Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium | Cricket Today

After already conceding defeat in the 2024 India vs England Test series after the 4th test, the England cricket team would at least hope to scrounge a final victory within the last test to make the result appear more closely contested. However, this would not be the case for the visiting side, with the home nation continuing to showcase why they are one of the leading powerhouses within the world of cricket today, following on from 3 dominant showings in the previous 3 tests.

Weak First Innings For England

After winning the toss at the beginning of day 1, the England cricket team chose to bat first at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium. The opening partnership of Zak Crawley and Ben Duccket started off rather strong, with Crawley managing to score 79 runs from 108 balls, hitting 11 4’s whilst doing so.  Ducket played, more conservatively, scoring 17 from 58 balls, however both were bowled out by Yadab.

This 100+ opening partnership though was a far stretch for what was to come for England’s other cricketers, with no other player managing to surpass 30 runs. Star of the first test in the series, Ollie Pope, was bowled out by Yadav again for just 11 runs, whilst Joe Root and Johhn Bairstow were dismissed for 26 and 29 respectively. 

With such dominant performances over the years, England fans would hope Ben Stokes could salvage something, however, left the field after just 6 balls for a score of 0. The remaining 5 batters would only manage a total of 41 runs between them, with Mark Wood and James Anderson also meeting the same fate as Stokes, being bowled out for 0 by Ashwin this time around though

At the end of their first innings, England has a score of 218/10, a somewhat respectable total after almost 58 overs. It was Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav who really shone for the bowling team, with them taking 4 and 5 wickets respectively to limit the talented England lineup.

Day 2 Onslaught From India

With Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma taking to the pitch at the beginning of day 2, theirs and the team’s intentions were evident: disallow any England bowlers from settling. After easing into the game with his first over, Sharma started his batting demolition, hitting a 6 as well as a boundary, with Gill complimenting this with some perfectly executed back push strokes. With every attempt in which the England bowlers tried to expose any weaknesses from this pairing, they would counter accordingly to score some big hits.

This was especially applicable for Gil, with a clinical 6 lofted over the head of Bashir seeing his first class run total hit the 4000 mark., with the young spinner, who only made his test debut in the second entry into this series, being on the receiving end of another 6. Mark Wood didn’t tend to fare any better either, with Gil still managing to hit 4 boundaries against him.

This persistence carried on throughout the day, however, this was until Ben Stokes decided to bowl for the first time in 8 months in a test match. This was the catalyst to finally dismiss one of the batters within this relentless pairing, with him bowling out Rohit Sharma with this first ball. Dismissing him for 103 runs from 162 balls. Gil would also reach the century mark before being bowled out by James Anderson, managing 110 runs from 150 balls with 12 boundaries in the process.

The remainder of the Indian national cricket team batting lineup would continue to add to the strong start of their innings, with Devdutt Padikkal and Sarfaraz Khan ammasing 65 and 56 runs respectively. Khan, who was actually making his debut, impressed at the crease, managing his total from just 60 balls and hitting 8 4’s in the process. Although none of the remaining batters broke the half century mark, with Ravichandran Ashwin being bowled by Tom Hartley for 0 after just 5 balls, the home nation still ended the day on a substantial scoreline of 477/10.

England Fail To Force A Second Innings From India

Trailing by 259 runs going into the second innings for England, this would prove to be a disaster class from their batting lineup. The opening partnership of Zack Crawley and Ben Ducket were dismissed for just the 2 runs between them after just 21 balls, with Ashwin being the deliverer of the critical balls. Replacements Ollie Pope and Joe Root fared somewhat better, with the former managing 19 runs before being caught out by Jaiswal after another spinning delivery from Ashwin.

Joe Root restored at least some form of faith after stepping up to the crease, scoring 84 runs from 124 balls, having a more conserved striker rate of 65.63 in order to regain a more stable partnership with Jonny Bairstow. The England wicket keeper actually managed 39 runs from just 31 balls, however, his 100+ strike rate stint was quickly over after being dismissed by a LBW after a clinical ball from Kuldeep Yadav.

Following this though, the England batting lineup seemingly conceded defeat early, with their captain Ben Stokes being bowled by Ashwin for just 2 runs. Ben Foakes also failed to pass the 10 run mark, scoring 8 before also meeting the same fate as his captain, with Ashwin claiming his 5th wicket of the innings. The 4 batters who would follow on from this would only manage 33 runs between them, with Mark Wood and James Anderson both leaving the field with no runs to their name.

After just 48 overs, the England cricket team were all out for 195/10, and when combined with their total from the first innings, they still trailed India by 64 runs, failing to force them into a second innings completely.

Dominance From India, Disappointment For England

With the series being all wrapped up 4-1 now for the home nation. there have been a number of key takeaways for both sides. Although proving successful in prior tests, England’s Bazball approach seemed to be exposed by India’s talented spin bowlers, with their lineup being caught out by tricky balls far too often due to their aggressive approach. 

For the India side, a number of star players from this series will hope to replicate their impressive form going into the IPL which begins on the 22nd of March. with the team as a whole showcasing why they are arguably the most dominant side in international cricket, dismantling a promising England side in such a fashion.