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Rohit Sharma reacts to Anil Kumble’s Rajkot request by unveiling last-minute surprise for former India coach in 4th Test

Rohit Sharma probably heard the message Anil Kumble had for him at the end of the Rajkot Test.

Rohit Sharma was a busy man throughout Day 1 of the 4th India vs England Test in Ranchi. In the first session, most of his time went in celebrating the five England wickets that went down, while the other two were consumed by a frustrating wait and erroneous DRS calls. But one particular decision taken by Rohit in the closing stages of the day promises to make former India coach Anil Kumble a very happy man.

Rohit Sharma accepted Anil Kumble’s request from last Saturday. (Getty-AP)

If you remember correctly, after India had won the Rajkot Test last week to take a 2-1 lead, Kumble had interviewed Yashasvi Jaiswal where he passed on a message to the India captain through the youngster. It wasn’t earth-shattering, one very much within Rohit’s power – which was to use Jaiswal’s part-time leg-spin.

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“Well done on your batting. But one thing that I have seen which I want you to continue as well is that you have a natural leg spin. Yes, and action. So don’t give up on that. Because you never know when that will come in handy. know you’ve had a back spasm, but when you’re working so much on it. Go tell the skipper to give a few overs,” Kumble had said at the Niranjan Shah Stadium.

Also Read: Emotions over cricketing acumen sums up Rohit Sharma’s DRS nightmare in 4th Test

So when the opportunity came, Rohit gleefully accepted Kumble’s request by making Jaiswal bowl the final over of the day. England were 296/7 after 89 overs and with one over remaining in the day, Rohit threw the ball to Jaiswal. The part-timer began with a loose half-tracker but got away with it as Joe Root hit it to the fielder at sweeper cover. Jaiswal pulled up his length the next ball and almost got Ollie Robinson as he kicked the ball away which was spinning back.

Jaiswal erred in length again the next ball but this time Robinson took full toll and dispatched it wide of long-on. After taking a single the next ball to put Root back on strike, the former England captain successfully defended the last two balls as England headed into stumps at 302/7, a brilliant recovery considering they were 5 down for 112 at the end of the first session.

Also Read: Rohit Sharma fumes at cameraman; gets hit back at by Gavaskar after Jadeja ‘pleads’ for unsuccessful review vs England

The prospect of Jaiswal bowling in the future was touched upon by Ravi Shastri during the Rajkot Test. When Ravichandran Ashwin had to fly back home in the middle of the Test to attend to his mother in Chennai, India were a bowler short. Rohit could have handed the ball to him but he decided not to. The world hasn’t seen much of Jaiswal thus far but Shastri was confident that in due course, Jaiswal could perform the role Root has been doing for England.

England fight back

England clearly went into stumps the happier of the two teams as Joe Root roared back to form with a brilliant century – the 31st of his career. The former England captain let go of his Bazball instincts and played in a more orthodox style, taking 219 balls to complete his 100 – the third-slowest of his career.

Root was supported well by Ben Foakes as the two put on 113 runs for the sixth wicket to dig England out of a hole. And even though Mohammed Siraj dismissed Foakes and Tom Hartley in quick succession, Root and Ollie Robinson took England safely through to the end of the session.


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