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India v England: Shoaib Bashir puts England on top in Ranchi



India v England: Shoaib Bashir puts England on top in Ranchi

Bashir is turning into one of the most inspired England selections in recent memory, having been chosen for this tour after only six first-class matches for Somerset.

Just last summer, he was still playing club cricket for Taunton Deane.

Left out of the third Test following a debut in the second, the 20-year-old showed why he appears most likely to succeed the injured Jack Leach as England’s first-choice spinner.

Though James Anderson had Rohit Sharma caught behind for his 697th Test wicket, England’s pace bowlers struggled to get the same life out of the surface as India’s. Robinson looked rusty and down on pace, having not bowled in any competitive cricket since July.

Bashir was plugged into a marathon spell that started before lunch and would have lasted until the close had he not switched ends for his final over of the day. He bowled with relentless control, helped by some occasionally defensive fields from Stokes.

England were just beginning to look bereft when Jaiswal and Gill were adding 82, but Bashir got sharp turn to Gill for a first tight leg-before decision.

Rajat Patidar was trapped on the back foot and Jadeja got in a tangle to be caught at short leg.

Jaiswal remained, looking immovable, until Bashir found some low bounce, taking the toe of the bat en route to the stumps. Tom Hartley had been ignored until the 32nd over, but in an 18-over spell of his own, the left-armer had Sarfaraz Khan edge to slip and pinned Ravichandran Ashwin in front.

Bashir was into the longest spell by an England bowler for 11 years and he went down with cramp in his 24th over. For an England squad down to 14 players, assistant coach Marcus Trescothick donned his whites to run the drinks.

It was a huge collective effort, only halted by the determination of Jurel and Kuldeep.

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