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IND vs ENG 4th Test: Bashir bags 4 wickets, India restricted to 219 on Day 2

Updated on: 25 February,2024 07:06 AM IST  |  Ranchi
Sandipan Banerjee |

Young England off-spinner Shoaib Bashir rattles India’s batting line-up to claim 4-84 as hosts end Day Two of fourth Test at 219-7 after vistors get bowled out for 353

IND vs ENG 4th Test: Bashir bags 4 wickets, India restricted to 219 on Day 2

England’s Shoaib Bashir (centre) celebrates the dismissal of India’s Rajat Patidar with teammates in Ranchi on Saturday. Pic/AFP

On the back of an admirable show by two young and relatively inexperienced finger spinners—Shoaib Bashir and Tom Hartley—England sniff a significant and perhaps decisive first innings lead in the ongoing Ranchi Test. After scoring a sizable 353, thanks to Joe Root’s unbeaten 122, the visitors restricted India to 219 for 7 at stumps on Day Two.

Though the unbeaten 42-run stand between the two Uttar Pradesh boys—Dhurv Jurel and Kuldeep Yadav—kept the English bowlers in check in the final hour of the day’s play but, with a lead of 134 runs in their favour on a challenging surface, Ben Stokes’s side have certainly put the cat among the pigeons in the opposition camp.

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The 20-year-old Somerset off-spinner Bashir, with just 10 first-class wickets to his name prior to this Test, was the star of the day. Playing only his second Test, he bowled a marathon 31-over spell (31-4-83-4) from the Pavilion End and sent back four of the top-five Indian batters after James Anderson found Rohit Sharma (2) fishing outside his off-stump at the beginning.

Joe RootJoe Root

With his height and a flatter trajectory, Bashir was getting a lot of purchase out of the much-talked about cracks on the Ranchi pitch. Compared to the Indian spinners, he was bowling a bit faster and attacked the stumps much more. Also, Stokes’s proactive field placements helped his cause as runs dried out and quite a few Indian batters got out while playing down the wrong line.

In the post-lunch session, Bashir got the wickets of a set Shubman Gill (38), scratchy Rajat Patidar (17) and a counter-attacking Ravindra Jadeja (12) to limit India to 131 for four at tea.

The off-spinner, who replaced Rehan Ahmed in the XI for this Test, in the next session, fetched his team the prized scalp of an in-form Yashasvi Jaiswal (73) with a ball that stayed low and hit the toe-end of the bat before bouncing back onto the stumps.

Hartley impresses too

Soon, England were all over India when left-armer Hartley removed Sarfaraz Khan (14) and Ravichandran Ashwin (1) in quick succession. The 24-year-old was an excellent second fiddle (19-5-47-2) to Bashir, who himself bowled 32 overs out of 73 in the Indian innings so far. Things could have been much worse for the home team, but thanks to some rear-guard effort by Jurel and Kuldeep, they have somehow managed to hang on in this game.

For the most part of India’s innings, the conditions were quite gloomy. The light was not great and the floodlights were on for a major part of the entire last session.

“We’ve got ourselves into a nice position at the end of the first innings,” Root, the only centurion of this Test as of now, said at the close of play. “So, we’ll see how things progress throughout the game. Obviously, it looks like it’s going to keep deteriorating. If we can get three early wickets tomorrow, hopefully that puts us in a really strong position for the rest of the game.”

Talking specifically on the efforts of their spinners, Root added, “The way the guys operated today was brilliant. I had a great view at first slip, watching them operate. For two young spinners to stand up and perform, it’s really encouraging for English cricket, and for us, for the rest of this series and the rest of this Test match.”

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Root hails ‘brilliant’ Bashir

“[Bashir’s] brilliant,” the former England skipper, who bowled just a solitary over in the day despite having seven wickets in the series, said. 

“He’s a great young lad to have in the group. I’ve not seen much of him, and I might not have known much about him before this series, but he’s got great character. He’s got a great sense of humour. He takes it all out to the field. And he’s clearly, as you can see, got huge amounts of ability and skill and a lot to offer, especially on a surface like this.

“It was great to see him keep coming, time and time again today, asking really difficult questions of their order. And again, he should take a lot of confidence for the rest of this game and moving on as well.”

Brief scores
England 353 (J Root 122*, O Robinson 58, B Foakes 47, Z Crawley 42; R Jadeja 4-67, Akash Deep 3-83, M Siraj 2-78) v India 219-7 (Y Jaiswal 73, S Gill 38, D Jurel 30*; S Bashir 4-84, T Hartley 2-47)

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