back icon


Shoaib Bashir shines as India hang on by the thinnest of margins

article_imageTALKING POINTS
Last updated on 24 Feb 2024 | 12:58 PM
Google News IconFollow Us
Shoaib Bashir shines as India hang on by the thinnest of margins

The hosts still trail by 134 runs on a day that saw the power shift from India’s hands to England

India’s nagging problems with tail

It was the third occasion for wickets six or lower when England put up a 100-run partnership in the series; that’s the third joint-most by a visiting side in India. And all of it was down to Ollie Robinson’s aggression earlier in the day. In that first hour of play, the Indian bowlers were all over the place for Robinson, who put the bad ball away with so much ease. 

Walking out to bat, Robinson picked the right bowlers to attack, scoring three boundaries off Siraj’s bowling. It was a similar pattern from yesterday for Siraj, who kicked off the proceedings in the most inconsistent manner before switching ends. 

Robinson, in turn, scored his maiden Test half-century, and that, in return, put England in a good position to reach 350. 

Rohit gets starts but what after?

Till now in the series, Rohit’s scores read: 24, 39, 14, 13, 131, 19 and now 2. It shows how the opener has failed to kick on from great starts, with just one of them converted into a 50+ score. 

Yet again, it isn’t just a one-off incident. Rohit’s Test career has had a recurrent theme: great scores and then below-par ones in between them. Between his first and second Test century, his scores read: 26, 52, 44, 7, 6, 12 and ultimately scored 161.

When India thought he was in good form, the scores went back, reading 26, 66, 25*, 49, 34, 30, 36, 12*, 83, 21, 19, 59 and 11. It is a theme that has continued on and on. So, maybe it is time for Rohit to be more consistent and keep scoring the hundreds with lesser intervals in between. 

Prior to this 131, the right-hander had scores of 5, 0, 39, 16*, 24, 39, 14 and 13 in his last eight innings. If anything, that’s perhaps the only flaw in his batting right now. 

Shoaib Bashir’s day out in Ranchi

Till today (February 24), Bashir had never taken more than three wickets in an innings. And here in Ranchi, he picked up four wickets and showed how he was mightily effective in these conditions, sticking to his strength. 

There was an evident difference between what Bashir did and what Ravichandran Ashwin was trying to do in the first innings of this Test match. The English off-spinner was bowling from over the wicket, trying to hit the cracks and get the ball to turn sharply past the right-handers. 

Ashwin’s method of operation was different, he bowled from around the wicket, trying to turn the ball into the right-hander, targeting their pads. 76.8% of Bashir’s deliveries were in the same grouping, showing great control. Only 2.9% of the deliveries were full.

Not just that, Bashir bowled nearly 31 overs on the trot, showing great stamina and endurance. In between overs 32-67, Bashir bowled in tandem with Tom Hartley to stop India’s total from getting anywhere. It was that phase really which might end up costing India from taking a 3-1 lead in the series.  

Dhruv Jurel, showing his prowess with the bat

Just when England were hoping to run through the lower-order, in walked Jurel at 171/6. In front of his eyes, he saw the score becoming 177/7 but never did that have any sort of effect on what he did at the crease. On his debut, the right-handed batter scored a crucial 46, stitching up a crucial partnership alongside Ravichandran Ashwin. 

While he looked solid during his time at the crease, he was dismissed just four runs short of a well-deserved half-century. In that particular clash, India were in a strong position already, but here in Ranchi, India were in big trouble. 

He was two off 12 at one point of time, before smacking a four off Bashir’s bowling. That could have made any batter go into a hitting mode but not Jurel, who switched between defence and attack, as if it happened via a flick of a switch. In his 58-ball stay, the right-hander scored 30 runs, with two fours and one six. 

Here are all the articles that sum up day two's action from Ranchi

- Rohit Sharma's form another cause of worry for India

- The batter in Ravindra Jadeja, a warrior by name, a saviour by game

Related Article