Ind vs Eng First Test : India battle hard to earn a draw, all-round England impress
In a tense finish to the first Test between India and England at Rajkot, India managed to salvage a draw thanks to the gritty batting by skipper Virat Kohli.
In a Test match match which seemed heading for draw with high scores, India survived a scare before managing to draw the first cricket Test against England. Set a near impossible target of 310 in a minimum 49 overs, India managed to reach 172 for six in 52.3 overs and were never really in the hunt. The result will boost England's confidence ahead of the remaining Tests and leaves India plenty tom ponder.
Skipper Virat Kohli showed patience as he consumed 98 balls for his unbeaten 49 that had six boundaries and Ravindra Jadeja (32 not out) also hit some lusty blows after the sixth wicket had fallen at 132.
Earlier, Alastair Cook scored his 30th Test century with England declaring at 260 for 3 in the second innings.
That India had literally no chance of winning was ensured by a 180-run opening stand between Cook (130) and young teenager Haseeb Hameed (82) earlier in the day.
On a fifth day pitch that didn't show considerable signs of wear and tear, the Indian spinners barring a brief spell by Amit Mishra (2/60 in 13 overs), were rendered ineffective by Captain Cook, who batted for nearly five hours to hit 13 fours in 243 balls.
The first Test once again raised serious questions about the ability of the Indian spinners to bowl on pitches that aren't exactly rank turners.
Ashwin, India's premier strike bowler, in all bowled 69.3 overs across two innings getting only 3 wickets giving away 230 runs.
Ravindra Jadeja got 3 wickets in 47 overs in the match while Mishra also had 3 scalps to this credit having bowled 36.3 overs but not before giving away as many as 158 runs.
On the day, Ashwin at one point of time was bowling a negative line to both Cook and Ben Stokes (29 not out) outside the leg-stump in order to stem the flow of runs.
The other worrying aspect will be veteran opener Gautam Gambhir's form and technical deficiencies that were again exposed in front of some quality seam bowling.
After succumbing to an in-swinger from Stuart Broad in the first innings, the left-hander awkwardly dabbed at a short ball to be dismissed for zero in the slip cordon.
With Karun Nair waiting in the wings and KL Rahul back with a bang from injury scoring a 75 in today's Ranji Trophy game, the Indian team will need to figure out their winning combination at Visakhapatnam for the second Test, starting November 17.