4Th Test: 'Ranchi Has Been A Reminder That You Can’T Keep Good Player Down', Says Hussain On Ashwin


(MENAFN- IANS) Ranchi, Feb 26 (IANS) Former England captain Nasser Hussain praised veteran India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin's 5-51 in the ongoing fourth Test at Ranchi, saying the sensational spell was a reminder that a good player can't be put down for a long time.

Before day three's play at the Ranchi Test, Ashwin took only 12 wickets in seven innings. But when it mattered the most, he turned the tables with his incredible 35th five-wicket haul in Tests, drawing level with legendary India leg-spinner Anil Kumble.

During his spell, Ashwin also surpassed Kumble to become India's leading Test wicket-taker on home soil.“People have been saying Ashwin has had a quiet series, but this game has been a reminder that you don't keep a great cricketer down. Root proved as much in England's first innings, and Ashwin underlined the point in their second.”

“You could see the fire in his eyes when Rohit gave him the new ball: he was determined to stamp his class on the series. He even treated us to a carrom ball to get rid of Foakes," wrote Hussain in his column for Daily Mail.

On day three, India narrowed the deficit to 46 and then bowled out England for 145 to be given a target of 192, which they will be fancied to achieve on day four. Ashwin's heroics on day three, coupled with Kuldeep Yadav's 4-22 and Dhruv Jurel's terrific 90, helped India fightback in the match and push England on the backfoot, earning huge praise from Hussain.

"But let's take nothing away from India, who were superb all day. Rohit Sharma got it spot on when he opened the bowling with Ravichandran Ashwin, after delaying his entry for too long in the first innings at Rajkot. That allowed Duckett, who has struggled against Ashwin, to get off to a flyer, and Rohit wasn't going to make that mistake again.

"That's what impresses me about this Indian team. You can have all the talent in the world, but unless you have that deep competitive instinct, that will to win, you risk coming up short. But even without the aggression of Virat Kohli, and the class of Jasprit Bumrah, you can tell how much they wanted it here.

"Rohit cares deeply, even if he doesn't always show it in the same way as Kohli, and on the third day India showed their character as well as their class. That's one of the things I've enjoyed most in this series, from both sides: there has been a lot of character on show, and it's made for gripping cricket."

Hussain signed off by saying England were unsure whether to stick or twist against India on day three at Ranchi, which contributed to their second-innings meltdown with the bat. "There's no getting away from the fact that was a disappointing day for England, and the damage was done by the eighth-wicket stand of 76 between Dhruv Jurel and Kuldeep Yadav.

"If England had gone into that third innings with a lead of 100 or more, they would have been able to bat with more freedom. As it was, the advantage had been cut to 46, and when Ravichandran Ashwin then gets Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope in successive balls, it suddenly feels as if the momentum has shifted.

"From a position where England had hoped to dictate terms and set up a decider in Dharamsala, they seemed unsure whether to stick or twist. It's the kind of scenario they themselves have exploited against other teams during the Bazball era. Now the boot was on the other foot."

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