It was a memorable Test debut for Visakhapatnam's ADA-VDCA stadium as India romped home in style, beating England by 246 runs after a gripping contest over four-and-a-half days. Visakhapatnam became the 24th Test venue in India and Virat Kohli and Co marked the occasion with a very satisfying victory that helped them take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
England went into the match with seven left-handed batsmen - the most that any team has fielded against India in a Test.
India had an early advantage when Kohli won the toss, but were in a spot of bother after losing both the openers inside five overs on Day 1. However, Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli shored up the Indian innings by adding 226 runs for the third wicket. Pujara scored his tenth century in Test cricket while Kohli notched up his 14th, and there were also useful contributions lower down the order by Ravichandran Ashwin and Jayant Yadav, as India made 455 runs in their first essay.
In reply, England, however, did not bat as well as they did in the first Test at Rajkot and were bowled out for 255 runs. Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow showed some resistence though with scores of 70 and 53 respectively.
India had to set a target of more than 350 to be comfortable. They, in fact, went ahead and set 405 runs for England to chase down. While most of the Indian batsmen struggled against the England bowlers, Kohli played a crucial knock of 81 to go with his century in the first innings.
England fought hard, losing only two wickets at the end of Day 4, but on Day 5, they simply collapsed. It handed India their second biggest win over England in terms of runs.
Here's a look at some of the statistical highlights of the match:
On the first day, both Murali Vijay and Pujara completed 3,000 Test runs. Vijay became 19th Indian to achieve the milestone, while Pujara was the 20th. Pujara also completed 2,000 Test runs in India during the same innings.
Pujara scored his ninth century batting at No 3 in Tests. He also became the first Indian to have scored a century in the inaugural Test at three grounds in India. Before this Test, he had scored a century at Indore against New Zealand and also one at Rajkot against England in the first Test match of this series. On both those occasions, the grounds were hosting their first Tests.
With 167 in the first innings, Kohli became the sixth Indian batsman to score a century in his 50th Test. This was also his seventh century in Test cricket as the Indian captain, which is now the third highest by any Indian captain in the longest format of the game.
With an unbeaten 151 on Day 1, Kohli also became the first Indian captain to score more than 150 runs on an opening day of a Test match. The previous record was also set by him when he made an unbeaten 143 against West Indies on the first day of the first Test at North Sound, Antigua, earlier this year. The Indian skipper went on to score a double century in the match.
At Visakhapatnam, he also became the first Indian batsman to score two 50-plus scores in his 50th Test, when he made 81 runs in the second innings. His 248 runs in the 50th Test is also a record among Indian batsmen.
Kohli also became the first Indian captain to score three 150-plus scores in a calendar year in Test cricket.
Ravichandran Ashwin, the other key performer for India at Visakhapatnam, picked up his 22nd fifer in Tests during England's first innings and also completed 50 wickets in Tests in 2016. He became the second Indian bowler after Harbhajan Singh to take more than 50 wickets in two consecutive calendar years. Harbhajan had achieved the feat in 2001 and 2002 while Ashwin has done it in 2015 and 2016.
Ashwin has now taken a five-for against each team he has played against. Notably, he has never played a Test against Pakistan or Zimbabwe.
With runs down the order, he displayed his utility as an all-rounder too. Ashwin became the second Indian player to score 450-plus runs and take 45-plus wickets in a calendar year in Test cricket after Kapil Dev, who had achieved the feat twice, in 1979 and 1983. In 2009, Australia's Mitchell Johnson achieved the milestone by scoring 500 runs and taking 63 wickets.
England all-rounder Stokes and wicketkeeper Bairstow rescued the team when they had lost five wickets for 80 runs in the first innings. They added 110 runs for the sixth wicket and have now added 772 runs this year in Test cricket, which is the most by any pair.
Bairstow has scored nine fifty-plus scores in Tests in 2016 - the joint highest by a wicket-keeper in a calendar year. It is also the most by a player batting at No 6 or lower in a calendar year in Tests.
England has seen 1,759 runs being added for the sixth wicket this year in Tests which is most for them for any wicket in a calendar year.
India's Mohammad Shami, meanwhile, became the fourth Indian batsman to hit a six on the first ball of the innings, when he sent Adil Rashid over the boundary in India's second innings. The other players to have done so are MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan.
England captain Alastair Cook became the first visiting player to score 2,500 Tests runs in Asia. He now also holds the record of scoring the second most number of runs by a visiting batsman in Tests in India.
Jayant Yadav scored 62 runs and picked up four wickets in his debut match, becoming the third Indian player to score 50-plus runs and take four or more wickets on debut. The other Indians to do it are L Amar Singh (56 and 4/159 vs England at Lord's in 1932) and S Abid Ali (66 and 7/116 vs Australia in Adelaide in 1967).
Ashwin went past Rangana Herath's tally of 54 wickets in Tests in 2016 by picking up eight wickets in the match and is now the highest wicket-taker in Tests this year.
James Anderson became the third known England player to be dismissed for a King Pair (getting out without scoring on the first ball faced in both innings). The others to achieve the same are William Attewell (against Australia in Sydney in 1892) and Ernie Hayes (against South Africa in Cape Town in 1906). He also holds the record of scoring the most number of ducks for England in Test cricket.
First Published On : Nov 22, 2016 12:13 IST