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IND vs ENG 3rd Test: Rohit Sharma's captain's knock helps India to overcome early setbacks on opening day

Updated on: 16 February,2024 07:00 AM IST  |  Rajkot
Santosh Suri |

Captain Rohit Sharma carves century a day after being announced as India’s T20 World Cup captain, to rescue team along with fellow centurion Ravindra Jadeja against England. Young gun Sarfaraz khan misses out on three-figure knock on Test debut

IND vs ENG 3rd Test: Rohit Sharma's captain's knock helps India to overcome early setbacks on opening day

India captain Rohit Sharma executes a pull shot on Day One of the third Test against England at Rajkot yesterday. Pic/PTI

A day after being confirmed as India skipper for the forthcoming T20 World Cup by BCCI president Jay Shah, Rohit Sharma came up with a captain’s knock on the opening day of the third Test against England here on Thursday.

It was his responsible and watchful century that helped the home team overcome early setbacks to end the day at a commanding 326-5.

Besides Rohit, the day also belonged to local boy Ravindra Jadeja, who got to his fourth Test century, and debutant Sarfaraz Khan who played a gem of an innings before being unluckily run out at the fag end of the day in a bid to help Jadeja complete his century. As Jadeja sent Sarfaraz back, Mark Wood’s direct throw sent the youngster into the pavilion—run out for 62 from just 66 balls. At the close, Jadeja was at the crease on 110 and giving him company was nightwatchman Kuldeep Yadav on one.

Also Read: 'All I wanted was to play international cricket in front of my father': Sarfaraz

Deep trouble  

After India opted to bat, the day did not begin well, as they lost three early wickets and were in deep trouble at 33-3 in a mere nine overs. And with two debutants Sarfaraz and Dhruv Jurel scheduled to follow, things did not look rosy. Luckily, the team management decided to send experienced all-rounder Jadeja, who knows the local conditions well, ahead of the two greenhorns, and that proved crucial.

After the early setbacks, Jadeja and Rohit produced a brilliant double-century partnership for the fourth wicket to not only steady the rocking boat, but also sailed ahead of the toiling Englishmen to snatch back the initiative. Of course, luck was with India as Rohit was dropped by Joe Root in the slips very early in the innings off left-arm spinner Tom Hartley. Had the Indian captain departed at that juncture, the story of the day could have been different.

Rohit and Jadeja deserve a lot of kudos for playing the way they did when the English bowlers were on the top. They first absorbed the pressure and gradually dominated the bowling. Rohit went on to complete his 11th Test century, the third against England. It was not his most fluent, but surely was a responsible one as well as timely. Just when he had the measure of the bowling, he attempted an extravagant pull off Wood and the ball landed in rival captain Ben Stokes’s hands at midwicket. His innings of 131, off 196 balls with 14 boundaries and three sixes, turned things around for India.

Patient Jadeja  

After Rohit’s departure,  Jadeja batted patiently for his century, but Sarfaraz tore into the tiring England bowling and collected runs at a fast clip, hitting nine fours and a six, being particularly severe on the spinners. And just when it seemed he would see the day off, he was run out tragically to give the hapless English team something to cheer about. With the second new ball taken at the fag end, the visitors would be hoping to get the remaining Indian wickets in the morning and not allow them to attain a formidable total.

As for the England bowling, Wood toiled for his three wickets and also effected the run out of Sarfaraz. But veteran Jimmy Anderson and the two spinners Hartley and Rehan Ahmed were not as effective on the first-day pitch. 

Brief scores
India 326-5 (R Sharma 131, R Jadeja 110 not out, S Khan 62; M Wood 3-69) v England

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