England crumble in Chennai: Hosts rally after tea to secure 4-0 series victory
A six wicket haul for just 15 runs all but summed up England’s miserable Test record in India this winter as they succumbed to a 4-0 series defeat at the hands of the hosts.
Despite heading into tea on 192-5 in the fifth and final Test, the visitors collapsed to 207 all-out in Chennai to lose their second successive Test by an innings.
India had amassed a huge first innings score of 759-7, meaning England has to register at least 282 runs to force a follow-on.
Starting the day on 12-0, they looked well on their way to reaching this goal when the first wicket fell with 103 on the board.
First Alistair Cook clipped a wide Ravindra Jadeja delivery to KL Rahul at leg slip just one run short of his half-century, whilst fellow opening batsmen, Keaton Jennings, made just five more runs before he was caught on 54.
When Joe Root came out knowing that he needed just 11 runs to break Michael Vaughn’s record for Test runs in a calendar year by an English batsman, hope, temporarily, seemed to be restored for fans in the stands.
Unfortunately, that hope was short-lived as the Yorkshire cricketer managed just five runs before being given out LBW on review to Jadeja.
Jonny Bairstow also had his eyes on Vaughan’s record when he stepped up to the crease yet fell to a stunning catch in the deep from Jadeja.
The spinner charged back to apprehend a lofted leg clip from Bairstow and take the ball over his shoulder.
England found themselves on 129-4 at this stage and needed a strong middle-order display to avoid a collapse in front of a raucous home crowd.
The visitors were able to see themselves through to tea thanks to a partnership between Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes, yet it was after the break that the home side picked off their opponents with ease.
Moeen came down the track to Jadeja for a big shot but failed to clear Ashwin at mid on and went for 44. Stokes joined him two overs later as he clipped a gripper from Jadeja straight to Karun Nair at mid-wicket to hand the bowler his fifth scalp of the innings.
By the time Liam Dawson was bowled by Mishra for 0, England had lost three wickets for five runs. Adil Rashid was the next to go, a leading edge flying to that man Jadeja at point off Umesh Yadav.
Fittingly, Jadeja wrapped proceedings with his sixth and seventh wickets. Stuart Broad gloved to Cheteshwar Pujara at leg slip before Jake Ball prodded at a turner and found Karun Nair. It handed Jadeja his maiden 10-fer in Test cricket and his best figures to boot.
With the ODI series starting in January, England will be hoping a New Year will bring new fortunes in India.