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How India tripped Bazball as it sprinted to the finish line

Venkata Krishna B

April 18th, 2024 | 05:10:53 PM

The victory margin of 106 runs doesn't reveal the entire picture of the Test. In the first session on Day 4, India had their backs the wall and England was in driving seat.

It came down to a boxing bout, of sorts. England had landed a few Bazball-blows to leave India staggering and the 332-run target was shrinking rapidly. For most part of the first session on Day 4, along with the bat-ball contest, it was mind games that delighted those who value the ebbs the flow of Test cricket. At one point it seemed the decibel level at Vizag was dangerously dropping. The Indians were getting nervous. Jasprit Bumrah was seen off, Axar Patel was sawn off, and with India reluctant to turn to Kuldeep Yadav, it was up to R Ashwin, who was wicketless in the first innings and had his reputation dented a bit in the first Test. Usually restlessly tentative at the start where he desperately tries to feel bat on ball, first Test hero Ollie Pope was motoring along. Ashwin had chosen his angle of attack the same as in the first Test: from round the stumps. But this time, his over-spun deliveries were extracting more bounce off the Vizag track.

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