England completed a brilliant and bold 227-run win over India in a first Test that they dominated from toss to tape.
In what will surely go down as one of the most complete away victories in English cricket history, Joe Root drew level with Michael Vaughan with his 26th win as captain and his 6th consecutive away victory.
It is a deserved landmark in his 100th Test and a win that was built upon the shoulders of his first innings double hundred and then seen home by the skill of others.
And none more skilful than James Anderson who produced another stunning display of reverse-swing bowling to help push India over the edge for just 192
Only Virat Kohli offered any real resistance in making 72 as England's bowlers showed they were given more than enough time to get the job done.
For all the concerns over the way Leach had been taken apart by Rishabh Pant in the first innings, he put it to the back of his mind to bowl beautifully and set England on their way with the first scalp of the final day.
And what a wicket it was to get rid of India's rock, Cheteshwar Pujara with one that gripped, turned and took the edge through to Ben Stokes at slip.
“I had thought I was playing T20 the way Pant had batted in the first innings!” said Leach. “I'm delighted I managed to come back strong and play my part in the win.
“The boys helped me out after that afternoon and I stayed strong, but it was a real team effort.”
Shubman Gill had batted positively for his 50, but Root showed just how astute a skipper he has become by holding his finest exponent of reverse-swing back until the ball was perfect for the skill.
Anderson showed once more just why he is such an incredible asset with an over for the ages, tailing the ball back into Gill to send his off stump cartwheeling.
Ajinkya Rahane should have gone first ball with an lbw shout that could easily have been given, but instead Anderson took matters into his own hands one ball later to slip another one through the gate and bowl the India vice-captain.
Anderson grabbed his third wicket when the dangerous Pant was caught by Root at short cover to leave India requiring an astonishing rearguard to save the game.
“It has been hard graft out there and we had to work hard for the win,” said Anderson. “Reverse-swing was huge for us because it means you're always in the game as a seamer.”
With Jofra Archer then stepping up to make life extremely uncomfortable for Ravi Ashwin by pinging him twice on the hands and once on the helmet, England were putting their foot down.
Once Leach had accounted for his fellow spinner with an edge through to the keeper, the game was as good as up. And it certainly was when Ben Stokes cleaned up Kohli with one that kept low.
Source: Read Full Article