Test Series: Curran backed to emulate England talisman Stokes


Stokes himself inspired England on the fourth morning, taking three wickets, including the key scalp of Virat Kohli, and Root sees similarities between his former vice-captain and Curran. As well as batting collapses in both innings - they subsided from 216 for 3 to 287 all out in their first innings and were 87 for 7 in their second before Sam Curran's intervention - England's slip fielding continued to cause concern with both Alastair Cook and Dawid Malan, who has been omitted for the second Test, putting down relatively easy chances by Test standards.

To his credit, Kohli's didn't and he made England pay for this initial diffidence steeply in the first innings, in which he top-scored with 149.

Curran's efforts meant India would have to eclipse their highest successful run-chase in England to win - their best being the 174 they chased to win at The Oval in 1971.

After James Anderson had Dinesh Karthik caught at slip in the opening over of the day, Kohli reached his half-century before the India captain was pinned leg before wicket as he moved across his stumps and departed for 51, having taken his side to within 53 runs of victory. But when he was out for 51, England were on their way.

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The batsmen, however, failed to rise to the occasion and except the skipper, none crossed the 50-run mark in the Test.

However, after some stupendous ODI performances by Rohit Sharma (including a double century against Sri Lanka), the distinction between ODI and Test performances was blurred by the Team India management. Asked about that, the off-spinner said: "I have just made a decision to enjoy my cricket and stop reading about anything".

Stokes is the kind of cricketer all captains want in their side - someone with the ability to make things happen with bat or ball.

So, India came to bowl first at the away venue.

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Stokes takes three wickets including prized scalp of Kohli to dash India's hopes of a famous win. This is only the second Test in England in the last 15 years in which all four innings produced totals of less than 300. He was the top wicket taker from India in the first innings as he ended up with the figures of four for 62.

"Glad to be a part of such an exciting Test match".

I'm really proud of the group. The next best score from India in the whole match was 31.

With the match hanging in the balance, India needing 84 to win and England five wickets, Anderson had got England off to the flawless start with the wicket of Karthik (20) with the sixth ball of the day, Dawid Malan going some way to making up for his three dropped catches in the match with a low grab at second slip.

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Test matches have been providing cricket fans with thrills and spills for 141 years and this match was a prime example. "It shows that there is so much more than just skills, runs and wickets when it comes to Test cricket at this level", he said.