Ashwin-Kohli heroics help India break Wankhede jinx against England

Rajat Kain

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Breaking the Wankhede jinx against England after 23 years, India defeated visiting team on Monday morning to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five test series. India’s last victory against England on this very ground had come in December 1993.

In what was Ashwin-Kohli show all the way, India emerged a better team, winning fourth test by an innings and 36 runs. Ashwin took six wickets in the both the innings, while Kohli shone with the bat slamming a double ton.

India began the fifth day at Wankhede needing just four English wickets, which was 49 runs behind to erase the deficit and make India bat again. That, however, appeared an uphill task for the visitors, who had struggled against Indian twirlers all through the series.

Ashwin sent back Jonny Bairstow (51), Chris Woakes (0), Adil Rashid (2) and the last man James Anderson (2) in quick succession to settle the issue. The ace spinner leads the tally with 27 wickets in the series, with one more test to go.

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This is also, incidentally, for the first time that India had defeated the visiting team in a home game after conceding 400 runs in the first innings.

The game was neatly balanced till a good halfway mark as hosts struggled to get past England’s total, losing 7 wickets at score line of 364. But that was about it.

Skipper Virat Kohli, aided by 3-test rookie Jayant Yadav, cobbled English attack slamming his third double ton of the test match career. The two amassed a whopping 241-run partnership for the 8th wicket. In the process, 26-year-old too reached his maiden ton with a very well made 104.

But the game belonged to Kohli, also adjudged the man of the match, who helped script fifth successive series victory under his own captaincy, following wins against Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, New Zealand and now against England.

The victories against Sri Lanka and West Indies had come on their home soil.

Besides Kohli and Ashwin, Murali Vijya with his 136 and Ravindra Jadeja, consuming six wickets, played a crucial role in clinching the test and with this the series.

With the Anthony de Mello trophy back in India after having been lost to Alastair Cook’s side in 2012, the fifth and final test in Chennai starting December 16-20 is now a dead rubber for all practical purpose.