It's time to bid goodbye from the commentary box. Not only I am happy as an Indian fan but also happy as I will some three days rest in between. Like always it was a pleasure bringing the live commentary for you. Until the start of the final Test, it's adieus from me, Arya Sekhar Chakraborty and my co-commentators Nikhil Kulkarni and Somya Kapoor.
So that's the end of a pretty strange Test match. People will argue that it was not the best of pitch and rightfully so. However, to be very honest it wasn't that bad for a Test match to get over in less than two days. Quite staggering but it was the lack of application from batsmen from both sides rather than the pitch which accounted for most of the wickets.
Axar Patel, the Man of the Match: It seems easy when it (Test-match five-for) happens, otherwise it feels different. Now that it's happening, I just want to continue my work - not thinking it's easy or difficult. Now that I am taking wickets, no one is making fun of my batting (only 7 runs, laughs). But I hope to contribute with the bat more too (smiling). My strengths are that my bowling is wicket-to-wicket. Don't give batsmen room. Want them to induce mistakes and making things tough for them to score runs. In today's day and age, batsmen have a mindset of sweeping or playing over the top after a few maiden overs, so that's what I try to do. He says that when I bowl a fast arm-ball, he calls me Wasim bhai. Rahane used to call me that, now Rishabh does. Hope to get similar pitches/wickets, so that my form continues too.
Virat Kohli, India Captain: To be honest, I don't think the quality of batting was at all up to standard from both teams to be honest. They were bundled out...and lack of application from both sides. The ball was coming on nicely yesterdat and the odd ball was turning. The batting was below-par from both sides. It was bizarre that out of 30 wickets, 21 was to straight balls. It was down to lapse of concentration or playing for turn and beating on the inside. Test cricket is all about it - this is a classic example of batsmen not applying themselves enough. Bumrah said I'm getting workload management while playing the game and Ishi said 'I'm playing my hundredth game and not getting a bowl'. Eventually, he (Washington Sundar) was happy that he got three balls in the whole game. He didn't get any with the bat also - poor guy. Bizarre game - I've never been part of a Test match where things have moved so quickly. A lot of people when Jaddu got injured might have been relieved but this guy (Axar) comes in and bowls faster than Jadeja at that height. I don't know what's with Gujaratis and left-arm spin. Along with Jaddu, Ash, Washi has played Test cricket, but to come here and do this with outstanding. We all need to stand up and be proud of what Ashwin has contributed. I told him I will call him ledge from today, he's a modern-day legend. It was a game of quick-fire runs and quick wickets, but we're going to prepare ourselves for the long grind. A few days off with the hectic schedule is nice as well.
Joe Root, England skipper: We won the toss and batted first, but we didn't capitalise on that. We could've got 250, which would've been a good total. I'd say one element was the ball - the plastic coating there gathers pace off the wicket - to be brutally honest. Both sides struggled with that throughout the game. We don't define ourselves on a performance like that. I think, more than anything, we shouldn't have any baggage going into the last game. We have some fine players and batsmen who are more than capable of making big scores. Yeah, I think it [my five-for] sort of sums up the wicket and gives a fair amount of spin. Ash getting 400 wickets is a great achievement.
Ravichandran Ashwin: It feels amazing actually [to reach 400 Test wickets]. The entire stadium stood up and clapped for me. Pleased it happened in the winning cause. But Axar bowled beautifully in the third innings. I can't really get a grip of what has happened in the last 2-3 months. It has been a dreamy run and a fairytale. I thought I would not start in Australia, but Jadeja got injured and I worked hard in the lockdown. Both Virat and Ravi bhai had a chat with me in Australia about my batting, and they saw something special in my bowling. I think my bowling was coming along beautifully in the IPL too. I lost about 7-8 kgs in the lockdown and everything looked upwards for me. I don't know if I'm ageing, but it's incredibly hard to watch the game. To come back [after losing the first Test] and win it is even more special. In 2015-16 everyone asked me (if I'm bowling at my best), in 2016-17, one thing is sure I've always wanted to improve. I won't be surprised if I improve further in the future.
Arya: England lost the wicket of Zak Crawley in the very first delivery of the innings. The ball turned enough to dislodge the stumps as Crawley played the wrong line. Yet again a straighter delivery accounted for Jonny Bairstow as there was a huge gap between the bat and the pad and the ball breached his defence as the visiting side was down to 0/2. Just when the partnership of Dom Sibley and Root started flourishing, Sibley was dismissed as he went for an expansive sweep. There was a brief partnership between Ben Stokes and he Root, the skipper looked in good touch but both fell in quick succession as Ashwin and Axar accounted for Stokes and Root respectively. From there on, Ashwin and Axar literally ran through the English lower order as they was skittled out for a meagre 81 runs. A target of 49 was never going to challenge India as they ended up winning the game in just the 8th over. Rohit Sharma took on the attack and smashed his way to an unbeaten 21 while Gill remained unbeaten on 15. A strange Test match to be honest.
Arya: A total of 18 wickets fell on the 2nd day's play as India registered a convincing 10 wickets victory. India began the day's play on 99/3 in their first innings and had a horror start to the day. Rahane was dismissed very early on and that started a collapse. Rohit Sharma looked in solid touch and played some brilliant shots but was dismissed while attempting an expansive sweep. Joe Root introduced himself and it proved to be a masterstroke. He finished with unreal figures of 5/8 as the Indian batsmen fell like a pack of cards and had no answer in front of his arm balls. The straighter one was the most lethal ball of the match as it accounted for 21 of the 30 dismissals in the match. From 98/2, India was skittled out for 145 and everything happened so so fast. It was a great comeback from England and with a lead of just 29 runs, England truly believed that they were well and truly back in the game but what transpired in the 3rd session was another moment of wonder.
Arya: That's the end of the Test match in less than two days. Incredible won't be enough to describe what transpired in the last two days. I am not really in a position to comprehend the proceedings over the last two days. Whether or not it was the lack of application from the batsmen or the indifferent nature of the pitch which resulted in one of the shortest Test match is difficult to answer.
7.4 Joe Root to Rohit Sharma
6 SIX!!! Rohit finishes off in style, steps down the track and deposits this well over deep midwicket and the ball goes sailing over the ropes for a six, which brings an end to a fascinating Test match that ends in less than two days, flabbergasted to say the least.
7.3 Joe Root to Rohit Sharma
0 Digs this fuller delivery out back to the bowler.
7.2 Joe Root to Rohit Sharma
4 FOUR!!! back to back boundaries for Rohit, short of a length delivery outside off and Rohit stamps his authority on the ball, cuts it hard and finds the boundary down deep extra cover.
7.1 Joe Root to Rohit Sharma
4 FOUR!!! slightly fuller length and Rohit opens up his arms, sits on his knees and slog sweeps this wide of deep midwicket for a boundary, misfield allows the ball to trickle to the ropes, hits hit from the inside half of his bat but a boundary nonetheless.
6.6 Jack Leach to Shubman Gill
0 Too full by Leach on this occasion, Gill digs this out down the ground.
6.5 Jack Leach to Shubman Gill
0 Pushes this back of a length delivery down the leg side.
6.4 Jack Leach to Shubman Gill
0 Tossed up on the stumps, Gill lunges forward and defends this off the frontfoot
6.3 Jack Leach to Shubman Gill
0 Another back of a length delivery outside off which keeps a bit low, defended off the backfoot
6.2 Jack Leach to Shubman Gill
0 Back of a length turning away from Gill, keeps a bit low but safely negotiated,
6.1 Jack Leach to Shubman Gill
0 Tossed up outside off, Gill pushes this down the cover fielder off the frontfoot.