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After India bats the Dharamsala Test manages to become sleepy

By Akanksha - March 8, 2024 - Last updated on Mar 08, 2024 09:08 PM
After India bats the Dharamsala Test manages to become sleepy

India had surpassed 400, the lead was almost 200, Bollywood music was being played by the Barmy Army trumpeter, and England's chances were dwindling. The DJ would abruptly start playing Bon Jovi over the public address system, saying, "Take my hand, we'll make it, I swear." Oh my goodness, living on a prayer.

On the field, the English were uninspired by the American rock star.

Just then, on a typical day on the field, sweeper Zak Crawley, who was watching the cover fence, allowed one more to slink through the legs and give up a boundary. Undoubtedly, England was surviving on prayer, but nobody was prepared to promise they would survive.

India made progress on Day 2 toward transforming a solid series victory into a spectacular one; they are now 3-1 and just one day away from 4-1. India would end up ahead by 255 runs at 473/8. The top five players in India combined for two hundred and three half-centuries. Shoaib Bashir, England's most successful bowler, posted stats of 4/170. 'Aaargh... it was a hard day," would be the team's spin bowling coach Jeetan Patel's highly descriptive way of summarizing the physical trauma of his playing XI.

After India bats the Dharamsala Test manages to become sleepy

For the fans, the three sessions of this day saw a steady decline in the level of excitement and play. It was impossible to keep up the high bar established by the first session's violent performance starring Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill. The two newbies, Sarfraz Khan and Devdutt Paddikal did show some spark between lunch and tea, but it was hazy. The least impressive session was the last one, in which the weary England spinners were given wickets by India's philanthropic low-middle order batsman. If these figures were plotted on a graph, they would show a consistent decline: first session: 129 runs, 0 wickets; second session: 112 runs, 1 wicket; third session: 97 runs, 5 wickets. The atmosphere in the stands was also true to that.

All day, England persistently planned, but they made little progress. Ben Stokes created smokescreens and prepared traps, but their efforts appeared to be in vain. The pacers attempted various ends and angles but to no avail. They would attempt unusual fields, but that also failed to produce wickets. Mark Wood set a leg-trap and got nothing in return. Rohit struck Shoaib Bashir for sixes when he came over the wicket. Gill would later come around and smack him over deep mid-wicket.

There was a noticeable decline in class and tempo in the second session. Stokes would bowl for the first time in the series. He would get Rohit instantly. Gill also arrived shortly after, bringing Sarfraz (56), and Padikkal (65), to the crease. They didn't allow the runs to drop much, despite their jitteriness and technical chinks. Though they didn't completely change the game, their half-centuries did show off their potential.

Devdutt Padikkal's Test debut

Padikkal's debut was perfect, beyond his expectations. The sun was shining, there were runs in the score, and the bowlers were getting hammered by the team's top three when he arrived as a Test player. Despite his erratic first few runs, he did demonstrate his backfoot technique. His most notable shot is his ability to punch past covering. Sarfraz strengthened his standing as a hard-working athlete who doesn't mind taking risks. He also made a very significant point. There was discussion about his short-ball deficiencies before his Test debut. He twisted to knock a six today when England's fastest bowler shot at his torso.

There were rumours surrounding the announcement as the day was coming to an end and every batsman was continuing to score runs at a high rate. Others believed that India would want to take a swing at the worn-out England batters given they had already scored more than twice as much as England. Fielders who are dejected after a day that wasn't too productive are usually easy targets. However, Rahul Dravid, the coach, and captain Rohit had different ideas. They had three days left and were not in a rush.

A classy boundary from Bumrah

India's lower-order batsmen, Dhruv Jurel, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ravichandran Ashwin, were unable to contribute to the country's run total. Thus, Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah were left in charge. With over sixty minutes remaining, India had already lost eight wickets. Would India's No. 8, 9 and 10 players fling their bats, extend their lead and make England's half-hour batting assignment difficult? That was not going to happen. 45 runs were scored by the leggie and pacemaker in the final 20 overs of the day. At that moment, the stadium was filled with yawns as spectators looked down at their phones and away from the central square.

This day didn't belong in this arduously contested series. Even the idea of two adversaries weighing one another prior to the attack was dropped. This involved the losing team going through the motions and the winning team making sure the door is closed and sealed. The second day of the test was non-moving. It seems very likely that Saturday will be the final day of the series. In front of the Alps, there will be festivities when Rohit Sharma lifts the Cup. If it occurs, it would be a significant series victory for the captain, who is leading a young squad. Festivities and fireworks would ensue. But Friday night was spent watching the paint dry before the big day on Saturday.

Also Read: Rohit Sharma broke several records with century against England

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