India bowling coach's firm message for R Ashwin as England take control | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'No need to replicate Bashir...': India bowling coach's firm message for R Ashwin as England take control in 4th Test

Feb 25, 2024 06:56 AM IST

The relatively inexperienced England spin lineup, comprising Bashir and Hartley, put India under pressure from the word go, picking six wickets on Day 2

England's spinner Shoaib Bashir showcased his talent with a four-wicket haul, pushing India onto the defensive at 219-7 on Day 2 of the fourth Test in Ranchi. The rookie off-spinner dominated the Indian batting lineup, delivering a marathon spell of 31 overs without interruption across three sessions after England put a strong 353-run score in the first innings.

India's Ravichandran Ashwin in action during Day 1 of the 4th Test against in Ranchi(AP)
India's Ravichandran Ashwin in action during Day 1 of the 4th Test against in Ranchi(AP)

The relatively inexperienced England spin lineup, comprising Bashir and Tom Hartley – with Joe Root playing the part-timer role – put India under pressure from the word go. The England spin duo displayed notable speed through the air and outfoxed the Indian batters.

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Also read Novice Shoaib Bashir outperforms Ravichandran Ashwin despite fewer tricks, marathon spell in 4th Test

However, when India's bowling coach, Paras Mhambrey, was asked if this is how the Indian bowlers should also bowl, he emphasised that they would continue to rely on their strengths. Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets to his name, but Ravichandran Ashwin (1/83) and Kuldeep Yadav (0/22) toiled hard without much success.

“(Ravichandran) Ashwin is a different kind of bowler. Every individual will stick to their strengths. We don't need to replicate what they have done. We have to stick to our strengths and hopefully keep picking wickets,” Mhambrey said in the post-match press conference.

"The England spinners bowled well. Bashir maintained a good line and length, and at this level, you expect your opponents to do just that.

“He kept it simple and picked up wickets. Every spinner has their style and strengths. He stuck to his strengths - not being a big spinner, he is a tall guy, maintains his length, and keeps it simple. The same applies to (Tom) Hartley as well,” he said.

The action during the closing hours of Day 2 showed that the pitch is likely to deteriorate as the match progresses, putting England in firm control of the proceedings. The visitors still hold a 134-run lead, and India will rely on a young Dhruv Jurel (30*) and Kuldeep Yadav (17*) to keep their momentum intact after adding 42 runs for the eighth wicket before the end of play on the second day.

Mhambrey said the pitch was not a rank turner, but they did not expect it to play so slow on the second day itself.

"Considering the nature of the games we've had previously here, the wicket tends to get slower as the day progresses," Mhambrey said after the second day's play.

“Historically, they slow down and play on the lower side. We expected that, but honestly, we didn't anticipate it playing so low on the second day itself. The variable bounce was unexpected,” said the bowling coach.

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