The fourth test match between India and England in Ranchi saw the hosts defeat England and clinch the series 3-1. This result handed a reality check to England’s aggressive ‘Bazball’ batting approach and reinforced India’s strong home record in test cricket.

England had adopted a new aggressive style of batting called ‘Bazball’ since Brendon McCullum took over as coach and Ben Stokes as captain. This involves attacking bowling and intent to score runs at a fast pace without worrying about losing wickets. This approach helped England win series against New Zealand and South Africa. 

However, in Indian conditions the ‘Bazball’ style did not succeed. India has a very strong bowling attack and home advantage on spinning tracks. In the first innings of the Ranchi test, England were bowled out for 244 after opting to bat first. Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel shared 5 wickets between them. 

In reply, India scored 252, taking a small first innings lead of 8 runs. England then improved in the second innings, scoring 271 thanks to fifties by Joe Root and Ben Stokes. But this still left India with a target of 192 to win the match.

Chasing the target, India lost wickets early and were reduced to 120/5. But young wicketkeeper-batter Dhruv Jurel played a captain’s innings of 50 not out to guide India to victory. Along with Shubman Gill, he shared an unbeaten partnership of 72 runs for the sixth wicket. This handed England their first test series loss under the new leadership of Stokes and McCullum.

Some key stats highlighted India’s continued dominance on home soil. This was their 17th successive series victory at home. They remain unbeaten in 33 previous instances of chasing a target of over 200 runs in India. The ‘Bazball’ approach of ultra-aggression was found lacking against the Indian spin attack on turning tracks.

The series win reinforced India’s status as the top test team. They are yet to be defeated in test matches played in India since 2012. Meanwhile, England’s new coaching staff received an important reality check about adapting their tactics based on conditions rather than following the same template everywhere.

Going forward, both sides will hope to learn from this experience. India will aim to extend their winning run in home conditions. England will seek a consolation win in the final test but also look to develop a more well-rounded gameplan rather than just ‘Bazball’ depending on situations. Overall, the Ranchi test served up an intriguing battle between bat and ball along with a reality check for England’s ambitious new approach in test cricket.