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Ashwin stars as India thrash England to level Test series 1-1

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel claimed a five-wicket haul on his Test debut as England were out for 164 while chasing an unlikely 482 on day four.

India players celebrate the fall of a wicket during the second Test against England on 16 February 2021. Picture: @BCCI/Twitter

CHENNAI - Local hero Ravichandran Ashwin starred with ball and bat as India thrashed England by 317 runs in the second Test in Chennai to level the series at 1-1 on Tuesday.

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel claimed a five-wicket haul on his Test debut as England were out for 164 while chasing an unlikely 482 on day four.

Ashwin claimed eight wickets in the match and hit 106 with the bat as India bounced back from their crushing opening loss in the four-match series.

England, struggling since the opening day, kept losing wickets after resuming on 53-3.

Skipper Joe Root departed for 33 soon after lunch, falling to Patel.

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav joined in to finish off the innings, taking Moeen Ali after he smashed 43 off 18 balls.

The last wicket partnership of 38 between Ali and Stuart Broad, unbeaten on five, was England's highest of the match.

Ashwin's five wickets to help bowl out England for 134 in the first innings in response to India's 329 set the tone for the host's dominance.

England conceded a lead of 195 and then struggled on a pitch that offered turn from day one and was criticised by some pundits.

Opener Rohit Sharma hit an attacking 161 to set up India's big innings after they won the toss and elected to bat first.

Sharma's seventh Test ton and first against England raised the pitch of the returning Indian crowd -- present in a stadium for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.

Virat Kohli played a part with his 62 in the first innings and put on a key 96-run seventh-wicket partnership with Ashwin on day three. The skipper failed to score in the first innings.

Returning England spinner Ali claimed eight wickets in the match. Jack Leach took six with his left-arm spin.

The third Test - a day-night match - will begin in Ahmedabad on 24 February.

It is not clear if fans will be allowed into the game.

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