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Former England cricketer, Michael Atherton opened up on the much-talked-about Ranchi pitch and how England should proceed on Day 2 of the 4th Test match. Atherton reckoned that the track played much better post the first session and there were hints of uneven bounce early on in the innings. Atherton also advised England’s bowlers to make early inroads with the new ball.

England won the toss and opted to bat first on a pitch that was offering assistance to the bowlers. India’s fourth debutant in the series, Akash Deep, packed a punch by ripping apart England’s top order. England were reduced to 112/5 in the morning session of the game which confused many as there was not much grass to assist the pacers.

“It played better than it looked. It was significantly more difficult in the morning when the ball was new after lunch. When the ball got a bit older, it kind of flattened out really. And the danger was the ball that kept low. Ben Stokes got one of those at the point of lunch. But generally, when the ball got older after lunch, it flattened out. It was quite difficult to score because the bounce was low, but it wasn’t that threatening. So I think the new ball is very important,” Atherton said on Sky Sports.

| IND v ENG, 4th Test Scorecard |

‘NEW BALL IS THE KEY FOR ENGLAND’

Atherton said that the new ball would be key for England on Day 2 of the Test match. On the day, India were unable to dictate terms against England after lunch was called. In fact, in the second session of the match, not a single wicket fell for England.

“The new ball is due for India tomorrow morning and then when England gets a crack at it. Anderson and Robinson, the new ball is going to be very important to make 2 or 3 inroads. Try and get 2 or 3 wickets to make it a little easier for the spinners later on. But pitches are curious things. They can sometimes play a bit better than they look and this is probably one of those. So the early stages of Day 2 will be absolutely crucial in then dictating maybe what follows. 350 is a pretty good 1st innings score on this pitch,” Atherton added.

DID RANCHI TRACK LOOK THREATENING?

The pitch had a lot to offer both to the pacers and the spinners, as Day 1 saw a lot of LBW appeals and reviews. However, as the pitch flattened, Joe Root led England’s comeback with crucial partnerships with Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes and an unbeaten stand with Ollie Robinson. The Indian bowlers tested the batters with their bowling variations, but Root opted to play the traditional form of Test cricket. Root notched up his 31st Test ton to put England’s total at 302 for 7 at stumps.

Published By:

Diya Kakkar

Published On:

Feb 23, 2024

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