R Ashwin bowled one of the best spells of the series, only to go wicketless in the innings. And then, his spin partner Ravindra Jadeja decided it was his moment to be in the spotlight, and with the bright sun of Chennai shining down, the left-armer spun a web around the England batsmen, who lost their patience, will and ability to survive on a still-fairly-flat-but-the-pressure-made-it-look-worse-than-it-was wicket
Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings survived the morning session of the final day, with the former weathering a wonderful spell from hometown boy Ashwin. However, those survival skills stayed in the dressing room as the batsmen walked out post lunch, with Jadeja picking up seven wickets and two catches in the innings, leaving England, who played some poor shots again, failing to show the patience required against spin to save a Test match, befuddled and beguiled.
In the first session, Jennings looked a lot more comfortable than Cook against spin, with Ashwin bowling one of the best spells of the series. Despite that, however, India's spinner-in-chief had his lunch without a single wicket to show for his efforts.
Ashwin started the proceedings on the final day, looking to get that early breakthrough which might have set the cat amongst the pigeons in the England camp. He would have got that wicket too had Parthiv Patel been a better wicketkeeper. In the third over of the day, Ashwin, having beaten Cook a fair few times already, found the outside edge of the England skipper, on 4 at the time, but Parthiv failed to hang on to the catch.
A little while later, questions were being asked over Virat Kohli's field placements. Ashwin got a ball to bounce more than normal, it took Cook's glove and popped up to where a short leg would have been. Kohli only had a slip and a silly point, not even a gully, in the first 30-45 minutes, which was puzzling, considering India had a lead of over 250 runs, they had already won the series and an England win was never in play.
India would rue those missed opportunities, because with the fast bowlers – they might have bowled one too many overs, nine in a row from one end, in the morning session, with Ravindra Jadeja, who has got Cook five times in this series, coming in to bowl a little too late, when the captain had settled a bit more at the crease – not getting anything out of the pitch and then the spinners failing to break through the batsmen who had already got their eye in by then, England were able to move one step closer to saving the Test match.
Those steps got a lot more difficult to climb, however, thanks to a really good second session for India, with Jadeja leading from the front. The left-armer kept his hold on Cook, dismissing the batsman for the sixth time in this series. This time it was via a ball down the legside, with Cook (49, 134b, 4x4) glancing it straight to KL Rahul, who took a reflex catch low down at leg-slip.
Jadeja then had the other opener Jennings as well. Having hit the India spinner for a boundary by dancing down the track and flicking him through midwicket, Jennings (54, 121b, 7x4) looked to do it for a second consecutive delivery. But this time he got too close, with the ball hitting his toe before taking the top of the bat, where the maker's name is, and looping back to the bowler.
The spinner would have one more, with Joe Root (6, 22b) falling lbw. Root went for a sweep, missed it, India went for a big appeal, but it was given not out by umpire Simon Fry. Jadeja was convinced it was out, because he had seen the ball turning a little after pitching and Kohli, not certain at all, went for the review, despite only having one remaining. The India captain was celebrating soon, though, as the ball-tracker showed it would have hit the stumps.
Jadeja then brought his fielding chops out, taking a ridiculously-good running catch to give Ishant Sharma his first wicket of the innings and Jonny Bairstow (1, 6b) an early shower.
Moeen Ali, who was given the short ball treatment by Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav and somehow survived, and Ben Stokes, who struggled against Ashwin again, made sure no more damage was done.
There was plenty of that right after the break, with India picking up four wickets within the first hour of the final session. Moeen (44, 97b, 4x4) lost his concentration and patience, playing a daft shot to Jadeja, trying to chip him over mid-on, with Ashwin taking a smart catch, while Stokes (23, 54b, 4x4) helped Jadeja complete his five-for, when he flicked one to midwicket after the ball seemed to stop on him.
Liam Dawson (0, 7b) was undone by an Amit Mishra googly, before Umesh Yadav picked up a wicket with the first ball of the second new ball when Adil Rashid (2, 18b) found a leading edge to that man Jadeja.
It was all on Jos Buttler and the No.10 and No.11 Stuart Broad and Jake Ball, and that seemed possible with the former looking quite solid in defence. Buttler (6 n.o., 50b) and Broad resisted for a while, but the moment Kohli brought Jadeja back on, the England's demise seemed inevitable.
Broad (1, 16b) fell to a ball that kicked up from the rough, and when Ball (0, 3b) edged one through to the slips, India celebrated and the Chennai crowd went crazy, standing up to applaud a truly wonderful performance.
Scores: First innings: England: 477 all out in 157.2 overs.
India: 759/7 declared in 190.4 overs.
First innings lead: 282 runs.
Second innings: England: 207 all out in 88 overs.
Overnight score: 12/0 in 5 overs.
Result: India won by an innings and 75 runs.
Series result: India won the five-match series 4-0.
Bowling: Second innings: India: Ishant Sharma 10-2-17-1; R Ashwin 25-6-56-0; Ravindra Jadeja 25-5-48-7; Umesh Yadav 14-1-36-1; Amit Mishra 14-4-30-1.
Fall of wickets: Second innings: England: 103/1, Alastair Cook (39.4 overs); 110/2, Keaton Jennings (43.4 overs); 126/3, Joe Root (50 overs); 129/4, Jonny Bairstow (52.2 overs); 192/5, Moeen Ali (71.2 overs); 193/6, Ben Stokes (73.2 overs); 196/7, Liam Dawson (75 overs); 200/8, Adil Rashid (80.4 overs); 207/9, Stuart Broad (87.3 overs); 207/10, Jake Ball (88 overs).