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India Defeats England in the Test Series thanks to Gill and Jurel

India defeats England in the Test series thanks to Gill and Jurel. RANCHI: On the fourth day of the fourth Test on Monday, Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel led India to a five-wicket victory over England that sealed the series. India fell to 120-5 in the second session in Ranchi, chasing 192 for victory, but Gill (52) and Jurel (39) put together an unbeaten partnership of 72 to reach the goal.

After losing the opening Test, India’s victory gave them an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series. India’s captain Rohit Sharma stated, “It’s been a very hard-fought series, so to come on the right side of it feels very good.”

“We faced many obstacles, but we overcame them.” For captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, it was their first series loss since they took over in 2022 and turned England’s fortunes with their attacking style known as “Bazball.”

Stokes remarked, “I couldn’t be more proud” of his spin bowlers and said, “It was a great Test match; the scoreboard doesn’t give enough credit to the game as a whole, the ebbs and flows.” Stokes praised the spinners for their early career exposure to such a situation, saying, “So much credit to our spinners.”

Soon after lunch, Shoaib Bashir took two wickets in two balls, threatening a mini-crisis that Gill and Jurel, who made 90 in India’s first innings, averted with Gill’s anchoring performance in his 124-ball knock.

“Under duress”

Even though India still needed 72 more runs, Gill and Jurel calmly rotated the strike to remove singles before the former hit two consecutive sixes off Bashir to reach his fifty. Gill said, “Jurel came out and took the pressure off; he saw the situation and played accordingly. We were put under pressure.”

He said that captain Rohit Sharma “gave us the confidence to go out and play with freedom” and thanked him for his support. When Jurel hit the winning runs, the Indian dressing room cheered and he punched the air and hugged his partner.

With an opening stand of 40 runs overnight between Rohit and Yashasvi Jaiswal, India got off to a strong start in the morning. The breakthrough came when Joe Root forced Jaiswal, on 37, to loop a catch to a diving James Anderson at backward point in his first over of the day.

After hitting his half-century, Rohit was caught behind by Ben Foakes, the wicketkeeper, off the left-arm spin of Tom Hartley. After a while, the ruling was modified to caught behind from stumped. When Bashir, who claimed his first five-wicket haul in the first innings, brilliantly caught Rajat Patidar for a duck off Ollie Pope, England’s traveling army of fans let out a cheer. India were now down to 100-3.

With his two goals after the half, Bashir silenced the home crowd and gave England a slim chance of winning. The next ball was tickled to Pope at backward short-leg by Sarfaraz Khan for a duck after Ravindra Jadeja slapped a full toss to Jonny Bairstow at mid-wicket, but Jurel held on to the ball that would have completed his hat-trick. After India scored 307 runs in their first innings, England had 353 runs all out and were ahead by 46.

“We aim to triumph.”
Day three saw Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav share nine wickets in the second innings, binning out England for 145. This set the stage for victory. Thanks to Root’s unbeaten 122, England had rallied from 112-5 in their opening innings.

Even though India’s main striker, Jasprit Bumrah, was rested, the bowling performed admirably, led by rookie fast bowler Akash Deep, who claimed three early wickets when England chose to bat. In the match, Anderson took 698 Test wickets; he now needs two more to join the ranks of only two bowlers to reach 700, Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka (800) and the late Australian spin wizard Shane Warne (708).

The Himalayan hill town of Dharamsala will host the fifth and final Test on March 7. “We go into every Test believing we can win,” Rohit stated, expressing confidence in his ability to perform well in the final game. AFP

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