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Difficult Word/ PhraseContextual Sense
Offence The team that is trying to score
Pulsating Exciting 
Climax A decisive moment
Gallop run somewhere very quickly
Centurion an officer in the army of ancient Rome who was responsible for 100 soldiers
Draw Finish a game with an equal number of points, goals, etc.
Comeback Even the score, in sports
Scare Sudden mass fear and anxiety over anticipated events
Intervening Occurring or falling between events or points in time
Linger Remain present although waning or gradually dying
Bow out Retire gracefully
Hold the reins to be in control
Indifferent Marked by a lack of interest
Marauding raiding
Aggression A feeling of hostility that arouses thoughts of attack
Shed Get rid of
Improbable Not likely to be true or to occur or to have occurred
Bludgeoning to hit them several times with a heavy object
Deflating take away somebody’s confidence or make somebody seem less important

Changed equations: On the new Test era for England

England is reshaping Test cricket with offence (The team that is trying to score) as the guiding philosophy 

The long-drawn Test series involving England and India, which commenced on August 4 last year, concluded with a pulsating (Exciting) climax (A decisive moment) at Birmingham’s Edgbaston on Tuesday. In the fifth Test, England galloped (run somewhere very quickly) towards the fourth innings target of 378 in just 76.4 overs with centurions (an officer in the army of ancient Rome who was responsible for 100 soldiers) Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow building on the momentum gifted by openers Alex Lees and Zak Crawley. The seven-wicket victory helped England draw (Finish a game with an equal number of points, goals, etc.) the series at 2-2 through a comeback (Even the score, in sports) that stunned the visitors. Four Tests were played in 2021 when a COVID-19 scare (Sudden mass fear and anxiety over anticipated events) forced the postponement of the fifth match while India led 2-1. The administrators agreed to play the fifth Test after a year and this was an interval like none other. In the intervening (Occurring or falling between events or points in time) period, Russia invaded Ukraine, the pandemic lingered (Remain present although waning or gradually dying) and on the sporting front, both teams evolved. India’s coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli bowed out (Retire gracefully) and Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma stepped in. In the rival dressing room coach Chris Silverwood and skipper Root stepped aside with Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes being the replacements. Even if Rohit sat out due to COVID-19, under Jasprit Bumrah and thanks to the centuries by Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja, India held the reins (to be in control) in the final Test before an indifferent (Marked by a lack of interest) second innings and marauding (raiding) England batters altered the script in favour of the host.

McCullum and Stokes have preferred aggression (A feeling of hostility that arouses thoughts of attack) as the solution to help England shed (Get rid of) its dormancy. Fourth innings targets would be attempted even if they seem improbable (Not likely to be true or to occur or to have occurred) and the opposition will not be given the time to react. New Zealand learnt it the hard way and now it is India’s turn. McCullum, the former New Zealand captain, is known for his bludgeoning (to hit them several times with a heavy object) bat. His 158 for Kolkata Knight Riders against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the maiden Indian Premier League clash at Bengaluru in 2008 turbo-charged the league and put to shade the fireworks that Vijay Mallya had organised as part of the launch. McCullum’s method is stunning when he prospers and deflating (take away somebody’s confidence or make somebody seem less important) when he fails. Like he did with an ugly swipe against Mitchell Starc in the 2015 World Cup final which Australia won. For now, his ‘Bazball’ method is holding England in good stead. That Root and Bairstow, two Yorkshire batters from the land of the obdurate Geoffrey Boycott, have bought into McCullum’s philosophy is a pointer to the ‘Brave New England’s’ attempt to change the face of Tests. Meanwhile India, after losing the Test series in South Africa and allowing England to claw back, will have to evaluate its overseas record. The three T20Is and the three ODIs against Old Blighty beckon and in coloured clothes, India will hope to do better.

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