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England’s Shoaib Bashir’s bowling brilliance put India on ‘defensive’ approach

England's Shoaib Bashir

Spinner Shoaib Bashir emerged as the star performer for England in the gripping contest between England and India on the second day of the fourth Test in Ranchi on Saturday.

The rookie off-spinner showcased his prowess by claiming four crucial wickets, putting India on the defensive at 219-7 by the end of the day’s play.

Bashir’s impressive bowling display unfolded during a marathon spell of 31 overs, delivered without a break over three sessions.

His relentless efforts rattled the Indian batting lineup in response to England’s first-innings total of 353. Wicketkeeper-batsman Dhruv Jurel and Kuldeep Yadav managed to secure an unbeaten partnership of 42 runs by the close of play, yet India still trailed England by 134 runs.

Yashasvi Jaiswal, leading the series batting chart with 618 runs, contributed 73 runs before falling victim to Bashir.

The left-hander attempted to defend a low ball, only to see it catch the toe of his bat and crash into the stumps.

Bashir’s stellar performance was complemented by two wickets from spinner Tom Hartley.

Earlier in the day, England’s captain Joe Root played a pivotal role, notching an unbeaten 122 runs to guide his team to a competitive position.

However, the spotlight ultimately belonged to Bashir, who bowled tirelessly from the ninth over until he was replaced by Root just before stumps.

Bashir’s scalps included Shubman Gill (38) and Rajat Patidar (17), both dismissed lbw, and he also got Ravindra Jadeja caught at short leg, leaving India in a precarious position at 131-4 during the tea session.

Notably, James Anderson, the veteran fast bowler, made a significant impact by dismissing India’s captain Rohit Sharma early in the match, reducing him to just two runs before lunch. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Gill then collaborated in an 82-run partnership to stabilise the inning.

As the day concluded, England, trailing 2-1 in the series, found themselves in a challenging position, with Bashir’s exceptional bowling ensuring a gripping battle between the two cricketing giants.

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