The second Test between England and India reached its conclusion with the series leveled at 1-1, marking a compelling chapter in the ongoing cricketing saga. England’s pursuit of a challenging 399-run target faced hurdles on the fourth day in Visakhapatnam, ultimately resulting in a defeat by 106 runs despite a promising start.
Beginning their chase at 95-1, England aimed to achieve a record-breaking feat. However, the regular fall of wickets derailed their ambitions. Zak Crawley, platforming grace with his 73, seemed to be a pivotal figure until a crucial lbw decision on review shifted the tide. Captain Ben Stokes’s dismissisal through a run-out further put a lid on England’s hopes and was the start of their woes on the pitch.
In a late bid to salvage the match, Ben Foakes and Tom Hartley formed a resilient partnership, briefly delaying India’s triumph. Hartley’s survival of two reviews, aiming to secure Ravichandran Ashwin’s elusive 500th Test wicket, added a layer of suspense. Nonetheless, the brilliance of fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, claiming three wickets in the innings and nine in the match, ultimately sealed India’s victory by dismissing both Foakes and Hartley.
Ashwin now stands one wicket shy of the historic milestone, and he would now have to wait a week before reaching it on the Third Test, which starts on February 15.
The second Test really put into view the competitive spirit of the two teams, underlining the unpredictability that defines Test cricket. England put up a good game, and at some point, it seemed like they would take home the win. But the home team was determined to stop England from taking another win. The third Test held next week will be a decider in which the team ends this Test series as the Victor.