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Other Sports'Anything is possible' – Bashir bullish despite England capitulation

‘Anything is possible’ – Bashir bullish despite England capitulation

Bowler Shoaib Bashir insists England can still recover to force a decider in their series with India, despite a batting collapse giving them a monumental task to salvage the fourth Test.

Bashir played a starring role as England finished day two on top, then completed his five-for on Sunday as they established a 46-run first-innings lead.

However, a dismal batting display from the tourists handed the initiative back to India, with Ravichandran Ashwin matching Bashir’s five-wicket haul as England were bowled out for just 145 runs.

India now need just 152 to go 3-1 up in the five-match series, and they still have all 10 wickets in hand ahead of day four.

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England, meanwhile, are staring down the barrel of a first series defeat under Ben Stokes, but Bashir says it would be unwise to rule them out on an unpredictable surface in Ranchi.

Speaking to TNT Sports at stumps, he said: “We’d have liked one or two wickets in that period at the end but we’ve got a big job to do tomorrow. On that pitch, anything is possible.

“I used to watch some of the guys in my dressing room as a little kid. They’re brilliant, they give me so much confidence and it’s a wonderful group to be a part of, that really gets the best out of you.”

Reflecting on his maiden five-wicket haul, Bashir said: “It’s pretty surreal. I want to dedicate this to my two grandads who passed away around a year and a half ago, they loved Test cricket and their wish was for me to play.

“I’m so grateful. My favourite wicket was [Yashasvi] Jaiswal’s. He’s in top form and he’s an incredible player, so to get his wicket was surreal, too.”

On the India side, Ashwin – who kickstarted the hosts’ assault by removing Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope and Joe Root early on – could not hide his delight in his own interview with TNT Sports.

“I enjoy bowling with the new ball and today was another of those days,” he said. “I wanted that first over. I seem to have a bit of attachment to the new ball, it allows you to bowl a little quicker, and I enjoyed that.

“We showed phenomenal character. Kuldeep [Yadav] was brilliant today. He can put a lot of revs on the ball and he’s got a lot of skill, but he changed his paces really nicely.

“He is very difficult to play against when he does that and I’m sorry to take the five-for from him!”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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