successive win in Asia as they beat India by 227 runs in the first Test at the Chepauk Stadium here on Tuesday.

After their skipper put them on the winning track with his splendid 218 in his 100th Test match, the ageless James Anderson provided the punch taking three wickets in his five-over spell, as the visitors topped the points tally in their quest for the World Test Championship, to be held at the Lords later this year.

Virat Kohli-led side will look to level this four-Test match series when they assemble here for the second Test starting from February 13, before the teams leave for Ahmedabad for yet another two-Test matches to be played at the new-look Motera Stadium which now has a capacity of over a lakh spectators.

Veteran James Anderson's artistic spell of reverse swing showed of grit as England decimated India by a comprehensive 227-run margin.

A target of 420, with 381 left on the fifth day worn out Chepauk track, was always a tough ask going by cricketing logic and Anderson's mid-morning burst blew away the Indian middle-order. In the end, the hosts could manage only 192 in 58.1 overs.

That spell ensured that there wasn't a Sydney like heist or the magic of Brisbane final day which many had hoped for despite the world record target.

Kohli (72 off 104 balls) seemed like a lonely general standing on a burning deck as he showed his colleagues how to bat on a difficult track.

But there was that one ball that was always going to keep low and he got that from Ben Stokes.

Anderson (11-4-17-3), the match became a mismatch within an hour and India now needs to win two out of the next three Tests to qualify for the World Test Championship final in June.

The player of the match honours went to England skipper Joe Root for his match-defining double hundred in the first innings.

It was left-arm spinner Jack Leach (26-4-76-4), who after his first innings humiliation at the hands of Rishabh Pant, finished with the best figures but the effort paled in comparison to the effect that Anderson had on the psyche of the Indian team.

The man from Burnley, Anderson in his 19th Test match season, showed his artistry with a semi-new ball, on a fifth-day track and sapping Chennai heat, far removed conditions from the grey skies and cool breeze that Old Trafford gives him.

Wasim Akram made reverse swing fashionable as a pro in Lancashire and Anderson spent his teenage years watching the Sultan of Swing practice his craft.

But what he did on Tuesday would have certainly made Akram proud as the Indian batting line-up, save Kohli, didn't have an idea as to how they could stop Anderson.

At 38 years 194 days and in his 158th Test match, Anderson became an example of why one should never discount experience.

Ishant Sharma, on the first two days, bowled a few spells of lively reverse swing. What Ishant did well, Anderson just did that way better.

Gill (50, 83 balls) once again looked dazzling till the time he was at the crease. The sinewy wrists were in play as he hit seven fours and a six, dealing with spinners comfortably.

It was the 27th over when Anderson first came into the attack and the second ball was a perfect reverse inswinger which had Gill in a daze as the off-stump went for a walk.

The way the shiny part on the inside tailed in was a sight to behold.

Rahane (0), for all the appreciation coming his way, was in very poor form for the better part of the Australia series, save a hundred at MCG where he was dropped thrice.

The first ball he faced on Tuesday was another one that came back a shade and it was hitting the middle of the middle stump with the Umpires' Call saving the vice-captain of what looked like a plumb leg before.

The wily Anderson realised that an out-of-form Rahane's feet are not moving.

The next time he just went a shade wide off the crease and delivered another reverse inswinger. Rahane knew that there was no comeback.

From 92 for 2, it was 110 for five and Kohli cut a lonely figure at the other end.

Washington Sundar (0) was then picked by Dom Bess with the one that turned away leaving India in complete tatters.


England 1st Innings: 578 & 178

India 1st Innings: 337

2nd innings (Overnight 39-one)

S Gill b Anderson 50

C Pujara c Stokes b Leach 15

V Kohli b Stokes 72

A Rahane b Anderson 0

R Pant c Root b Anderson 11

W Sundar c Buttler b Bess 0

R Ashwin c Buttler b Leach 9

S Nadeem c Burns b Leach 0

I Sharma not out 5

J Bumrah c Buttler b Archer 4

Extras: (b-8, lb-5, nb-1) 14

TOTAL: (58.1 overs) 192

FoW: 1-25 (Rohit Sharma), 2-58 (Cheteshwar Pujara), 3-92 (Shubman Gill), 4-92 (Ajinkya Rahane), 5-110 (Rishabh Pant), 6-117 (Washington Sundar), 7-171 (Ravichandran Ashwin), 8-179 (Virat Kohli), 9-179 (Shahbaz Nadeem), 10-192 (Jasprit Bumrah)

BOWLING: Jofra Archer 9.1-4-23-1, Jack Leach 26-4-76-4, James Anderson 11-4-17-3, Dom Bess8-0-50-1, Ben Stokes 4-1-13-1

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