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All-rounder Kuldeep Yadav stars as India claim control in Ranchi

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Last updated on 25 Feb 2024 | 01:00 PM
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All-rounder Kuldeep Yadav stars as India claim control in Ranchi

Kuldeep ended the day with a 131-ball 28 and figures of 4/22 on a day where India showed their dominance

Kuldeep, the all-rounder in the making?

Whenever Kuldeep Yadav has come out to bat previously in Tests, there has been the mention of his First-Class century for Uttar Pradesh. But its usually associated with a lot of laughter afterwards. Kuldeep's century has always been viewed as a 'meme'. 

Not anymore. 

What Kuldeep showed today might come as a BIG BLESSING for India. While Kuldeep was only playing because of his primary skills - wrist spin - his secondary skill could well solidify his place in the national side. 

In this series, Kuldeep has faced 293 deliveries with the bat and has an impressive control percentage of 83.3%. In case you were wondering, that’s more than a host of batters in this series, including Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope

Here in Ranchi, Kuldeep faced 131 deliveries, the most he has faced in a Test innings, even more than he faced in Bangladesh, where he scored a crucial 40. What made it incredible was how he soaked the pressure and allowed Dhruv Jurel to go about his things without worrying. 

And, then, Kuldeep with the ball. The left-arm spinner made an immediate impact with the ball, striking only in his third over to dismiss an in-form Zak Crawley. Crawley was batting with brilliant control, but it was a delivery from the top drawer. 

The ball turned sharply into the right-hander and the stumps were left rattled. It didn’t end there, with the left-arm wrist-spinner striking gold, picking up the prized scalp of Ben Stokes, who too was beaten by sharp turn. 

In the 41st over of the innings, Kuldeep picked up both Tom Hartley and Ollie Robinson, with both the deliveries turning sharply. The left-arm wrist-spinner’s showing with the bat and ball only instils more and more confidence. 

Zak Crawley’s yet another impressive knock

Before the start of the Bazball era, Zak Crawley only reached a double-figure score in 52.63% of the innings (20 off 38). Between March 16, 2022, and September 8, 2022, the Kent opener had ten single-digit scores in 17 innings.

Also Read - Zak Crawley: Fearless, brave, and a Baz-ball flagbearer

At one point, it even felt like the English opener could be dropped from the setup. Crawley always had the ability, but he wasn’t getting to a double-digit score, which was annoying. Since Bazball, however, the right-hander’s ability has completely changed. 

Since Brendon McCullum took over as the coach, Crawley has had much more success with 29 double-digit scores in 42 innings. 

Here in Ranchi, it was yet another day when Crawley started off impressively with the bat, taking on Ashwin with three boundaries. That gave the right-hander enough confidence even to take on Ravindra Jadeja the next over. Throughout his innings, the English opener looked in sublime touch and threatened to take the game away from India with a 91-ball 60, where he scored seven boundaries.

Ravichandran Ashwin, a second-innings monster

When Rohit Sharma handed the new ball to Ravichandran Ashwin, you could predict what would come. Ashwin is a beast in Indian conditions. And, when the conditions are tailor-made, like in Ranchi, it is impossible to take Ashwin lightly. England had a first-hand experience of Ashwin’s damage. 

Ashwin struck in just the fifth over of the innings when he removed Ben Duckett. It didn’t take Ashwin too long before removing Ollie Pope either, and this time, it was the under-cutter from the Tamil Nadu man. The off-spinner then returned to remove Root, who might have felt hard done by the LBW decision. Was it right?

The 37-year-old finished with figures of 5/51, where he also sent off Ben Foakes with a well-disguised carrom ball. It was Ashwin’s 27th five-wicket haul in home Tests, with the all-rounder also surpassing Anil Kumble’s record of 350 Test wickets in India.

Read the other articles from day three's action of the fourth Test between India and England in Ranchi below:

Dhruv Jurel's knock in a league of its own

Explained: Was Joe Root unlucky to be given out by DRS?

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