Centurions Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma star on Day 2 in Dharamsala

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Rohit Sharma scored the 12th Test century of his career

India continued on Day 2 from where they left off on Day 1 converting the trail into a lead of 255 runs with Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav unbeaten and expected to add more runs on the third day of the Dharamsala Test at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala.

The overnight pair of Indian skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill asserted dominance early on Day 2 as Shoaib Bashir was smacked down the ground by the Mumbai Indians batter on the first ball of the third over of the morning.

In the next over, James Anderson thought he could ruffle the young Gill but the incumbent Gujarat Titans skipper stepped out and sent the ball flying over the sidescreen prompting English skipper Ben Stokes to throw looks of disbelief.

Rohit survived a half-chance as the ball came off his blade and brushed past Zak Crawley’s fingers at leg slip while Gill continued to attack the fast bowlers with Mark Wood conceding a few boundaries helping the 24-year old bring up his half-century inside 64 balls.

In the 46th over, the duo brought up the century partnership and even equalled the total put on the board by England in the 48th over courtesy of a misfield by Tom Hartley at deep fine leg. Gill helped India take the lead in a commanding manner as he sent Bashir sailing straight down the ground.

While Gill kept playing the eye-catching shots, Rohit brought up his century inside 154 balls in a very un-Rohit manner bringing up his 48th century in international cricket, third most in the list of active cricketers.

In the next over, Gill slog-swept the ball for a boundary to bring up his fourth Test century inside 137 balls. The mix of experience and youth allowed the hosts to play their second wicket-less session of the series as India took Lunch at 264/1. 

Gill cemented his place at No.3 in the Indian test team after another match-winning knock

Gill had a lunch full of carbohydrates as he danced down the pitch against Anderson to score a four followed by another boundary in the first over of the second session The Lunch break broke the momentum and concentration of the duo as both batters lost their wickets early in the post-lunch session. 

Skipper Stokes decided to have a bowl himself after nothing worked in the morning and the golden arm delivered straightaway as Sharma was done by an unplayable delivery which zipped off the pitch and straight on the top of off stump.

Anderson exacted his revenge against Gill in the very next over as the young sensation became the veteran’s 699th victim in Test cricket as the ball swung in and undid the bails leaving Gill bamboozled after a fantastic innings.

Sarfaraz Khan and debutant Devdutt Padikkal then re-built the innings with a 97-run partnership between the two batters who are very young on the international scene. While the Karnataka batter raced to a score of 33 runs off 46 balls on his debut, Sarfaraz took his time and contributed only 9 runs off the first 30 balls he faced before attacking the spinners.

After smashing Hartley for two boundaries, Sarfaraz proved he is no joke against the fast bowlers as he procured two boundaries against Wood as well. In Wood’s next over, the Mumbai batter started with a four before hitting a maximum over the mid-wicket region.

The ball was flying everywhere in front of Padikkal’s eyes as he stuck in his thirties while Khan completed his third half-century in his third Test, that too achieving the landmark in only 55 balls.

The hosts took Tea on a score of 376/3 and the break once again proved to be India’s undoing as the finalists of the first two editions of the ICC World Test Championship lost both set batters in a short period of time. 

On the first ball of the third session, Bashir’s chat with the bowling coach Jeetan Patel in the tea break worked wonders with Sarfaraz edging the ball straight to Joe Root at first slip. Padikkal didn’t hold back after losing his partner as he smashed a maximum to bring up his half-century on debut.

Two more boundaries off Hartley’s bowling preceded Bashir dismissing Padikkal to end the debutant’s innings at a score of 65 runs off 103 balls. Dhruv Jurel tried to continue from where he left off in Ranchi but holed out in the deep off Bashir’s bowling. 

Ravindra Jadeja was the next to be dismissed as the all-rounder was trapped LBW by Hartley and the hosts’ lower middle-order kept falling like a pack of cards when  Ravichandran Ashwin became the third Indian to be dismissed on a duck in his 100th Test after Dilip Vengsarkar and Cheteshwar Pujara.

The duo of Kuldeep and Bumrah surprisingly offered huge resistance to the English bowlers who were marauding in the third session as the No.9 and the No.10 put on a 45-run partnership in 18 overs batting out time in a match not dearth on time.