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India vs England, 2024: Youngsters who turned it around for India

India vs England, 2024: Youngsters who turned it around for India. Players who stood up in Senior players absence for India.

India vs England 2023-24_ Youngsters who helped India win series against England _ Walking Wicket (©X_Twitter)
India vs England: Youngsters helped India win series against England (Photo: ©X/Twitter)

Who would have thought that India, in the absence of its biggies, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami and Rishabh Pant, would win a series against England and destroy ‘Bazball’ even after losing the first test match and then win the series 4-1.

Led by a spirited young brigade, the hosts showcased their resilience by clinching four consecutive wins. Yashasvi Jaiswal emerged as the standout performer, showing his prowess in the red-ball format, and earning the well-deserved title of man of the series.

The debutants, including Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel, Devdutt Padikkal, Akash Deep, and Rajat Patidar, made significant contributions, adapting seamlessly to the demands of Test cricket. With memorable performances from these budding talents, India orchestrated one of their most impressive Test victories in recent memory.

Let’s take a look at how the youngsters performed.

India vs England, 3rd Test, Day 4_ Yashasvi Jaiswal scored second double ton of his career _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Yashasvi Jaiswal scored 700+ runs in a single series (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)
Yashasvi Jaiswal

Yashasvi Jaiswal, who is in no mood to look back, emerged as the standout performer throughout the series, displaying remarkable prowess while opening the innings in all five matches. His stellar contributions made him the leading run-scorer of the series. He accumulated an impressive total of 712 runs from just 9 innings, boasting an outstanding average of 89 and a strike rate nearing 80.

Yashasvi showed what real ‘Bazball’ looks like to the England side. During the series, the India opener set multiple records, including equaling the longstanding Test record for the most sixes in a Test innings (12) during his double century in Rajkot. Jaiswal's performance included three half-centuries and two magnificent centuries, earning him his first-ever Player of the Series award. Furthermore, he became only the second India player to surpass the 700-run mark in a bilateral Test series.

Following his outstanding performance against England, where he amassed over 700 runs, Yashasvi Jaiswal was rightfully named the ICC Player of the Month for February.

Sarfaraz Khan

The long-awaited debut of Sarfaraz Khan for India had been eagerly anticipated for a considerable period. Amidst extensive discussions and criticism directed at selectors for overlooking the talented domestic player, Sarfaraz finally got his chance to wear the India whites. 

Sarfaraz made a striking entrance, showcasing his abilities with two quick half-centuries in his first match after receiving his debut cap in Rajkot. Showcasing remarkable composure in pressure situations, he led India into advantageous positions. Despite a regrettable run-out due to a miscommunication with Ravindra Jadeja, Sarfaraz's innings showed promise with a brisk 66-ball 62.

His second innings was equally significant, with an unbeaten 68 off 72 deliveries, partnering with Yashasvi Jaiswal for a crucial 172-run partnership. Although facing a setback in the Ranchi Test with modest scores, Sarfaraz quickly bounced back in the subsequent match, scoring a blistering half-century with eight boundaries and a maximum. Concluding his debut series with three half-centuries, Sarfaraz Khan demonstrated his potential on the international stage.

India vs England, 4th Test, Day 3_ Dhruv Jurel scored fighting 90 against England  _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Dhruv Jurel scored fighting 90 against England (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)
Dhruv Jurel

Another promising debutant in the Indian jersey was the young wicketkeeper-batter Dhruv Jurel, who has already proved himself for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. Making his debut in the third Test at Rajkot, the Uttar Pradesh talent showcased his potential. Though missing out on a half-century in his debut innings with a score of 46, Jurel made a significant impact in the fourth test match.

In the fourth Test held in Ranchi, Jurel played a pivotal role in India's win. Facing a daunting challenge after England's first innings total of 353, India found themselves in trouble at 177-7. However, Jurel showed remarkable composure, steering India's innings with a crucial knock of 90 from 149 balls. The super knock, filled with calm and excellence reduced England's lead.

Once again, in the second innings, Jurel emerged as a rescuer alongside Shubman Gill. His contributions, including 190 runs with the bat and five catches along with two stumpings in his debut series, prove that Jurel might just be the solution India have been seeking since the retirement of MS Dhoni and in the absence of Rishabh Pant.

Devdutt Padikkal

In the absence of key players, Devdutt Padikkal of Karnataka received his debut cap for the fifth and the final Test in Dharamsala, stepping into the playing XI instead of the struggling Rajat Patidar. Despite the match being a dead rubber, Padikkal showcased his batting prowess by crafting a stroke-filled 65 off 103 deliveries in his inaugural appearance. 

The 23-year-old notched up a half-century, embellishing his innings with 10 boundaries and a maximum. With India facing the challenge of losing both centurions, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, in quick succession, Padikkal and Sarfaraz Khan rose to the occasion with rapid centuries, wresting control of the match from the visitors. The duo formed a formidable partnership of 97 runs for the fourth wicket, consolidating India's position in the game. 

The prowess showed by Padikkal, though he could play for only a single Test match, also fills the position of a left-hander in India’s middle order. The rise of Yashasvi and Padikkal could surely provide the left-right balance in India’s batting, that the team has long thrived for.

India vs England, 4th Test, Day 1_ Akash Deep took three wickets on Day 1 of Ranchi Test _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Akash Deep took three wickets on Day 1 of Ranchi Test (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)
Akash Deep

At a time when India’s pace bowling has been hailed around the cricket fraternity, to step the leading test side is a tough ask. Especially, stepping in the shoes of the leading bowler Jasprit Bumrah in the fourth test match played in Ranchi. However, the Bengal paceman, Akash Deep seized the opportunity presented to him. 

Amidst intense competition for a spot in the lineup, the right-arm seamer made an immediate impact. Choosing to bat first in Ranchi, England faced the brunt of his prowess as he claimed the first three wickets, reducing the hosts to 57/3 within 12 overs. 

Despite a jittery start marked by a no-ball, Deep displayed composure, bouncing back impressively to secure three crucial breakthroughs. It marked a memorable debut for the Bengal paceman, who accounted for England's top three batters in his first outing at the international level.


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