India eye series win against England as Jazball takes over Bazball narrative

By BD Naraayannkar

Ranchi, (UNI) Before Yashasvi Jaiswal cracked his second double century in Rajkot, the Bazball narrative was on the upswing, but the Mumbaikar has changed the narrative to “Jazball” cricket with his flamboyant batting in this series so far.

As India walks out tomorrow for the fourth Test, Jaiswal would like his Jazball to do the talking as the hosts eye clinching the series 3-1 by defeating the tourists. On the other hand, it is a do-or-die situation for England to keep intact their record of not losing any Test series in Bazball era.

Jasprit Bumrah’s absence should bring some relief to them, especially Joe Root who has been his bunny, having fallen to him nine times out of 13 Test matches.

The decision of captain Ben Stokes to roll over his arms could be a good augury for Team England as he is capable of providing breakthroughs, but a tad difficult to stop Jaiswal’s Jazball cricket.

The Mumbaikar has smashed 545 in six innings, and it is not just the runs, but how scored them is a worrying factor for the touring team. He got those many at the rate of 81.10, which includes 22 sixes, the most by any batsman in the series. If England are to stay alive in the series, they need to stop Jaiswal’s Jazball cricket.

Jonny Bairstow has been quite the opposite of Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley. It was expected of him to play freely after having been relieved of wicketkeeping duties but has been disappointing.

Bairstow has managed only 102 runs at an average of 17.00, but the team management has pinned faith in his abilities, and he would be desperate to repay it.

The only question dogging India is the replacement for Jasprit Bumrah. Could it be Mukesh Kumar or uncapped Akash Deep? But going by the net session, it looks like Mukesh would get the nod as Akash did more batting and fielding than bowling.

England have made two changes. They have replaced Mark Wood with Ollie Robinson who will play his first Test in India, while recalled offspinner Shoaib Bashir and rested Rehan Ahmed.

As far as Ranchi’s pitch is concerned, no one knows how it is going to behave. After having a first look at it, Stokes said he hadn’t seen anything like this before, but in the evening went back on his observation.

India’s Batting Coach Vikram Rathore however said it is a spinning deck, but feigned ignorance about it will turn.

On the weather front, there is a forecast for showers on the third and fifth days of the Test.

India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Jurel and K S Bharat (wks), Devdutt Padikkal, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Siraj, Akash Deep, Mukesh Kumar.

England team: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (wk), Ollie Robinson, Tom Hartley, James Anderson, Shoaib Bashir.

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