England lost again, India win Ranchi Test; secure 17th straight Test series win at home

Team Parvasi – Inside

England lost again, India win Ranchi Test; secure 17th straight Test series win at home

Ranchi: India’s home supremacy weathered the ‘Bazball’ storm as Rohit Sharma’s men secured a hard-fought five-wicket win over England in the fourth and penultimate Test for a 17th consecutive series triumph in their own backyard here on Monday, handing a harsh reality check to the visitors’ unidimensional approach.

Overnight 40/0 in a chase of 192 here, India romped home after surviving a few hiccups with the opening duo of skipper Rohit Sharma (55 off 81 balls) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (37 off 44 balls) providing the perfect platform for others to build with their 84-run stand on day four of the match.
There were some jitters after the two departed in close succession followed by Rajat Patidar and Ravindra Jadeja’s dismissal but Shubman Gill (52 not out) and Dhruv Jurel (39 not out) guided the side past the finishing line with an unbeaten 72-run partnership.

Left-arm spinner Tom Hartley (1/64) took the prized scalp of Rohit, while Shoaib Bashir was the most successful English bowler, scalping 3/79 in the second innings for a match haul of eight wickets.

India lead 3-1 in the series with the last game scheduled in Dharamsala from March 7. The team’s last home series loss was a 1-2 defeat to an Alastair Cook-led England in 2012-13. Since then, India have won 39 out of 50 Tests at home.

“It’s been a very hard-fought series, so to come on the right side of it feels very good,” said Rohit in the post-match presentation. The host team’s victory marked a stunning downfall for ‘Bazball’, which has been a much-hyped winning mantra for England since 2022 and is now facing all-round criticism for being too rigid and lacking in depth.

Conceptualised after the appointment of Brendon McCullum as coach and Ben Stokes as captain, England’s plan to attack irrespective of circumstances found its match in the unflappable approach of the Indians.

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While the visitors remained stubborn barring the conservative hundred by veteran Joe Root here, the Indians adapted and refused to be bogged down by setbacks. The result, England would be going back with their first series defeat under Stokes and McCullum. It is also the first time they have lost three back-to-back Tests.

“The only thing I can say is we left nothing on the field, we’ve fought hard and I’m happy with that,” said Stokes.

England’s opening win in Hyderabad was expected to unsettle the home side which was already without superstar Virat Kohli, out due to personal reasons, and the injured KL Rahul. On the contrary, the team was galvanised by the arrival of rookies, who grabbed their opportunities with both hands.

Whether it was batter Sarfaraz Khan in Rajkot or wicketkeeper Dhruv Jurel and pacer Akash Deep here, the team gained from the infusion of fresh energy. Jurel was a key factor in ensuring series-deciding win with his gritty 90-run knock in the first innings and the solid cameo in the second essay — both efforts coming in high-pressure situations.

On Monday, Rohit and Jaiswal started positively. After seeing through veteran pacer James Anderson’s opening over, Rohit brought out his swat flick to dispatch the 41-year-old for a maximum over wide long-on. Bashir operated from the other end as runs came thick and fast for India, be it in singles or in boundaries.

The sense of desperation was palpable as Anderson was seen sprinting down to the fine leg boundary and even threw his body but could not stop a boundary off Jaiswal’s bat. The duo swept and reverse swept to tackle the low bounce from the spinners with Rohit playing the lead role in the partnership. He also got past 9,000 runs in first-class cricket.

With nothing going their way, Stokes brought in Joe Root to unsettle the rhythm and the part-timer did just that by exploiting the rough against the Indian left-hander. Jaiswal failed to control his inside-out shot and Anderson pulled off an absolute stunner with a forward diving catch at backward point.

Rohit came down the track only to be beaten by the flight and spin from Hartley and Ben Foakes did the needful behind the stumps. Though Rohit was way out of the crease, he was adjudged caught behind after getting a faint tickle on the way to the wicketkeeper.


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