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4th Test PIX: India down England by 5 wkts; seal series 3-1

Source: PTI
Last updated on: February 26, 2024 14:43 IST
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Images from Day 4 of the fourth Test between India and England in Ranchi on Monday, February 26.

IMAGE: Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel celebrate India's win over England in the fourth Test in Ranchi. Photograph: BCCI

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 in Ranchi on Monday, handing a harsh reality check to the visitors' unidimensional approach.


Overnight 40/0 in a chase of 192 in Ranchi, India romped home after surviving a few hiccups with the opening duo of skipper Rohit Sharma (55 off 81 balls) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (37 of 44 balls) providing the perfect platform for others to build with their 84-run stand on day four of the match.

IMAGE: Shubman Gill bats. Photograph: BCCI

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.

IMAGE: Tom Hartley celebrates with team-mates after taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma. Photograph: BCCI

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.

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.

IMAGE: Yashasvi Jaiswal plays the reverse sweep. Photograph: BCCI

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.

While the visitors remained stubborn barring the conservative hundred by veteran Joe Root in Ranchi, the Indians adapted and refused to be bogged down by setbacks.

IMAGE: Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma. Photograph: BCCI

The opening loss in Hyderabad was expected to unsettle the home side which was already without superstar Virat Kohli, out due to personal reasons, and the injured K L 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 in the fourth Test, the team gained from the infusion of fresh energy.

IMAGE: Rohit Sharma hits a six. Photograph: BCCI

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.

IMAGE: James Anderson takes the catch to dismiss Yashasvi Jaiswal off the bowling of Joe Root. Photograph: BCCI

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.

IMAGE: Ollie Pope takes the catch to dismiss Rajat Patidar off the bowling of Shoaib Bashir. Photograph: BCCI

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.

IMAGE: Shubman Gill bats. Photograph: BCCI

Stokes was quick to take Root out of the attack and operated with his two spin twins in Bashir and Hartley, who did a decent job in stopping the run flow.

Gill looked under pressure to rotate the strike, which affected a well-set Rohit at the other end as boundaries dried up, pushing India on the back-foot.

IMAGE: England's players celebrate after Shoaib Bashir dismissed Ravindra Jadeja. Photograph: BCCI

Hartley was finally rewarded for his miserly spell with the prized scalp of the Indian captain.

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.

IMAGE: Dhruv Jurel hits a boundary. Photograph: BCCI

Bashir raced to his eight-wicket match haul in his second Test by sending back Ravindra Jadeja and Sarfaraz Khan off successive deliveries right after the lunch break. The Indian chase began to unravel with those dismissals but Gill teamed up with Jurel to steady the ship.

Against the run of play, Jurel produced a lovely cover drive off Bashir who went too wide and full. The Indian made full use of the opportunity to get the team's first boundary in 31 overs.

IMAGE: Shubman Gill celebrates his half-century. Photograph: BCCI

There was a sigh of relief and the Indian victory did not seem remote anymore.

The target soon came down to less than 50 and Gill too joined in the party smashing Bashir for back-to-back sixes.

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