Five bright new talents who shone in India-England series

Tuesday 27 February 2024 – 09:01am

RANCHI – India beat England by five wickets in the fourth Test on Monday to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

The series has featured a number of debuts on both sides with new talent shining in the absence of seasoned campaigners such as Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Jack Leach.  

AFP Sport highlights five emerging stars who look to have a bright future in Tests: 

– Dhruv Jurel –

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jurel marked his debut in Rajkot’s third Test with a first-innings 46 to give a glimpse of his promise.

Jurel then displayed nerves of steel to rescue India from trouble twice in the fourth Test in Ranchi with 90 in the first innings to guide his side from 177-7 to 307 and then a match-winning 39 not out.

The 23-year-old faced a hat-trick ball when he joined Shubman Gill at 120-5 chasing 192 but calmly blunted England’s spinners to guide his side to a five-wicket triumph that showed “composure and maturity”, said captain Rohit Sharma.

– Sarfaraz Khan –

Middle-order batsman Sarfaraz also made his debut in Rajkot and was emotional as he received his Test cap with his teary-eyed father and wife watching.

The 26-year-old immediately repaid the selectors by cracking 62 off 66 balls in the first innings before being run out.

Sarfaraz remained unbeaten on 68 off 72 balls in the second to help set up India’s declaration as they won by a massive 434 runs.

– Akash Deep –

Fast bowler Deep made an instant impact with the new ball on debut in the fourth Test, despite shouldering the burden of replacing world number one Jasprit Bumrah who was rested.

In his second over, Deep splattered Zak Crawley’s stumps with a darting in-swinger, only for it to be called a no ball as he had overstepped.

Undaunted, the 27-year-old went on to rip through the England top order with Ben Duckett caught behind and Ollie Pope trapped lbw second ball.

The sweetest moment came when he smashed Crawley’s stumps for a second time, but this time the delivery was legal and he dedicated his maiden wickets to his father who died in 2015.

– Tom Hartley –

Doubts surrounded England’s inexperienced spin attack as the series began but left-armer Hartley marked his debut in Hyderabad with nine wickets in a match-winning display.

The 24-year-old took the key wickets of Shubman Gill and KL Rahul in India’s first innings.

He then spun his team to victory with figures of 7-62, including four of the top five in India’s batting order, as they folded for 202 in their second innings, chasing 231 to win.

Hartley’s 20 wickets in four matches are more than any other bowler — Bumrah has 17 — and he has also contributed 159 useful runs down the order with a best of 36.

– Shoaib Bashir –

Bashir, who has Pakistani heritage, missed the first Test due to a visa delay but was then thrown straight in for his debut in the second despite having played only six first class matches.

The 20-year-old justified his selection in his fourth over when he induced India captain Rohit Sharma to flick to Pope at short leg for his maiden Test victim and went on to take four wickets in the match.

The 1.93 metre tall off-spinner sat out the next but used his height to exploit the variable bounce in Ranchi for his first five-wicket haul on his way to eight in the match.

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

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