Kumble goes gaga over Akash Deep's Test debut, praises ‘spot on’ selection | Cricket - Hindustan Times

Anil Kumble goes gaga over Akash Deep's Test debut, praises India's ‘spot on’ selection approach in 4th Test

Feb 23, 2024 01:18 PM IST

Akash Deep was in sensational form in his Test debut, and left India legend Anil Kumble massively impressed.

Making his Test debut on Friday, Akash Deep was in sensational form in the first session of Day 1 as India rattled England early on, in Ranchi. The hosts are currently leading 2-1 and victory in the fourth Test will see them grab a series-clinching win.

India's Akash Deep celebrates after taking the wicket of England's Ben Duckett.(REUTERS)
India's Akash Deep celebrates after taking the wicket of England's Ben Duckett.(REUTERS)

He could have got his maiden wicket in the fourth over itself, but a no-ball ruled it out. He responded in style in the 10th over, removing Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope. Then, he struck once again in the 12th over, taking the key wicket of Zak Crawley.

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Speaking after the first session. India legend Anil Kumble hailed the 27-year-old and was left impressed with Rahul Dravid's selection strategy. Part of the broadcaster's match centre, Kumble said, "The team management certainly got it spot on. When Bumrah wasn't available for this game, there was an option to pick fast bowler. India has always played two seamers in this series so far. Yes, we all thought the pitch was conducive, then maybe Axar Patel. But Akash has certainly bowled exceptionally well. He bowls not that much quicker, and he bowled in really good areas. He bowled good lengths and most of the time, the length sort of got the better of the batter, that's where they got beaten."

"On this surface, it is not easy for stroke play. That's something England batters went searching for. But hats off to Akash.

"I thought he bowled exceptionally well for a debutant," he added.

In the fourth over, he sent a wonderful length delivery to Crawley, which nipped back from around off. The ball went past Crawley's inside edge and hit the off stump. The debutant jumped in joy but it was short lived as the siren went off for a no-ball.

But he kept his composure and got his maiden wicket in the 10th over and this time it was a legal delivery. He sent a good length delivery, which Ben Duckett (11) edged for a simple catch to Dhruv Jurel.

Then he removed Ollie Pope (0) in the same over, hitting him in front of off. For his third wicket, he sent Crawley (42) back to the pavilion in the 12th over. After the first session, England were left reeling at 112/5 in 24.1 overs.

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