The tourists had scraped and clawed their way back into the game on day three, reaching 215 for two to clear much of their foreboding 354-run deficit, but saw their resistance reduced to rubble as England squared the LV= Insurance Series 1-1 in emphatic fashion. Ollie Robinson completed a five-wicket haul as England thrashed India by an innings and 76 runs to win the third Test at Headingley on Saturday with more than a day to spare.
The hosts leveled the five-match series at 1-1 after India’s 151-run success in the second Test at Lord’s. The tourists, 215-2 overnight, collapsed to 278 all against the new ball as they lost eight wickets for 63 runs in 19.3 overs during a mere 103 minutes’ play on the fourth morning.
Robinson, in just his fourth match at this level, returned Test-best figures 5-65 for a match haul of 7-81. India’s 278 all-out, however, was 200 runs more than their woeful first innings 78 — made after captain Virat Kohli won the toss — which saw England’s great James Anderson rip through the top order with 3-6. “It’s a great day,” Root told the BBC after his 27th Test win as England captain surpassed the record previously held by Michael Vaughan.
From the moment Cheteshwar Pujara was out without adding to his overnight 91, lbw playing no shot to Robinson, England was in complete command with Kohli falling soon afterward for 55 — his first fifty of the series — when he was caught in the slips by Root off Robinson. Ajinkya Rahane (10) edging Anderson to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler before Rishabh Pant (one), reaching for a wide delivery, nicked Robinson to third slip.
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England’s victory, which saw Root make 121 — his third hundred of the series and sixth in Tests this year — in a total of 432 on the Yorkshireman’s home ground, followed a poor last day at Lord’s. Asked if England’s revival had been a surprise, Root replied: “It might be for you but it’s not for me because I know the talent we’ve got and what we’re capable of.
England took eight wickets for 63 as they blew their rivals away with a relentless whirlwind of probing pace bowling and unflappable catching. Robinson was the star performer, taking four big wickets to wrap up fine figures of five for 65. Robinson has become an increasingly important figure in a pace attack missing the injured Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes, and Olly Stone, with all-rounder Ben Stokes out of action due to mental health issues.
“To get a five-for at Headingley, where I started my professional career, is very special,” said player of the match Robinson. “I enjoy bowling here and to bowl with Jimmy is an absolute honor. I learn from him every day.”
Meanwhile, Kohli, one of Robinson’s wickets a spell of 4-25 in eight overs on Saturday, praised the Sussex seamer by saying: “He understands his skills really well, understands angles, swings the ball both ways, is very consistent and especially in these conditions. A real find for them.” ‘Crumbled’ -Kohli, whose side must regroup quickly before the fourth Test at the Oval starting on Thursday, insisted he had no regrets about batting first as he put India’s collapse on Saturday down to “scoreboard pressure”.
“We knew we were always up against it when you are all out for 78 and the opposition then puts such a big score on the board,” he said. “The English bowlers were outstanding today. The pressure was relentless and difficult to deal with. The batting order crumbled.” India resumed on Saturday on 215-2 but, with 80 overs bowled, England took the new ball straight from the start of Saturday’s play.
Now the only question was whether India could keep the match going beyond the lunch interval. They could not for all Ravindra Jadeja made 30, with the recalled paceman Craig Overton (3-47) ending the match when he had Mohammed Siraj caught in the slips for a duck to the delight of the sun-drenched crowd of more than 16,000. England was done before lunch, back in a series that had threatened to slip through their fingers and will head to the Kia Oval next week in the ascendance.