Akash Deep's stirring reply as 'Mohammed Shami' parallels drawn after debut | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Akash Deep's stirring reply as 'Mohammed Shami' parallels drawn after stellar debut in 4th Test vs England

Feb 23, 2024 09:09 PM IST

Akash Deep picked three wickets in the first day of fourth Test, and has a chance to pick a five-for on his debut.

Akash Deep enjoyed a stellar debut day in Test cricket on Friday, as he picked three wickets in the opening session of the Ranchi Test against England. The pacer inflicted a top-order collapse on the visitors before Joe Root's century eventually steered England's recovery on Day 1 of the Test.

Akash Deep bowls on Day 1 of the 4th Test match against England (ANI )
Akash Deep bowls on Day 1 of the 4th Test match against England (ANI )

Akash garnered widespread praise for his impressive bowling display, with many fans noting striking similarities between his style and that of star India pacer Mohammed Shami. With a focused approach targeting the stumps right from the start, Akash's bowling technique, including his wrist position, drew parallels with the senior India fast bowler. During the post-match press conference on day one, the Bengal pacer was quizzed about these observations.

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Also read: Rohit Sharma reacts to Anil Kumble's Rajkot request by unveiling last-minute surprise for former India coach in 4th Test

Following the day's play, Akash Deep – who also represents Bengal in domestic cricket like Shami – reflected on the comparisons drawn between him and Shami. The 27-year-old insisted that he had followed Shami closely during the start of his playing career.

"In my childhood, I didn't know about cricket. From where I come, there is no cricket. I was playing tennis cricket till 2007. In 2016, when I left from home, I started following Shami bhai. I watch him and Rabada closely," said Akash Deep.

The 27-year-old picked up wickets of Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope and Zak Crawley in a magnificent opening spell on Day 1. He provided the crucial opening breakthrough for the hosts in the 10th over, inducing an edge from opener Ben Duckett, which wicket-keeper Dhruv Jurel comfortably caught.

The 27-year-old's impact continued as he swiftly dismissed England vice-captain Ollie Pope LBW with a well-executed delivery, firmly shifting the momentum in India's favour.

Akash, then, claimed the wicket of Zak Crawley, dislodging the bails, leaving England reeling at 3 for 58. At one point in the innings, England were at 112/5 before Joe Root (106*) steered the sinking ship, forming excellent partnerships with Ben Foakes (47) and Ollie Robinson (31*).

At the end of the day, England reached 302/7.

Akash Deep was handed a debut cap following the absence of Jasprit Bumrah from the fourth Test; the latter was rested after taking part in the first three matches of the series.

India are leading the five-match series 2-1.

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