India wins the 4th Test by 5 wickets sealing the series 3-1 against England

unnamed   2024 02 29T181659.210
Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel helped India seal the series on Monday in Ranchi

By winning the 4th Test by 5 wickets, India sealed the 5-match Test series against England 3-1 on Day 4 at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi with the dead-rubber Test to be played in Dharamsala from March 7.

The hosts required 152 more runs on Day 4 with the opening pair of Yashaswi Jaiswal and Indian skipper Rohit Sharma continuing from where they left off on Day 3 as the 37-year old batter smashed James Anderson over long-on for a maximum in the third over of the day. Jaiswal and Rohit procured 5 boundaries from the next five overs with Jaiswal hitting two consecutive boundaries against Shoaib Bashir in the 16th over. 

English skipper Ben Stokes turned to Joe Root for the first time in the morning and it instantly reaped rewards as Jaiswal tried to attack the off-spinner but ended up slicing the ball straight to Anderson at backward point ending his innings at a score of 37 runs off 44 balls which included five boundaries.

In the 20th over, Rohit brought up his half-century inside 69 balls leading the team from the front in the series-decider. After a few boundary-less overs, the Indian skipper lost his patience and tried to shimmy down the pitch to hit Tom Hartley out of the park but was completely undone by the turn. Ben Foakes collected the ball cleanly and took off the bails ending the opening batter’s innings at a score of 55 runs off 81 balls that included 5 boundaries and a solitary maximum.

Rajat Patidar once again failed to grab the opportunity with both hands as Bashir dismissed the Madhya Pradesh batter on a duck with Ollie Pope completing the catch at backward short-leg.

Ravindra Jadeja along with Gill helped India add 18 runs before the end of the first session as the hosts were 118/3 when the umpires called for Lunch with India 74 runs away from the victory while Stokes’ men required 7 wickets to make the series 2-2 ahead of the fifth test.

The inexperienced English spinners have impressed throughout the series

Bashir struck almost immediately after Lunch as a poor full-toss delivery was lobbed straight to Jonny Bairstow by Jadeja who ended a disappointing Test with the bat in hand.

Sarfaraz Khan was dismissed on the first ball he faced as he edged the ball onto his pads and straight to Pope fielding at leg slip as the Mumbai batter failed to impress in the Ranchi Test after a glorious debut in Rajkot.

Hero of the first innings, Dhruv Jurel came out to face the hat-trick ball and negotiated the threat with ease. The duo ensured that they didn’t go into a shell mixing caution with sensible aggression, rotating the strike whenever possible.

After 31 boundary-less overs, Jurel punished Bashir when he bowled a rare loose delivery outside off and the wicket-keeper batter creamed the ball through the extra-cover region on the last ball of the 47th over.

After negotiating the threat calmy for a few more overs, the duo brought up the 50-run stand in 122 balls signifying the temperament of the highest order.

With 20 runs needed, Gill finally broke the shackles with a huge maximum as he danced down the pitch and smashed Bashir straight over long-off on the first ball of the 60th over. On the third ball of the same over, the incumbent Gujarat Titans skipper smashed the ball over the deep mid-wicket region bringing up a much-deserved half-century inside 122 balls.

The Rajasthan Royals’ wicket-keeper batter then took charge smacking Hartley away to the boundary as all the fielders were inside the 30-yard circle and Player of the Match Jurel completed the run-chase with a double off the last ball of the same over.

With the win, India extended their streak of winning Test series at home to 17 Test series, just behind the record of 28 Test series set by Australia between 1992 and 2008 while England lost their first series under the leadership of head coach Brendon Mccullum and Stokes.

Stokes praised his side’s efforts and reserved special praise for the young spinners who have continuously impressed, especially in the absence of lead spinner Jack Leach.

He said,

“I think it was a great Test match. If you see the scoreboard, it’ll say India won by 5 wickets, but it doesn’t give credit to the way things unfolded, the ebbs and flows on every single day it happened. I can only be proud of my team, we’ve had some inexperienced spinners but I’m proud of their efforts, they came here without a lot of exposure and the way they kept bowling, I can’t ask for anything more.”

The English captain continued,

“Part of my captaincy is allowing the young guys to revel and have the freedom to play in some difficult and intimidating conditions in India. I am a massive Test cricket fan and the number of youngsters coming along in both teams sets things up nicely for the future of Test cricket.”

On the other hand, Sharma talked about how close-fought the series was and how his side edged the contest despite missing a few key players due to injuries and other reasons.

He said,

“It has been a very hard-fought series without a doubt and to come on the right side of it at the end of four Test matches feels really good. Really proud of everyone in the dressing room. There were a lot of challenges thrown at us but I thought we responded pretty well. We had different challenges in different Test matches and I thought we were quite composed in what we wanted to achieve and what we wanted to do on the field, very happy.”

Talking about the youngsters coming through, the veteran continued,

“Clearly tells me they want to be here, all the hard work they have done in the past, coming up playing domestic cricket and performing there, coming here it is a big challenge but when I look at them, talk to them and the responses that I get from them is quite encouraging. 

He concluded,

“My job and Rahul Bhai’s job is to give them the environment they want to be in and they don’t feel too much about going out there and getting the job done, they want to get the job done but there’s no point in keeping talking about it or reminding them about it because they are very clear in what they want to do.”