Mumbai - Virat Kohli hailed India's series win over England
as his "sweetest" as captain on Monday after the hosts humiliated the
tourists by an innings and 36 runs in the fourth Test.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin tore through England's
lacklustre lower order in just half-an-hour in Mumbai as India clinched the
five-match series 3-0 with a game to spare and equalled their longest unbeaten
England started the final day at the Wankhede Stadium
trailing by 49 runs with four wickets remaining, and needing something
extraordinary to avoid defeat.
But Ashwin grabbed all four wickets to send England crashing
to 195 all out and finish with figures of 6-55 in the innings, and 12 scalps in
Skipper Virat Kohli was named man of the match for his
brilliant double century in a win that confirms India as Test cricket's top
side and avenges their two consecutive series defeats to England.
"This series win is probably the sweetest we have had
in the last 14-15 months," said Kohli, who took over from Mahendra Singh
Dhoni as Test captain last year.
India have now won five straight series under Kohli, who
struck his third double century of the year, and are unbeaten in 17 Tests,
which equals their best-ever run which was set back in 1987.
England captain Alastair Cook paid tribute to Kohli's
batting, saying his Indian counterpart had led from the front and was in the
form of his life.
"Clearly (he is) one of the greatest batsmen of our
generation," said Cook, the highest scorer among current Test players.
Cook, who has hinted he may step down after the series, also
admitted it was a mistake to pick only two specialist spinners in Mumbai's spin-friendly
"We would have liked another spinner but we had the
opportunity to bowl India out for 400 and we did not take them," said
Ashwin first dispatched Jonny Bairstow, who could only add
one run to his overnight half-century, before clean-bowling Chris Woakes for
Adil Rashid followed, caught in the deep by Lokesh Rahul for
two, off Ashwin's bowling, to put England at 193 with just one wicket
Emotions then threatened to boil over as Ashwin approached
and exchanged words with James Anderson as he came into bat. He walked with him
down the crease, forcing the umpire to intervene.
"It was clearly reference to what Jimmy had said
yesterday which got blown out of all proportion," said Cook, referring to
Anderson's comments that Kohli had some "technical deficiencies" in
"It was a bit of a sour end really, a bit disappointing
in terms of how well the spirit between both sides had been," he added.
Kohli, who is known for his feisty demeanour on the field,
joked that "for the first time I was trying to calm down things
"I was laughing but Ashwin wasn't too impressed so he
let him know. He didn't use any bad words, honestly," said the captain.
Anderson was soon caught to become Ashwin's sixth victim of the
innings as England were all out for 195, failing to make India bat again.
England posted 400 in their first innings before India put
on a massive 631, including Kohli's double century and tons for Murali Vijay
and Jayant Yadav.
Kohli struck 235 runs for his third double century of the
year, while Yadav's 104 marked his maiden Test hundred.
England were already up against it going into the second
innings and they slumped to 182-6 by the end of day four.
Opener Keaton Jennings was out for a golden duck while Cook
could only make 18 as England's batsman failed to cope with India's spin
As well as Ashwin's 6-55, Ravindra Jadeja grabbed 2-63 as
Kohli's side humbled the visitors.
Kohli said Ashwin, who is the top-ranked bowler in world
cricket, had once again proved to be a class apart.
"We are running out of words to describe his
performances," said the Indian skipper.
"Where we stand today - 50 to 60 percent of that is
Ashwin's effort... The batsmen are playing second fiddle to that."
The fifth Test, which is now a dead rubber, starts in
Chennai later this week.