Indian captain Virat Kohli was on cloud nine after the home side won the third Test against England by 10 wickets in Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi stadium. The Test match ended within two days as none of the teams passed the 150-run mark.
England batted first after Joe Root won the toss, but were bowled out for 112 runs in the first innings, as the pitch turned from ball one. Indian spinners Akshar Patel (6/38) and R Ashwin (4 wickets) ran riot as England batting apart from Zak Crawley’s 53 collapsed.
India was 99/3 at the end of day one but then folded for 145, as Joe Root picked 5/8 and Jack Leach took four wickets. England had a deficit of 33 runs, but they looked determined to build on it. However, Akshar Patel’s 5/32 and R Ashwin’s three further wickets meant that England only managed 81 runs and asked India to chase 49 runs.
Akshar Patel was the Player of the Match for his 11/70, while Ashwin reached the 400 Test-wicket milestones and also completed 600 wickets in international cricket.
Virat Kohli was a happy and surprised captain at the end of the day and said in the post-match presentation, “To be honest, I don't think the quality of batting was up to standards. We were 100 for 3 and then got bowled out for less than 150. It was just the oddball turning and it was a good wicket to bat in the first innings. It was bizarre that 21 of the 30 wickets fell to straight balls, Test cricket is about trusting your defence. Lack of application ensured it was a quick finish.”
With the spin bowlers doing the maximum work, Kohli said that the pacers in the team were joking as they weren't being given the ball by the captain.
"(Jasprit) Bumrah said I am getting workload management while playing. Ishant (Sharma) said I am playing my 100th game and still don't get to bowl. I have never experienced this before. A bizarre game which got over in 2 days," he said.
The Indian captain lauded the local boy Akshar Patel, who was the Man of the Match for his 11 wickets.
"Bowls it quicker and from a bigger height as well. I don't know what it is with Gujarat and producing so many left-arm spinners. You just cannot sweep this guy but you also can't keep defending as he would just keep bowling at you. If the wicket has something in it, Axar is very lethal,” Kohli commended Akshar Patel.
Apart from Akshar, Virat was all praises for ace Indian spinner R Ashwin, who completed 400 Test wickets.
"I think we need to stand up and take notice of what Ashwin has done. In Tests, he is a modern-day legend. As a captain, I am so pleased he is in my team. We have to be ready for the hard grind. Few days extra off with a hectic schedule is welcoming," he signed off.