England’s batters had no answer for the brilliance of Jasprit Bumrah as India’s star paceman left the tourists in need of another dramatic turnaround in the second Test.
Ben Stokes’ side have made a virtue of never knowing when they are beaten – and overcame India’s 190-run lead to win last week’s series opener in Hyderabad – but found themselves back in familiar trouble as they were bowled out for 253 in Visakhapatnam.
That left them 143 behind after the first innings with India’s openers adding another 28 before the close.
Zak Crawley hit a free-flowing 78 on his 26th birthday and Stokes chipped another 47 off the deficit but Bumrah was almost unplayable at times as he claimed six for 45.
He served up a pace bowling clinic, getting the ball to reverse swing both ways at high speed and alternating between attacking the stumps and threatening the edge.
Ollie Pope suffered most extravagantly, with middle and leg sent flying as he groped at a toe-crusher, but he was not alone in finding Bumrah’s best too hot to handle.
At 114 for one and with Crawley motoring England were well positioned to take on India’s 396 but less than 34 overs later they were all out.
England took India’s last four wickets for 60 as James Anderson pre-empted Bumrah by showing off his own enduring skills. Handed a brand new ball in the morning the 41-year-old bowled eight overs unchanged, taking two for 17 in the latest reminder of his class.
He had the last word in a minor spat with Ravichandran Ashwin, who had been distracting him at the non-striker’s end before falling caught behind, and removed the brilliant Yashasvi Jaiswal for a match-defining 209.
The 22-year-old seems destined for cricketing superstardom but found out why so few have slogged Anderson and lived to tell the tale, stepping away and hacking straight to deep cover.
Anderson finished with impressive figures of three for 47, with Rehan Ahmed and debutant Shoaib Bashir wrapping things up to finish with three each.
England started their innings with a typically vibrant stand between Crawley and Ben Duckett, who put on 59 at a run-a-ball either side of the lunch break. Duckett could not kick on, popping Kuldeep Yadav’s wrist spin to silly point on 21, but Crawley was in fine form on the day he turned 26.
He needed a life on on 17 but the very next over saw him dispatch Bumrah for four boundaries. Crawley also slog-swept Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav for sixes but this was a sprint next to Jaiswal’s marathon.
The introduction of left-armer Axar Patel drew him into one big shot too many and he was well caught by the back-tracking Shreyas Iyer.
The ball had begun to take reverse swing and that meant trial by Bumrah. It took him only five balls to set up and knock over Joe Root, shaping a couple away in the channel then taking his outside edge with one that ducked back in and held its line.
Six balls later he summoned something even more spectacular to floor Pope, a match-winning centurion in Hyderabad. Fizzing in a furious yorker, he had Pope hopping on the crease as the ball snaked through and sent two stumps flying in opposite directions.
England survived until tea without further danger but the break in play merely allowed Bumrah to rest up and come again. Jonny Bairstow was next, following one that left him and threading to Shubman Gill at slip.
Pressure was building too fast for England’s liking and Yadav took advantage. Ben Foakes played inside the line and lost his off stump and Ahmed dragged a short ball straight to the midwicket catcher.
At 182 for seven, Stokes landed a few blows of his own and Tom Hartley shared the load in a stand of 47 but the resistance did not survive Bumrah’s return.
After one sighter he lit the crowd up again, coming round the wicket and knocking back Stokes’ off stump with one that scuttled through lower than expected. The England skipper let the bat fall from his hands and shrugged in disbelief before making his way to the pavilion.
Bumrah sealed his five-for at his next visit, Hartley off a thick edge, and closed the innings when Anderson fell lbw. Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma negotiated five overs at the end of the day, stretching the lead to 171 by stumps.