Jurel Spinners Turn The Tide


Dhruv Jurel's maiden Test fifty started the turnaround for India at Ranchi.

Dhruv Jurel and India's spin trio delivered on the third day in Ranchi to turn the tide in favour of the hosts. By stumps on the second day, India were under the pump but the see-saw contest has seen India take command as they now need only 152 runs to win the Test and the series with all ten wickets intact going into the final two days.

Jurel showed plenty of fight by the end of the second day's play and continued in the same vein on the third morning as well. Kuldeep Yadav, who played the ideal foil at the other end, managed to frustrate England with his dogged defence. The pair managed to 76 for the eighth wicket and reduced the deficit before James Anderson finally broke through. Once Kuldeep was castled, Jurel opted to open up and regularly cleared the ropes to add some crucial runs. Akash Deep offered support to an extent and Jurel made use of that to race to 90 before missing a well-deserved ton.

His efforts helped the momentum shift in favour of India though as England only fetched a first-innings lead of 46. R Ashwin then dented England further by dismissing Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope off successive deliveries to put India firmly on top. Zak Crawley fought hard at one end but Ashwin broke through at the other end once again by bagging the big fish, Joe Root. Kuldeep then inflicted more misery on the visitors by castling Crawley and Ben Stokes before the Tea break.

England badly needed a significant contribution yet again from their lower order in order to keep fighting but unfortunately that didn't arrive this time. Kuldeep and Ravindra Jadeja made more inroads before Ashwin completed his five-fer to bowl the visitors out for just 145. To make matters worse, the tricky chase of 192 received a boost before stumps with both Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal fetching vital runs. Rohit in particular attempted to play positive cricket and managed to fetch four boundaries. England will now have to rely on a batting collapse to stay alive in the series.

Brief scores: India307 (Dhruv Jurel 90; Shoaib Bashir 5/119) & 40/0 (Rohit Sharma 24*) need another 152 runs vs England353 & 145 (Zak Crawley 60; R Ashwin 5/51)