"Ravichandran Ashwin got Duckett, Pope and Root..." - Steve Harmison on game-changing moment in 4th Test

Updated - 27 Feb 2024, 06:16 PM

Steve Harmison, Ravichandran Ashwin
PC: X/Twitter

Former England right-arm pacer Steve Harmison feels that it would be disrespectful to say that England gave the 5-match Test series away to India after the visitors lost the 4th Test and series yesterday. Rohit Sharma’s men came out on top yet again despite being behind in the game initially and claimed the Ranchi Test by 5 wickets at the JSCA stadium.

Steve Harmison appeared in an ESPNcricinfo show and expressed his views on England’s first series loss under the regime of Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes as coach and captain. Harmison thought the visitors made a good attempt at winning the match but claimed that the hosts had enough mettle in them to wrestle their way through for a win.

Harmison takes pride in England’s performance in the series

When England had defeated India by just 28 runs in the 1st Test at Hyderabad, Rohit Sharma’s men were written off just like that. It was being said that Ben Stokes and his men were finally going to overthrow the hosts’ red-ball dominance on home soil. India were (before the series) and still are undefeated in all of their Test series’ since 2012 when an Alastair Cook-led England team went home with a 2-1 series win.

Steve Harmison while making his point, claimed that it was a miracle from India’s point of view. He also took pride in the way England played throughout the series but in the end, India fought hard for the victory.

“I’d love to say England gave it away but I don’t think they did. That would be so disrespectful to the way I thought India played. I’m proud of the way England have performed in this whole Test match series and there are times when they have played some brandless cricket. But I actually think in this Test match, I think India wrestled the initiative” Steve Harmison said via ESPNcricinfo.

Steve Harmison applauds the efforts of Kuldeep Yadav, Dhruv Jurel, and Ravichandran Ashwin

Steve Harmison went on to claim that it took some individual brilliance as well for India to claim the 4th Test. He pointed out the 2nd innings partnership between Dhruv Jurel and Kuldeep Yadav of 76 runs turned the game on its head. Jurel’s knock of 90 off 149 was indeed a game-changer as he single-handedly took India’s total from 177/7 to 307 all out.

Harmison then heaped praise on veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who registered his 35th 5-wicket haul and changed the entire complexion of the game. The former English international also stated that Rohit Sharma’s tactical decision to bring Ashwin was spot on.

“A good partnership between Kuldeep and Jurel. And when as a captain, you’re a leader, you wanted somebody to stand up, throw the ball to R Ashwin, you say ‘you need to do something special’ and he did, he got 5 wickets, he got Duckett, Pope and Root in a short space of time and all of a sudden England are now back on the pressure and I think that was the phase of play where the game changed,” Steve Harmison concluded.

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Ben Stokes England National Cricket Team IND vs ENG 2024 India National Cricket Team Rohit Sharma Steve Harmison