Sunday, April 14, 2024

4th Test: India sniff series victory after R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav rout England

4th Test India
Kuldeep Yadav celebrates with team-mates after dismissing England's Ollie Robinson during the third day of the fourth cricket Test at Ranchi.Credit: PTI Photo

Ranchi, February 25: Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin starred with five wickets, helping India dismiss England for 145 on day three of the fourth Test on Sunday. This set up a chase of 192 for India to secure the series win. At stumps, India stood at 40-0, needing 152 more for victory.
Skipper Rohit Sharma remained unbeaten on 24, supported by Yashasvi Jaiswal on 16.
Opener Zak Crawley top-scored with 60 for England, but the team struggled against India’s spin duo, with Ashwin claiming 5-51 and Kuldeep Yadav 4-22.
England’s innings crumbled in the final session, leaving their bowlers with the task of leveling the series.
India’s bowlers delivered after wicketkeeper Dhruv Jurel’s gritty 90 helped reduce the deficit in the morning session.
Ashwin’s early strikes, coupled with Yadav’s sharp spin, put England on the back foot. Despite efforts from England captain Joe Root, who scored an unbeaten
122 in the first innings, and Crawley, England lost wickets at crucial junctures.
Spinner Shoaib Bashir shone for England, claiming his maiden five-wicket haul to restrict India to 307 in their first innings.
Jurel’s resilient fifty and contributions from the lower order boosted India’s total.
Veteran fast bowler James Anderson made a significant impact, breaking partnerships and inching closer to the milestone of 700 Test wickets.
Meanwhile, Bashir celebrated his success after missing the first Test due to visa issues, highlighting England’s bowling depth.
‘Dhruv Jurel is another MS Dhoni in the making’
After his impressive debut both behind the stumps as well as with the bat in the third Test at Rajkot, wicketkeeper-batsman Dhruv Jurel added to his credentials in the ongoing fourth Test at Ranchi with his maiden half-century in India’s first innings. And it earned him the badge of “another MS Dhoni in the making” from none other than batting legend Sunil Gavaskar.
Jurel’s 90, which also showcased the aggressive side of his batting towards the end of India’s innings, kept the hosts in the game as it helped them reach 307 to limit England’s first-innings lead to 46 runs.
Jurel, who had scored 46 on his Test debut in Rajkot, resumed India’s innings on Sunday and took his partnership for the eighth wicket with Kuldeep Yadav (28) to 76, before the latter was dismissed lbw by James Anderson, who is now just two strikes away from reaching the milestone of 700 Test wickets and become the first fast bowler to do so.
After completing his half-century, Jurel celebrated with a salute gesture, possibly in honour of his father who is a Kargil War veteran.
Applauding the youngster for both his wicketkeeping as well as bating, Gavaskar likened Jurel’s “game-awareness” to that of Dhoni’s.
“Of course, he has batted well, but his ‘keeping, his work behind the stumps has been equally brilliant. Just by looking at his game-awareness, I want to say that he is another MS Dhoni in the making. I know there can never be another MSD; but you know, the presence of mind that he has. MSD also, when he started, it was that; and Jurel has that game-awareness, street-smart cricketer,” said Gavaskar while doing commentary on live broadcast on Sunday.
India trailed England by 176 runs when Jurel was joined by Kuldeep on Day 2 of the match. The duo not only took India safely to stumps on Saturday but came back the next day to further cut down England’s lead. (Agencies)