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BCCI planning to hike salary for Test players: Reports

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HT Digital,

Mumbai, Feb 27: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is reportedly planning to increase match fees for Test matches and offer incentives for players participating in all Test series within the year, sources from the board reveal.

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This decision comes in light of players like Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan opting out of the Ranji Trophy for their respective states, even though they are not part of the Indian squad. Instead, they are focusing on preparations for the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) season.

At present, the BCCI rewards players with Rs 15 lakh per Test match, Rs 6 lakh per One-Day International (ODI) and Rs 3 lakh per T20 International (T20I). In the recent fourth Test at Ranchi, England chose to bat first after winning the toss, ending their first innings at 353, largely thanks to Joe Root’s stunning century and contributions from Ollie Robinson and Ben Foakes.

Indian bowlers Ravindra Jadeja and Akash Deep were the top performers. In response, India was bowled out for 307, despite a commendable performance by Yashasvi Jaiswal. The team was at 219/7 before a partnership between Jurel and Kuldeep took them past 300 runs.

Spinner Shoaib Bashir unsettled Indian batsmen, securing his maiden five-wicket haul with figures of 5/119. Tom Hartley (3/68) and James Anderson (2/48) also delivered commendable performances. Jurel’s courageous defensive play, along with the lower-order batsmen, not only rescued India from a precarious situation but also reduced England’s first-inning lead to 46 runs.

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In the second inning, England could muster only 145 runs before being bowled out. Zak Crawley scored 60 runs in 91 balls with seven fours, and Jonny Bairstow added 30 runs in 42 balls with three fours.

India’s spinners claimed all 10 wickets, with Ravichandran Ashwin bagging 5 wickets for 51 runs and Kuldeep Yadav capturing 4 wickets for 22 runs, leading the bowling for the host team. Chasing 192 runs to secure a decisive 3-1 series lead, the home team started strongly, led by Captain Rohit Sharma (scoring 55 runs in 81 deliveries, including five fours and a six) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (adding 37 runs in 44 balls, with five fours), as they built an 84-run opening stand.

Bashir’s performance brought some respite for the visitors, as he claimed 3 wickets for 79 runs, reducing India’s score to 120/5. Subsequently, Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel steered India to a five-wicket series win with their stellar batting performances. India now leads the series 3-1.

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