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2nd Test, Day 1: Ajaz Patel shines, ton for Mayank Agarwal



Agarwal’s hundred rescued India after Ajaz Patel’s brilliant four-wicket haul including the wickets of Virat Kohli and Chateshwar Pujara.

India lost 3 wickets for no run at one stage but Agarwal settled team India with a 100 and he was well supported by Iyer and Saha.

India   1st innings    221-4

Agarwal 120 (246)          Patel 4-73                                                                                                                                      S. Gill      44 (71)

Both Agarwal and Saha’s places were uncertain in the playing 11 before the match but they turned up for India on day 1.

They had an unbroken 61-run partnership to put 221-4 on the board before stumps. 

There was a lot of rain overnight that created a lot of wet patches on the pitch.

The morning session was washed out and there was an early lunch break due to the wet patches.

But still, 70 overs were bowled today and only 20 overs were lost on the day which is great because the whole first session was washed out due to the wet outfield. 

Brilliant opening stand

Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill were superb at the start and they dominated the new ball period very nicely.

Gill smashed 3 fours on his first 6 balls to put bowlers under pressure straight away.

Gill was dismissed by Jamieson twice in the first test but today he looked confident against him and played some astonishing shots against him.

He was also looking good against spin as well especially against Somerville’s off-spin. 

Mayank Agarwal was more careful at the start.

He saw off the opening spell from the seamers patiently but he looked confident against the spinners and he also played some aggressive shots against the spinners.

Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill put up a brilliant 80-run stand for the opening wicket and gave India a very wonderful start to the match. 

Ajaz Patel strikes

India was 80 for no loss but then came the Mumbai-born, Ajaz Patel who bowled an outstanding spell to get his side back in the match.

He first broke the opening stand by dismissing Gill for 44 runs in the 28th over.

The keeper Blundell missed a stumping chance of his delivery against Gill but he got him out on the very next ball as Gill found an outside edge that went straight to Ross Taylor’s hands. 

In his next over, Ajaz Patel dismissed the experienced but out-of-form Pujara with a delivery that turned sharply from leg stump to knock back his off stump.

In the same over, he dismissed the returning Kohli for a duck.

Kohli was given LBW but he thought he might have nicked and taken a review but there was not enough evidence for the umpire to change his decision.

Ajaz grabbed 3 crucial wickets in no time and from controlling the game at 80-0, team India was struggling at 80-3. 

Mayank Agarwal’s fantastic ton

Mayank Agarwal was outstanding with the bat.

There were a lot of talks going around that he will not be part of the team in the second test but the management believed in him and he didn’t disappoint them by scoring an outstanding century at a crucial time.

He started patiently but he was more fluent in the post-tea session as he scored 33 of the total 45 runs India had made in the first 10 overs after the break.

He was comfortable against the spin bowlers and he was even scoring runs fluently against Ajaz Patel who picked up all 4 wickets.

Mayank scored his 4th hundred in Test cricket and it was his first ton in 14 innings.

Mayank Agarwal is still on the crease with an unbeaten knock of 120 runs. 

Agarwal made a good partnership with Iyer to rescue India after that Ajaz Patel show in the 28th and 30th over of the innings.

Iyer contributed 18 runs in the 80-run stand with Agarwal before getting dismissed on Ajaz Patel’s delivery. 

Saha was sent earlier before Ashwin due to that spectacular knock he played in the last test.

Saha is still not out on 25 runs alongside Mayank Agarwal and both of them will continue their partnership on day 2 and they will try to put a big first-innings total on the board for India. 

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MS Dhoni almost tried to ‘spoil’ Sachin Tendulkar’s significant milestone; Shocked? Check out how




Sachin Tendulkar & MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni is one of India’s most loved cricketers, thanks to his heroics as a wicketkeeper batter and captain over the years. The former India skipper has had the privilege of witnessing milestones created by his teammates from up close many times. Remember Dhoni at the non-striker’s end when Yuvraj Singh hit six sixes in an over against England’s Stuart Broad in the 2007 World Cup to score the fastest T20 half-century?

He was also at the other end when the legendary Sachin Tendulkar achieved a significant milestone in his 24-year cricket career. India vs South Africa, second ODI of the three-match series at Gwalior on 24 February 2010. Opting to bat first, the home team dominated right from the start despite losing Virender Sehwag in the fourth over.

India were 392/3 in 49.2 overs and Tendulkar was at the striker’s end with four balls remaining. The anticipation and excitement of the fans was not to see the team score break the barrier of 400 runs, but the Master Blaster was on 199. Yes, you read that right! He was on the verge of reaching a seemingly impossible milestone.

Finally, the moment came when Tendulkar hit the ball for a single. History was made at the Gwalior International Cricket Stadium. The batting maestro added yet another feather in his cap as he became the first player on the planet to score 200 in men’s ODIs.

MSD made Indian fans’ heart rate higher 

But now you might be thinking how Dhoni has played an antagonist role here. Believe it or not, Tendulkar was almost denied the opportunity to score a double century, not by his opposition, but by his own teammate. It was none other than the then captain of the team, who was standing at the non-striker’s end – ‘Captain Cool’ MSD.

When Tendulkar moved to 199, there were 14 balls left in India’s innings. But he never got a strike in the next 10 balls as Dhoni went berserk in an attempt to increase the team score. He scored 25 runs off those 10 balls, but he played with the patience of fans and his teammate at the other end. But with four balls left in the innings, Dhoni managed to give the strike to Tendulkar and the world witnessed the great man achieve the impossible.

Tendulkar remained unbeaten on 200 off 147 balls and Dhoni made a 35-ball 68 not out to take team total to 401/3. In reply, South Africa were bowled out for 248 runs and India won by 153 runs to clinch the series 2-0 with one game to spare.

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No mercy from India! Jasprit Bumrah set to return for final Test against England in Dharamsala




Jasprit Bumrah

Team India have pocked the five-match Test series against England with a five-wicket win in the fourth match. With a 3-1 lead in the series, they will head into the final Test in Dharamsala as a confident unit. While it is crucial for Ben Stokes and Co. to leave the touring nation on a positive note, the home side is likely to experiment with their playing XI for the low-key fixture.

According to reports, the Indian cricket management is considering resting a few players for the final Test due to the workload. India were without some key players due to withdrawal and injuries throughout the series. However, the youngsters stepped up and gave the desired result, gaining the confidence of the management.

Meanwhile, the Men in Blue are not going to make it easy for the visitors when the two teams clash at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium from March 7. As per Cricbuzz, elite pacer and the team’s vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah is set to be recalled. This shows that India will go hard in the upcoming match and aim to settle the series 4-1.

Bumrah was rested for the fourth Test in Ranchi as he played three matches on a trot. The 30-year-old has been carefully managed by management since his return from a back injury last year after a nearly year-long absence. He made his comeback in the T20I series against Ireland and after that, he played only in crucial fixtures like the Asia Cup, ODI World Cup, and Test matches. With the 2024 T20 World Cup also around the corner, it will be important for the team to manage Bumrah’s workload.

KL Rahul doubtful for Dharamsala Test 

KL Rahul, who was deemed 90% fit before the third Test in Rajkot, has not fully recovered and is unlikely to play in the final match. Rahul suffered a quadriceps strain in the series opener and missed the next two matches. The report states that the Karnataka cricketer has been sent overseas for treatment.

It remains to be seen whether the under-fire Rajat Patidar will get another chance to prove his mettle in Rahul’s absence. Patidar looked promising in the first innings of the Hyderabad Test, but then lost his rhythm and suffered a series of low scores, including two ducks.

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‘Ye toh Mohammad Kaif 2.0 nikla’ – Fans react as Brendon McCullum accepts series defeat against India and claim themselves to be better than they were in 2022




Brendon McCullum has reacted to England’s performance in the ongoing series against India. The visiting side are currently trailing 1-3 in the series after the conclusion of the 4th Test in Ranchi. With the fifth Test set to happen in Dharamshala, England have lost the series by all means. They do have a chance to end the series on a high note by winning the last Test.

After the loss against India in the 4th Test, McCullum was in the press conference. He claimed that they are a better side than they were 18 months ago. Brendon acknowledged the fact that they lost the series against India and could not win in the Ashes. He felt that given the way England is playing, there is a good chance of them doing special things in the next 18 months in Test cricket.

“We’ve lost this series and we didn’t win the Ashes, but we’re a better cricket team than we were 18 months ago and we’ve got an opportunity in the next 18 months to do some pretty special shitz. I’m fizzing for it, to be honest,” said McCullum as he was hopeful of a bright future for England in Tests. It is true that England were not as competitive under Joe Root as they are under Ben Stokes.

Improved competitiveness of England

While Root’s tenure was good before the pandemic, the team struggled under his captaincy. 2021 and early 2020 were the years when England was demoralised. They lost in India 1-3 and trailed 1-2 at home against the same opponent. For the first time in over 20 years, NZ beat England in Tests in their own backyard. In 2022, England lost the Ashes 0-4 away from home.

They also lost to the West Indies 0-1 which acted as a final nail in the coffin of Root’s leadership. However, things have changed drastically under Stokes and McCullum. They won the series against New Zealand at home and clean-swept Pakistan in their own backyard. They drew the Ashes 2-2 and drew the series against NZ 1-1 before losing the series against India.

Here’s how the fans reacted to the statement of Brendon McCullum –


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