The final session of the first Test match between India and England in Rajkot on Sunday proved to be exciting. After the visiting team set a target of 310 runs in 49 overs for India to win, one thought the match headed to a draw. But the determined English team bowlers made matters really interesting, picking up wickets at regular intervals, giving England a sniff of the victory. However, Virat Kohli stood firm, scoring 49 runs to secure a draw in the opening Test match of the series.
After England batsmen enjoyed a brilliant second innings with the bat, especially Alastair Cook scoring a ton and increasing their lead to 309 runs, the skipper decided to declare and have a crack at the India batsmen in the remaining 49 overs.
England could not have started the fourth innings any better, as Chris Woakes dismissed Gautam Gambhir for a duck in the second over. Adil Rashid also took the prized scalp of Cheteswar Pujara before the tea break.
But it was the post-tea session where India were put in a further spot of bother. Rashid and Moeen Ali were troubling the home team batsmen with their trickery. India were not able to handle the spinners, who were gaining confidence with the pitch also assisting them on the final day of the Test match.
India were losing wickets regularly, and they were 71 runs for the loss of four wickets. Sensing victory, England skipper Alastair Cook provided some aggressive field for his bowlers. After losing the wickets of R Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha, India fans and players in the dressing room might have panicked a bit, but Kohli and Jadeja steadied the ship.
With the field up, the duo did not shy away from taking the aerial route. Jadeja scored a quickfire 33-ball 32, while Kohli, who also used his technique and experience to keep his wicket intact, was not out on 49 runs, which included six hits to the fence.
After a dominating performance from both teams in the first innings, compiling more than 450 runs, it was always heading towards a draw. However, no one had foreseen the drama which was in store for the final day, especially the second half of Day 5.
England should be applauded for their incredible performance with the bat and ball in the first Test match. They will gain immense confidence after their show in Rajkot, and India have to play better cricket in the second Test match, which is scheduled in Vizag.