Wednesday, June 16, 2021
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Close encounter

India-England Rajkot Test match was having all the stuff for a close encounter.  Having lost the toss, Team India was at the receiving end as fielders had dropped several vital catches and we could see a big stand developing after the fall of three wickets.  There were three centurions from the England side and their team put up an imposing total of 537 to challenge India. Indian team did well to inch closer to the total thanks to Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara century and a huge stand for the second wicket.  Thereafter, it was left to R. Ashwin to build up a challenging total even though he failed with the ball after his early stint. On the last day, a late declaration by Alastair Cook saw India squeeze out draw. Instead of scoring quick runs before lunch he was bent upon building a big lead. And that resulted in 49 overs to bowl the home team out for the second time for a photo finish.  Despite early loss of wickets, Captain Virat Kohli steadied the ship with Ashwin first and then allowed the game to drift towards a draw with Ravindra Jadeja in the end. Ravichandran Ashwin played 192 balls for his 102 runs tally and added valuable runs for his team and that really put paid English hopes after early loss of wickets in the end. Despite failing with the bowl Ashwin made a vital contribution with his batting in a match saving innings.

Nickhil Mani

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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