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KL Rahul, Karun Nair Put Best Foot Forward to Keep India Robust vs. England in 5th Test

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KL Rahul, Karun Nair Put Best Foot Forward to Keep India Robust vs. England in 5th Test

December 19
14:30 2016

nairNew Delhi, Monday, December 19 – Before England tour of India started, it was expected that both sides will try to do their best on the field to be excellent in all possible departments. Growth of Indian players certainly caught the eyeballs. And to everyone’s surprise, the young guns are actually turning mature in terms of playing cricket.

When the final Test between India and England began at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai from Friday, December 16, it was likely that England will not let the last opportunity of shining go without utilizing it. Good show from middle order and tail-ender batsmen did the job for the touring side that wished to bounce back in sheer style even though they already lost the series.

Wet outfield created a little bit problem as well since it became slippery. The side to bat first was England after they won the toss. The squad under the captaincy of Alastair Cook eyed a win to end contest being positive for further games. Expectations were up from Keaton Jennings, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, Liam Dawson, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Jake Ball. The players to sit on bench were Gary Ballance, Chris Woakes, Gareth Batty, Ben Duckett, Steven Finn and Zafar Ansari.

At the same time, Virat Kohli led the camp which had Ishant Sharma, who marked comeback in the game after a long time, Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Parthiv Patel, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin, Karun Nair, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra and Umesh Yadav. However, Shardul Thakur, Manish Pandey, Jayant Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were in extras. England hoped for a stable start while batting first but the dream did not turn true as Keaton Jennings was caught behind by Parthiv Patel in Ishant’s over at a score of one. Nothing could have been wonderful for the right-arm fast-medium bowler who lately tied the wedding knot with Pratima Singh.  Another jolt was felt a tad early than expected as the England captain Alastair Cook was dismissed by Jadeja post scoring 10 runs in 38 balls. His innings included a boundary too.

But Joe Root and Moeen Ali gave their team what was needed at that point of time. Jadeja broke the partnership between these two players, sending Root back to the pavilion thanks to a catch by Parthiv Patel. Root once again tried to do his bit, getting 88 runs in 144 balls. His knock was studded with 10 boundaries. Jonny Bairstow was the next man to arrive on the crease and give support to Ali, who went on pocketing 146 runs of 262 balls (4 x 13 and 6 x 1) with a strike rate of 55.73. Jadeja brought another wicket for India after a certain span of time, taking wicket of England wicket-keeper when he was playing at a score of 49. Next two wickets fell early. Ben Stokes for once more lost his wicket to Ashwin when batting at a score of 6. He faced 32 deliveries but could not pocket runs according to his calibre. Jos Buttler was lbw by Ishant. He could only contribute 5 runs off 17 balls.

Ali’s beautiful stint came to an end as a result of a good catch by Jadeja when Umesh was back in action. Liam Dawson played an important knock staying not out at 66 runs that were pocketed after facing 148 deliveries, with the help of five fours and a six. Adil Rashid added to speed of scoring runs by playing an innings of 60 off 155 balls, with the help of 8 boundaries. Parthiv Patel did a nice job behind the stumps, taking the catch in Umesh’s over. Stuart Broad was run out attributable to brilliant efforts by Rahul and Parthiv Patel. With a couple of fours, 19 runs were scored by Broad. Jake Ball was dismissed by Mishra at 12 runs. He struck a six as well. England first innings finished at 477 runs. 15 extras were bowled by Indian bowlers.

Kohli this time went with six bowlers. Nair bowled just for an over but did not get any wicket. Jadeja got three wickets, while Yadav and Sharma got two wickets. Ashwin and Mishra got one wicket apiece. Ashwin’s bowling wasn’t impressive, letting England players feel the ease in going for several runs in his over. Ashwin bowled for 44 overs and gave 151 runs. His bowling missed the sharpness for what he is famous as one on the biggest threats on the Indian soil. When India’s turn to bat came, the opening batsmen Lokesh Rahul and Parthiv Patel proved their worth in the squad. The two players weaved a partnership of 152 runs. It was broken by Ali the moment he got wicket of Patel, who scored 71 runs off 112 balls. Beauty of his innings was highlighted by seven boundaries.

Next couple of wickets fell in a short span of time as Cheteshwar Pujara succumbed to Stokes at 16 runs (4 x 3) and Virat Kohli to Broad at 15 runs (4 x 1). Rahul scored 199 runs in 311 balls, hitting 16 4s and three sixes. A wrong selection of shot made him go back to pavilion when he was just one run away from getting double century. Buttler took an easy catch in Adil Rashid’s over, spreading silence in the stadium. Rahul realized his mistake of being hasty. Ending the Day 3 with 391 runs on their end for the loss of four wickets made India gain foothold. Karun Nair resumed his play today at 71 runs and Murali Vijay at 17 runs. Perhaps, due to injury, Vijay recently lost his wicket to Dawson post scoring 29 runs, which consisted of four 4s.

Nair, on the other hand, showcased good batting, scoring 115 runs in 203 balls (4 x 10 and 6 x 1). Ashwin is batting at one run. After 130 overs, India trail by 28 runs, scoring 449 runs, losing five wickets.  Jadeja, Mishra, Yadav and Ishant are yet to bat. Nair was dropped yesterday when he was batting at 34 runs. This has turned costly for England. The track in Chennai has turned good for batsmen. All sessions on Monday are going to play an important role. If truth be told then outcome of the match seems to be a draw. Only miraculous performances by a side will make it taste success. Cook wants his bowling lineup to do the job. Except Jake Ball and Joe Root, Stuart Broad, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid and Liam Dawson got one wicket each. Fielding by both camps have been exceptional. Viewers sitting in the stadium and at home eye great entertainment through the ongoing match.

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