India beat England by five wickets to bag Test series in Ranchi

Gill and Jurel guide the hosts home in a tense chase to win the fourth Test after England set India a target of 192.

Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel celebrate after India won the fourth Test match against England in Ranchi
Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel celebrate after India won the fourth Test match against England in Ranchi [Amit Dave/Reuters]

India batters Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel put together a 72-run partnership as India beat England by five wickets in the fourth Test match in Ranchi and took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

Chasing a target of 192 runs in the fourth innings on Monday, India were reduced to 120-5, but Gill (52) and Jurel (39) calmly guided their side home with their unbeaten partnership on the fifth day of the Test.

Young England spinner Shoaib Bashir took three wickets as the visitors kept India’s batters in check until Gill and Jurel steadied the chase.

India’s skipper Rohit Sharma said his team’s young players had filled the shoes of missing veterans to shine in cricket’s toughest format.

Player of the match Jurel, 23, who made his debut in the previous win in Rajkot, turned the match on its head with his 90 after he lifted India from 177-7 in their first innings to 307 on day three.

“Test cricket throws different kinds of challenges, different kinds of pressures,” Rohit told reporters. “But the way they have dealt with the pressures throughout the series has been superb.”

Usual frontline players such as Virat Kohli and injured KL Rahul were absent from the lineup.

“These guys who have come in have done the job perfectly,” Rohit added.

Fast bowler Akash Deep, 27, made an instant impact on his debut, rattling England with his three wickets on day one of the Ranchi Test, after pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah was rested.

“Lots of these guys are quite young,” Rohit said. “You’ll see these guys playing in the coming five to 10 years regularly in this format.”

Middle-order batter Sarfaraz Khan, 26, also impressed on debut in Rajkot when he scored 62 and 68 not out in India’s 434-run hammering of England.

England captain Ben Stokes offered similar praise for his young players, after bringing in spinners Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir.

Bashir, a 20-year-old lanky off-spinner who missed the opener due to a visa issue, and who took his first five-wicket haul in just his second match, has 12 wickets.

The 24-year-old Hartley, a left-arm spinner, leads the series bowling with 20 wickets ahead of Bumrah with 17.

Stokes said there had been “a lot of question marks around the two selections”, but said the choices had been vindicated.

“They’ll be able to leave at the end of this tour with their heads held very high”, he said.

Stokes said England and India had faced similar challenges.

“It’s the same for India, they’ve had to bring in some inexperienced players,” he said.

“It’s been great for inexperienced guys coming in, and almost throwing out the theory of needing experience.”

England won the first Test of the series in Hyderabad, but India bounced back to win the next two in Visakhapatnam and Rajkot before sealing the series in Ranchi.

The fifth and final Test will begin in Dharamshala on March 7.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies