INDIA VS ENGLAND | Rohit, Jadeja centuries; Sarfaraz’s 62 lead India’s fightback after early trouble

Rajkot, Feb 15: Captain Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja smashed centuries each, while Sarfaraz Khan sparkled on his Test debut with 62 off 66 balls as India reached 326/5 in 86 overs at stumps on Day One of the third Test against England at the Niranjan Shah Stadium here on Thursday.

While Rohit made 131, Jadeja was unbeaten on 110, as the duo added 204 runs for the fourth wicket, after India were reduced to 33/3 in the first 45 minutes on a pitch which flattened out as the day progressed.

After the Rohit-Jadeja partnership, also India’s first-century stand of the current series ended, Sarfaraz played immaculately against the England spinners, making a 48-ball fifty on Test debut.

But he was run out after a huge mix-up with Jadeja, who was on 99. Jadeja eventually got his century to be undefeated at the end of day one’s play, which sets up the game well for India to make a grand total in their first innings.

The early morning moisture on the Rajkot pitch benefitted Mark Wood, who came into England’s playing eleven in place of spinner Shoaib Bashir. He drew first blood when he angled across a delivery which caught Yashasvi Jaiswal at the crease and the left-hander could only edge behind to first slip. In his next over, Wood had an uncomfortable Shubman Gill nicking behind a good length delivery which nipped away to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.

England had their third wicket in the ninth over when Hartley got a delivery to jump off a length, which gripped and turned very sharply to take Rajat Patidar’s edge towards cover. After being hit on the helmet grille by Wood in a short-ball play, with three fielders stationed deep in the leg-side, Rohit tried to unsettle Hartley with cut and sweep for boundaries.

He even got a life at 27 in the same over when Joe Root dropped his catch at first slip on an attempted slog. Luck continued to favour Rohit when survived a close lbw shout while dancing down the pitch against Anderson.

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