India clinched the Test series 4-0 after thrashing England in the fifth Test match in Chennai on Tuesday. Ravindra Jadeja was brilliant on the final day, being involved in nine of the ten England wickets that fell, but apart from his brilliance, there was plenty to talk about as well.
Here are some of the talking points from the Test match.
Revenge must taste sweet: India know what it is like to be on the receiving end of a Test match hiding. Not only had England beaten them in the UK, but the English had also embarrassed India in their own conditions. So, this was a bit of a revenge series, as Star Sports, built it up. Boy, did India make up for all those losses. The wickets were not turners, the tosses were not won, but it mattered not. As the Chennai Test match showed, when somebody needs to step up, they do, and the result of that is a second consecutive innings victory and a 4-0 series win. India players, take a bow!
R Ashwin spell: Ashwin said the plan in the morning was to come out with purpose and get a couple of early wickets. That purpose was evident, and even if he had tried, there is no way Ashwin could have bowled better than he did in that first hour of play. It was like he had the ball on a string, with Alastair Cook unable to read a single delivery. Yet, somehow, the England captain survived and, somehow, Ashwin went wicketless in that spell, eventually ending up with just a single scalp in the entire Test match. If there ever was a spell that deserved a five-for, it was that one.
Ravindra Jadeja, you beauty! It did not matter, though, because Jadeja came to the party. Taking advantage of the pressure created by Ashwin, Jadeja was relentless in the final two sessions in Chennai and England just could not cope. And to add to his seven wickets, he took two catches as well, one of them world-class that got rid of Jonny Bairstow.
Karun Nair to miss out on the next Test match? Imagine scoring a triple hundred, just the second batsman ever to do it for his country, and not playing in the next Test match. That is a real possibility, with Ajinkya Rahane expected to come back into the fold, while Rohit Sharma could also be fine by then. Unless India decide to go with four bowlers and six batsmen, Karun Nair could miss out on the one-off Bangladesh Test match, while he could be watching from the bench for the Australia series as well. Surely, that cannot happen, but is there a solution?
England, oh dear: Kohli had a dig at the English batsmen after the fourth Test match in Mumbai, saying his bowlers are always confident of picking up wickets, because they just do not have the patience and don't trust their defence enough. There was no better evidence of that than day five of the fifth Test match in Chennai. Too many batsmen played stupid shots and did not show the resolve or desire necessary to save a Test match.
Alastair Cook as captain done? Surely this is the end of the road for Cook as captain. There might be doubts over Joe Root taking over, purely because of how he might cope with the extra responsibility, but the England camp need only look at Kohli to see what captaincy can do to a player.
Still some chinks in the captaincy, but boy can he inspire: Virat Kohli made some strange decisions on day five, chief of them being when he only had two men catching to Ashwin in the morning. However, he seems to get better and learn from every game, and what cannot be denied is the inspiration factor. Every time he is on the field or in the middle with the willow, he seems to inspire more form his teammates, and there can be no better quality for a captain.
This India side isn't just about Kohli and Ashwin: Kohli scored 15 runs in the Test match, Ashwin picked up one wicket. They might have been the stars of the series, but on a flat-as-they-come pitch, India showed they are about more than just their two superstars, and that really bodes well for the future.