India v England Test Series 2016: Is Vizag the Beginning of the End for England?

After a brief interruption at Rajkot, normal service was resumed by India at Vizag. The second India v England test match ended with a resounding victory for India by 246 runs just after lunch on Day 5.

We pick five great performances from the Vizag Test and preview the third test at Mohali.

  1. Winning the toss: Kohli won the toss at Vizag and had no hesitation in batting first. India have still not lost or drawn a match after batting first at home under Kohli’s captaincy. Remember, India are yet to lose a test at home under Kohli.
  2. Kohli dominates with the bat: After winning the toss, Kohli compounded England’s misery by scoring a magnificent 167 in the first innings. Some would say his knock in the second innings was even better – he scored a classy 81 on a pitch that was deteriorating quickly to allow India to pile on the runs and put  pressure on England.
  3. The return of Rashwin: Ashwin roared back to form with the ball after a mediocre game at Rajkot taking 8 wickets at Vizag (including a five-for in the first innings). You could see that Rajkot had hurt him. At Vizag, his celebrations were intense and one was worried he might sprain his bowling shoulder while punching the air too hard. Boy, he looked up for the fight! Oh, and for those saying he is batting too high in the order, Ashwin scored a crucial 58 in the first innings.  Welcome back, Rashwin.
  4. Yadav: Jayant, not Umesh. Contributed with the bat (35 and 27*), ball (1-38 & 3-30) and in the field (run out Haseeb Hameed in the first innings). His delivery to dismiss Stokes in the second innings was a beauty. This guy is useful and is going to be around for a while.
  5. Catches win (some) matches: You just cannot keep Ben Stokes out of the game! His catch to dismiss Kohli in the second innings was one for the cameras (check out the background as well)!

Ben Stokes Kohli catch Vizag

The next test starts at Mohali on 26 November 2016. The big news for India is that Parthiv Patel has replaced Saha and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is also back in the scheme of things. Other than that, the Indian side once again looks settled.

England are not quite in disarray yet but will be forced to re-jig their line-up and bring in some fresh faces. Butler for Duckett (woefully out of form) and Woakes for Stuart Broad (injured) are the likely changes but with Ansari out of sorts as well, playing Gareth Batty will be an option. Depending on the pitch Mohali rolls out, Steven Finn may get a look in.

Will the Indian juggernaut roll on? Is this the beginning of the end for England? Or can England spring a surprise on what will almost certainly be one of the more friendly pitches for seam on this tour.

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