Indian middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane has insisted that the team will give its best and will try to finish on a winning note when they face England in the fifth and final Test at The Oval beginning Friday. Also Read - Coronavirus: Anushka Sharma Shares Adorable Moment With Virat Kohli During COVID-19 Lockdown, Lists Positives During Self-Quarantine | SEE POST
England took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-Test series after defeating India by 60 runs in Southampton. However, the final match will provide Virat Kohli to end what has been quite a long tour on a high. A scoreline of 2-3 will definitely look much better than 1-4 and the visitors will be desperately hoping to win. Also Read - Anushka Sharma Reflects on Her Realisations During COVID-19 Lockdown, Says ‘Our BASIC is Not Basic For Everyone’
“It’s an important Test match. We want to give our best and finish on a winning note,” Rahane said on the eve of the Oval Test. He also conceded that it was the hosts who played better cricket and that’s why they are 3-1 in the ongoing five-Test series. “I think we played good cricket but England played better than us. In Test cricket, you want to give more than 100 per cent in every session. And England won small-small sessions and especially bowled really well.” Also Read - Coronavirus: Virat Kohli And Co May Expect Pay Cut if Financial Crisis Hits BCCI
The fourth Test in Southampton, much like the first one at Edgbaston, was a case of teams fighting tooth and nail for every inch, and one team racing ahead of the other at different junctures. In the end, though, England, helped by the most heroic of efforts by 20-year-old all-rounder Sam Curran, turned the tables on the visitors after having conceded a first-innings lead and set India a target of 245 that seemed well out of their reach.
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Curran made 78 in the first innings to help lift England from 86/6 to 246 and then in the second innings, when India had taken a slender 27-run lead and England found themselves 178/6, the lead only 151, the left-handed batsman made 46 and combined with Jos Buttler (69) to add 55 runs for the seventh wicket and take England to safety.
As it turned out, despite a century stand between Kohli and Rahane, the visitors collapsed soon after Moeen Ali dismissed Kohli in the second session of the fourth day and were bowled out for 184 while chasing 245.
Talking about the Southampton Test, Rahane said that India did not do anything wrong.”England played better cricket. They bowled very well, were patient and won small-small key sessions.”
Oval Test will be the last for former England skipper Alastair Cook. “He (Cook) made his debut against India. He has been fantastic for England cricket. As an opening batsman, averaging around 45, playing 160 Test matches in 12-13 years, I think its magnificent. He has been handling his batting and all the pressure very well. I would like to wish him all the very best for his post cricketing career,” Rahane said on Cook.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Karun Nair, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
England: Joe Root (c), Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Sam Curran, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes.