India spinner Kuldeep Yadav said that he was under pressure for not playing a single Test match for India in last two years. The 26-year-old last played for India back in January 2019 and since then was waiting for his chance.
“It was important to stay along with the team when it’s playing well. My job was to keep control, contain runs from one end, and chip in as one of the three spinners on this track. We have been planning for this series for a long time, right from the Australia series. There was some pressure, having not played a lot of Tests in the last two years. Was discussing a lot with Ashwin regarding bowling in right areas and putting the pressure on the batsmen," Kuldeep told host broadcaster Star Sports after the conclusion of the second Test.
Yadav went wicketless in the first innings but came back and picked up a couple of wickets in the second. “We weren’t worried after losing the first Test, we have been in such situations before, in my first series in 2017, we had lost the first Test against Australia in Pune. We’re relaxed, we knew we had the team to come back and perform. Everyone was just focused on doing well in this Test," he added.
Meanwhile the writing was on the wall after England’s hopeless performance with the bat in the first innings. They did not fare much better in the second innings either getting bowled for a paltry 164 handing India a massive 317-run series-levelling victory. Axar Patel and R Ashwin were the pick of the Indian bowlers and returned with five and three wickets each to rout the visitors in just under 55 overs shortly after Lunch on Day 4. England registered two of their seven lowest team totals in India in this match - 134 and 164 - an indicator of their poor batting display as much as the excellent bowling by the Indian spinners on a helpful Chepauk wicket.
The day started with England two batsmen and a nightwatchman down. Dan Lawrence became the first victim of Day 4 perishing in an attempt to be positive against Ashwin. He stepped out only for the ball to go in between his legs for Rishabh Pant to complete an excellent stumping. Ben Stokes and Joe Root negotiated the Indian spinners for close to 13 overs but it was only a matter of time on a difficult wicket offering sharp turn and bounce to three high quality spinners. Stokes’ 51-ball vigil came to an end when Ashwin got him to inside-edge one to Kohli. The off spinner had once again dismissed the left-hander.