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Shoaib Bashir from England dedicated his five-wicket haul to his late grandfathers, calling it a special achievement.
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Shoaib Bashir from England dedicated his five-wicket haul to his late grandfathers, calling it a special achievement.

Despite England’s struggles on the third day in Ranchi, there was one uplifting story among the visiting team: 20-year-old Shoaib Bashir became the second-youngest bowler to take a five-wicket haul in a Test match for England. Needless to say, he was thrilled with his achievement.

Bashir’s colleagues were struggling on a frustrating morning, but he was able to pin Akash Deep for lbw and add to his four wickets from the previous day. He marked the achievement with a sajdah on the field, a traditional Islamic gesture of gratitude. The last time an England player performed this was during the winter tour in Pakistan, when 18-year-old Rehan Ahmed claimed five wickets.

“This was a significant moment during my journey,” Bashir expressed, as India successfully achieved 40 runs towards their fourth-innings goal of 192 after an intense turnaround. “If you had told me this could happen two years ago, I would never have believed it.”

“I experienced a lot of emotions. My grandfathers passed away about a year and a half ago, and they used to always watch Test cricket together. It was their dream to see me on television, and I believe they are still rooting for me from heaven.”

Despite England’s poor start in defending the target with the ball, the unpredictable pitch in Ranchi, where Ravichandran Ashwin achieved his 25th five-wicket haul in Tests, prevented them from being completely ruled out.

Bashir was definitely not prepared to give up, asserting that he and Tom Hartley, two emerging spinners motivated by Ben Stokes’ leadership, still had the potential to bring about a surprise outcome.

Bashir expressed admiration for Stokesy and his team, noting that they instill a great deal of confidence in any task. Whether it be bowling or batting, they are highly effective. Bashir and Tommy are eagerly anticipating the challenge ahead of them tomorrow.

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“We observed the impressive performance of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja on that pitch, and it gives us a lot of confidence. I used to admire these players when I was younger as they are skilled spinners. Although we are facing a formidable team, we see an opportunity for ourselves to make a mark.”

Source: theguardian.com