England are in a commanding position at the end of the day four in Rajkot against India for the opening Test of the five match series. At stumps, England were 114/0 with Alastair Cook on 46 and Haseeb Hameed on 62. Here are the five talking points at the end of the day:
Draw likely outcome
After the fourth day’s play between India and England in Rajkot, there looks to be a single probable outcome on Sunday – a draw. As England lead by 163 runs at stumps having dismissed India for 488, and taking a preliminary lead of 49 runs, there’s an outside chance the visitors will get a win but with a total of 20 wickets to play for, a draw looks the most possible outcome.
Ashwin the batsman
Day four in Rajkot proved how useful R Ashwin is for India – not just with the ball but with the bat too. His 11th 50+ Test score and more importantly after the two top order batsmen failed to make a mark further illustrates that point. ‘Ash’ looked solid in the middle and his 70-run knock laced with seven boundaries was a treat to watch.
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Ashwin-Saha help India’s cause
When Virat Kohli fell, rather unusually by being hit wicket, India were still 176 off of England’s 537 and that was the sixth wicket to fall. Ashwin was at the fore and he was then joined by Wriddhiman Saha. He may have had a horrible time behind the stumps, but with the bat, Saha proved to be an asset. A calm and composed asset that reduced England’s advantage. By the time he fell, the duo had put together 64 runs and removed any chances England could have had of getting a big lead.
Haseeb Hameed looks far too comfortable
Hameed is 19-years-old and making his Test debut. And if you look at him play, on the fourth day of an Indian pitch in the final session, you would be forgiven to think he was an experienced outlet. Making his debut, in conditions and pitches as tricky as the sub-continent, against the number one side, Hameed looked supremely calm and comfortable as he brought about his fifty.
India’s deep batting an asset
Quite a few years ago, India used to lose the tail rather quickly once the middle order would get out. But now, it is tough to call India’s lower order as the “tail” given Ravindra Jadeja comes on to bat at nine down and the batting is deep enough to counter any collapse in the middle. Even against England, 127 runs came after losing the sixth wicket.