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Indian Skipper’s Knock Helps India End 1st Test in Draw

New Delhi, Monday, November 14 – The kohlifirst Test at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot ended in a draw yesterday after India managed to not lose wickets towards the end of the play. Virat Kohli and his teammates heaved a sigh of relief post this result as England had a strong grip in the game. Words of appreciation are less for Indian skipper Kohli for the way he showcased his play.

To put forward the match fact in brief, Alastair Cook looked forward to good result in the last part having Haseeb Hameed, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Ben Duckett, Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Zafar Ansari in the team. On the other hand, Virat Kohli side consisted of Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Murali Vijay, Umesh Yadav, Gautam Gambhir and Cheteshwar Pujara.

After the tourists managed to score a mammoth total of 537 runs in 159.3 overs, it was clear that India will feel the pressure for sure. Highlights of England 1st innings were Moeen Ali’s 117 runs, Ben Stokes 128 runs and Joe Root’s 124 runs. Confident play helped them stay in front all the time. Catches were dropped quite a few times, resulting in three centuries from England players. Had the catches weren’t dropped, the result would have been a bit different what was witnessed on Sunday.

Jadeja got three wickets, while Shami, Yadav and Ashwin earned two wickets apiece. Mishra got only a wicket. Tons by Vijay and Pujara, along with Ashwin’s 70 runs, India got 488 runs for the loss of 10 wickets in 162 runs. Ashwin lost his wicket to Ansari when Ali made no mistake to catch the ball, which one seemed going to cross the boundary line. It was then England got a lead of 49 runs. India could not get past the total set by England but the way they batted, it proved that India are in no mood to let things go without giving a tough fight to the opponents.

As far as batting by the England team is concerned in their second innings then it was again a good show. Cook and Hameed gave the tourist a kind of start that was needed to keep the hosts under stress. And the same happened. The opening duo did a partnership of 180 runs in 58.4 overs, letting Indian bowlers strive for wickets at different time intervals. Root was dismissed at 4 runs, while Stokes was batting at 29 runs when England decided to declare their innings. It would not be wrong to say that England made best use the pitch at Rajkot, pocketing runs often and compelling India struggle.

They focused on building some good partnerships, which did not let India recover from the mistakes that were made when fielders dropped crucial catches at different points of time. Start wasn’t as it was eyed given that Gautam Gambhir was out for duck, losing wicket to Woakes. Cheteshwar Pujara was given lbw post failing to read a delivery by Adil Rashid. He could only score 18 runs in 36 balls, together with a couple of fours. His dismissal made Virat Kohli arrive on the crease and he did the job that was expected from him. Murali Vijay showed some stability but Adil Rashid ended his stint when he was playing at a score of 31 (4 x 6).

For Ajinkya Rahane, the series wasn’t good as Ali made him depart when the batsman opened his account. Ravichandran Ashwin was impressive once again, making sure India bat for some crucial overs in order to avoid the threat of defeat which was looming when wickets fell. Zafar Ansari got his wicket when he was playing at a score of 32 in 53 balls, together with six 4s. Wriddhiman Saha was dismissed thanks to the excellence shown by Adil Rashid soon after delivering a ball. Saha’s 9 runs consisted of a couple of 4s. Ravindra Jadeja was not out at 32 runs, along with six boundaries. Kohli was not out at 49 runs (4 x 6). India scored 172 runs in 52.3 overs.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that wonderful efforts by Indian batsmen to not let the match go in the hands of England must have let Indian fans get some relief. Of course, the draw was what supporters of both sides were not expecting. England were certainly disappointed as their hard work did not pay off as likely. Indian side was able to achieve a draw, which was no less than a victory. When wickets were lost early by the Indians, it seemed as if England will inch close to win, leading series 1-0 but that did not happen.

Taking into account the way England were playing in the opening Test, it is clear that upcoming matches of the series is going to be exciting enough. Ali was declared Man of the Match for his stupendous contribution for England. A few partnerships built at various points kept both parties strong. Second Test is to take place at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam from Thursday, November 17. After resting for a while, India and England are probable to work on the areas that could give them chance to see better results.

Tasting success further must be what both cricket playing nations want. Capitalizing the opportunity may be helpful further.  The visitors would try their level best to not let India even think of outshining them.  With potential players, gaining control in the contest but be watched. The Men in Blue need to improve a lot on fielding. Despite the fact that they have some best fielders, easy catches were not caught. The visiting team hopes for good show with both bat and ball. It would be interesting to watch who bears the brunt and who shines in difficult situations. Unpredictability of cricket will carry on increasing interest, which is usually high in cricket.

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