Close Icon

Enter your mobile number

or Scan the QR Code Scan the QR Code

India vs England 2021: Rishabh Pant joins team, Washington Sundar ruled out as tour game ends in draw

By Devarchit Varma July 23, 2021

The Indian cricket team is struggling with a spate of injuries that have hit them over the past few days, which has resulted in both — key players missing out on the only tour match between the touring side and the Select County XI as well as being ruled out of the entire tour. 

India’s three-day tour match at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street, Durham, was an occasion for the touring party to get to the groove of playing red-ball cricket with five intense Test matches lined up ahead starting August 4, against England at Trent Bridge. 

It must be remembered that this tour match was originally not a part of the itinerary. But following a heavy defeat in the final of the Cricket World Test Championship to New Zealand by eight wickets, the Indian team management wrote to its cricket board asking for a tour match, which was duly obliged by their counterparts in the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

However, as things turned out, both the teams had their fair share of struggle with injuries as well as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Abhimanyu Easwaran and even India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun could not take any part in the tour match whereas the Select County XI were also without England Test hopeful James Bracey and Zak Chappell.

Injuries strike India 

The situation was such that the Select County XI had to make a request on the field to the Indian touring party to spare two of their players to appear for them. Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar, members of the touring party with the Indian cricket team in England, took the field for the home team but they had an unfortunate experience.

Avesh was hit on his finger while fielding for the home team while Sundar had to bear the brunt of India of a spirited Mohammed Siraj, taking a blow to his finger while batting. Both Avesh and Sundar have now been ruled out of the England tour effectively, following the injuries they suffered respectively while making an appearance for the home team. 

India also lost out on having their leadership duo of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane playing the tour match since they both were suffering from different ailments at the time of the start of the contest. The BCCI informed that Kohli was suffering from a stiff back whereas Rahane was monitoring swelling in his left hamstring with the help of injections, but they hoped to have both these players fit and available for selection in the first Test.

It must be noted that India decided to rest ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and fast bowling spearhead Mohammad Shami from this tour match.

India’s mixed returns from Chester-le-Street 

The three-day contest ended in a draw but not before providing some entertainment as well as insights into how the Indian team could be going forward into the tour. 

The biggest development from the tour match came in the form of wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul, who was keeping the wickets for the first time in his career in a First-Class match. Rahul, however, had a memorable outing with the bat, smacking 101 from 175 balls with 11 boundaries and a six to stake a claim for a place in the playing XI ahead of India’s preferred choice in Pant. 

While India’s top order did not fire the way they would have liked in the first innings, Rahul’s century and a sturdy 75 from Ravindra Jadeja took them to 311 in the first innings. At the same time, there were plenty of other batsmen such as Mayank Agarwal (28), Cheteshwar Pujara (21), Hanuma Vihari (24) and even Shardul Thakur (20) who all got starts but failed to convert.

India used as many as six bowling options in the first innings and each one of them was among wickets. Umesh Yadav was the pick among the bowlers with 15-7-22-3 whereas Siraj returned with a measly spell of 13-2-32-2. The others in Jasprit Bumrah, Thakur, Jadeja and Akshar Patel claimed one wicket each.

Haseeb Hameed, who made all the right moves during his maiden international assignment in 2016-17 in India, returned to the England side on the back of a splendid 122 that he scored against the visiting Indians in this match. The Select County XI side was bowled out for 220 in 82.3 overs.

The second innings witnessed the Indians coming out with better performances with the bat as compared to the first essay. Mayank Agarwal scored 47 from 89 deliveries, Cheteshwar Pujara — promoted to the opening slot for this innings — made 38 from 103 balls, Vihari at No 3 remained unbeaten on 43 whereas Jadeja was once again among runs, scoring 51 not out from 91 deliveries with four hits to the fence and one over it.

India reached 192/3 from their 55 overs in the second innings before it was time for the captains to shake hands and call it a draw.

There was also another welcome news on the final day of the match for India, with Pant joining the team in Durham from London, where he was serving a 10-day quarantine following recovery from coronavirus. 

The Indian cricket team will remain based in Durham for now as they focus all their energies on the preparations for the Test series in England which starts early next month.

The first Test will be played from August 4-8 at Trent Bridge, second at Lord’s from August 12-16, third at Leeds from August 25-29 fourth at The Oval from September 2-6 and fifth and final Test from September 10 at Manchester.


Download App