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    Shoaib Bashir puts England on top in Ranchi's India vs England match
Shoaib Bashir puts England on top in Ranchi's India vs England match
Ben Stokes hugging Shoaib Bashir, by wisden.com

Shoaib Bashir puts England on top in Ranchi's India vs England match

Shoaib Bashir's impressive 4-84 presented England with a great opportunity to seize control of the fourth Test against India in Ranchi.

In only his second Test, off-spinner Bashir bowled an impressive spell of 31 consecutive overs that stretched across all three sessions of the second day.

At one stage, he picked up three wickets for five runs in 41 deliveries. Crucially, he also got Yashasvi Jaiswal to chop on to his stumps for 73.

India, who were struggling at 177-7, managed to rally to 219-7 thanks to an unbroken stand of 42 between Dhruv Jurel and Kuldeep Yadav. This left the hosts 134 runs behind England's first innings total of 353, which they were dismissed for on Saturday morning.

Joe Root and Ollie Robinson combined for a partnership of 102 runs for the eighth wicket. Robinson scored 58 runs, achieving his first half-century in Test cricket.

Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets in 11 deliveries, starting with Robinson's dismissal, and then cleaned up the tail, leaving Root unbeaten on 122.

England might have hoped to bat again before the end of the day, but Jurel and Kuldeep fought hard. They would face the challenge of the second new ball on the third morning.

Superb Fightback by England

England performed exceptionally well after being reduced to 112-5 in challenging conditions on the first morning.

Root demonstrated his leadership skills by guiding England's last five wickets to score 241 runs. Bashir's brilliant performance led the visitors to a steady victory over India's batting.

Despite some fleeting moments, India was outplayed. During the first hour, Root and Robinson extended their partnership, but the team's top order would have been in trouble if it weren't for the prolific Jaiswal and 38 from Shubman Gill.

Although the pitch appeared docile at times, signs of uneven bounce are increasing, which bodes well for England as they will bowl last in the match.

England also benefited from three 'umpire's call' lbw decisions. They had questioned the decision review system after losing the second and third Tests.

England lead after Bashir's outstanding performance

Bashir is becoming one of the most inspired England selections in recent history. He was chosen for this tour after only six first-class matches for Somerset.

Last summer he was still playing club cricket for Taunton Deane.

Although he was left out of the third Test following a debut in the second, the 20-year-old showed why he is the most likeable candidate to succeed the injured Jack Leach as England's first-choice spinner.

James Anderson caught Rohit Sharma for his 697th Test wicket. However, England's pace bowlers were unable to extract the same amount of life from the surface as India's. Robinson appeared rusty and lacked pace, likely due to not having bowled in any competitive cricket since July.

Bashir bowled a marathon spell that began before lunch and would have continued until the end of the day had he not switched ends for his final over. He bowled with relentless control, aided by occasionally defensive fields from Stokes.

England looked robbed until Jaiswal and Gill added 82 runs for the second wicket, but Bashir turned sharply and Gill was out leg-before with his first ball.

Rajat Patidar was caught on the back foot. Jadeja was caught at short leg.

Jaiswal remained steady until Bashir found some low bounce, taking the toe of the bat and hitting the stumps. Tom Hartley was not given a chance until the 32nd over, but in his 18-over spell, the left-armer had Sarfaraz Khan edge to slip and trapped Ravichandran Ashwin in front.

Bashir bowled the longest spell by an England bowler in 11 years, but he suffered from cramp during his 24th over. With only 14 players available, assistant coach Marcus Trescothick donned his whites to run the drinks.

The team's collective effort was impressive, but Jurel and Kuldeep's determination brought it to a halt.

Root and Robinson had to move on

Robinson was the dominant scorer as he and Root pushed on against the second new ball, after England's overnight score of 302-7. At one point, Robinson hit Akash Deep for three fours in the same over.

Robinson's half-century was the first by an England number nine in three years. The stand with Root was England's first in excess of 100 for the eighth wicket since 2017.

Root, who was 106 not out on Friday, was untroubled except for an edge off spinner Kuldeep that fell just short of slip.

However, Root could only watch as England lost their last three wickets for six runs.

Robinson was dismissed after gloving a reverse sweep to wicketkeeper Jurel, and Anderson was given out leg-before. In between, Bashir played a reckless shot at only his second delivery but redeemed himself with his impressive bowling.

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