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India pile on the runs after England grab early wickets

Ravindra Jadeja’s dismissal for 112 left India on 331 before an unbroken partnership of 57 put India at 388 for seven at lunch.

David Charlesworth
Friday 16 February 2024 06:19 GMT
Joe Root bowls on the second day match between India and England (Ajit Solanki, AP)
Joe Root bowls on the second day match between India and England (Ajit Solanki, AP)

Joe Root made partial amends for his costly drop of Rohit Sharma by taking care of Ravindra Jadeja but England were still made to toil against India in Rajkot.

Root put down a difficult chance when Rohit was on 27 on the opening day of the third Test, with the India captain amassing a further 104 runs, but the Yorkshireman held on when offered a return catch by Jadeja on the second morning.

Jadeja’s dismissal for 112 left India on 331 for seven but hopes of a swift conclusion to the innings were thwarted by the obduracy of debutant Dhruv Jurel (31 not out) and Ravichandran Ashwin (25no).

The pair put on an unbroken 57 to carry India to 388 for seven at lunch, although England had an unexpected helping hand from Ashwin, whose unnecessary encroachment on the middle of the pitch led to five penalty runs being awarded to the tourists.

Jadeja was officially warned about running on the so-called ‘danger zone’ the previous evening and any further indiscretion leads to the opposing team starting their innings on five without loss.

Ashwin pushed for a run before being sent back but because he had not moved to the side, increasing the risk of scuffing up the surface, he was disciplined, much to his chagrin, by umpire Joel Wilson.

England began the day needing quick wickets as India resumed on 326 for five and they saw off the overnight batters within the first five overs, Anderson collecting Test dismissal 696 after winkling out nightwatcher Kuldeep Yadav.

Anderson found a hint of away movement with a relatively new ball to take the outside edge and Ben Foakes took a simple catch.

Root came within a whisker of off-stump on a couple of occasions before gratefully accepting a tame chip from Jadeja, who would have been expected to marshal the lower order when the day began.

But Jurel averages 46 in first-class cricket while India’s number nine Ashwin has five Test centuries so England’s work was far from complete. Jurel showed his class by upper-cutting Mark Wood, the pick of England’s bowlers the day before, for six.

Tom Hartley beat the bat on a couple of occasions and rare edges dropped short of fielders as India crept towards a score upwards of 400, even if Ashwin’s transgression gives England a leg up at the start of their innings.

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