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India overcame nerves to clinch the series victory.

India overcame nerves to clinch the series victory.

A measured partnership between Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel helped India overcome nerves on the fourth day to clinch the Ranchi Test. With that, the hosts have taken an unassailable 3-1 lead to inflict the first Test series loss on the Brendon McCullum-Ben Stokes era.

India, resuming from 40/0, began in fine fashion on the fourth morning. Rohit Sharma smacked James Anderson over wide long-on for a terrific six whereas Yashasvi Jaiswal slowly got into his groove and brought out a wide range of strokes like he has done throughout the series. The openers put India firmly in control of this Test at one point, adding 84 for the first wicket before Jaiswal lost concentration and tried to take on Joe Root, only to mistime to backward point.

That wicket gave England an opening to capitalise on. Rohit, who went past 50, didn’t last long and appeared to have been stumped off Tom Hartley but the replays suggested that he had in fact edged it behind as well. Rajat Patidar, already under pressure, was dismissed for a duck by Shoaib Bashir as India went from 84/0 to 100/3. Gill and Ravindra Jadeja then came out of a nervy period before lunch unscathed but had a huge task ahead of them post resumption.

However, the hosts were handed an early blow post the break when Jadeja gifted his wicket to the opposition. He chipped a juicy full toss straight to the fielder stationed at midwicket and stood in disbelief. England then put themselves in a great position when Bashir struck again off the very next ball. Sarfaraz Khan, who had hit twin fifties on debut, inside-edged one to get caught at short leg. A 30-over dry spell without a boundary finally came to an end when Jurel drove one through the covers to bring the local crowd alive.

Both Jurel and Gill consistently managed to play the spinners well and rotate strike to eat into the target. Gill in particular showcased tremendous maturity despite consistently losing partners at the other end prior to this partnership. And with India just 20 runs away from a win at one point, Gill finally hit his first boundary off his 120th delivery when he stepped down the track twice in the span of three deliveries to clear the ropes, eventually bringing up his fifty as well. Jurel, who led India’s comeback in this Test with a brilliant 90 in the first innings, finished the job in the following over to cap off an excellent Test match.

Brief Scores England 353 (Joe Root 122*; Ravindra Jadeja 4/67) & 145 (Zak Crawley 60; R Ashwin 5/51) lost to India 307 (Dhruv Jurel 90; Shoaib Bashir 5/119) & 192/5 (Rohit Sharma 55, Shubman Gill 52*; Shoaib Bashir 3/79) by 5 wickets

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