England takes control of the Ranchi Test at stumps on Day 2

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England dominated India on Day 2 in Ranchi

England dominated India on Day 2 at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi as Ollie Robinson’s half-century helped the visitors post 353 runs on the board while Shoaib Bashir’s 4-fer rattled the Indian batters in the afternoon.

Robinson signalled the visitors’ intent from the first ball of the day as Mohammed Siraj strayed down the leg side with his line and was punished with a boundary. In Akash Deep’s second over of the day, the bowling all-rounder started the real charge as he scored three fours forcing Indian skipper Rohit Sharma to revert to spin, even with the new ball.

Ravindra Jadeja helped in stemming the flow of runs but Robinson did bring up his first Test half-century with another four off the left-arm spinner’s bowling. 

After the overnight pair of Robinson and Joe Root had added 50 runs on Saturday morning, Jadeja struck back as the No.9 tried to play a reverse sweep but the ball struck his gloves and Dhruv Jurel completed a sharp catch behind the stumps to break the partnership.

Like Ollie Pope, Bashir was dismissed for a silver duck as he couldn’t read the spin on Jadeja’s ball and ended up slicing it straight to Rajat Patidar. The English tail-enders then fell like a pack of cards in a windstorm as James Anderson was Jadeja’s third victim of the day after being trapped LBW. 

Root was left unbeaten at the other end with a score of 122 runs off 274 balls in an innings that only included 10 fours with England folding a total of 353 runs.

The hosts started tentatively as both Anderson and Robinson were making the ball swing and it brought the downfall of Rohit who edged it straight to Ben Foakes leaving the young duo of Yashaswi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill to rebuild the innings after a false start.

After getting the first boundary of the innings courtesy of an outside edge, Jaiswal smacked two consecutive boundaries off the first two balls of Anderson’s over punishing him for poor line and length. In the last over before Lunch, the southpaw displayed attractive strokeplay to score consecutive boundaries off Robinson taking India’s score to 34/1 at Lunch on Day 2.

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill put on 82 runs for the second wicket

Bashir was introduced into the attack at the start of the second session and Gill scored his first boundary of the innings against the off-spinner. After six boundary-less overs, Gill smashed two more boundaries off an Anderson over which prompted Jaiswal to send a delivery bowled by Bashir over the long-on region.

Gill procured three more fours over the next two overs bowled by Robinson and was looking pretty confident but the young off-spinner trapped the incumbent Gujarat Titans skipper Leg Before Wicket ending his innings at a score of 38 runs off 65 balls.

Patidar came in to bat at No.4 and displayed his stroke-making skills by smashing three boundaries off the first 26 deliveries he faced without rotating the strike with a single or a double. 

Jaiswal brought up his half-century within 89 balls and was fulfilling his role of holding one end with the more inexperienced batters at the international level and all-rounders to follow at the other end.

English skipper Ben Stokes turned to Tom Hartley in the hope of breaking the partnership but Patidar punished him with a four as well. In the next over, Bashir trapped the Madhya Pradesh batter LBW at a score of 17 runs off 42 balls.

Jadeja came next in to bat and smashed Hartley for two consecutive maximums, once over long-on and then over the mid-wicket region. In the next over, Bashir struck for the third time as the ball came off the inside edge of Jadeja’s blade, hit his pad, and was grabbed by Pope who was fielding at forward short-leg.

Sarfaraz Khan joined Jaiswal in the middle, faced all seven balls before Tea, and took India to a score of 131/4 at the end of the second session.

The Rajasthan Royals’ opening batter scored three fours at the start of the third session on Day 2 as Khan started tentatively scoring 2 runs off his first 22 balls. The 20-year old off-spinner then went through Jaiswal’s defense and got the prized wicket after the southpaw had put 73 runs off 117 balls on the board which included 8 boundaries and a solitary maximum.

While Jurel started positively, Sarfaraz couldn’t hold his end of the bargain as Hartley struck for the first time in the match producing an edge off the middle-order batter. Root completed a diving catch in the slip cordon forcing Khan to walk back to the pavilion after scoring 14 runs off 53 balls.

Ravichandran Ashwin became Hartley’s next victim as he was trapped LBW after scoring only a solitary run and India’s downfall continued in Ranchi with Kuldeep Yadav walking out in a battle of survival against low bounce and spin.

After 23 overs of no sixes, Jurel stepped out and smacked Bashir down the ground for a maximum breaking the record for most maximums in a Test series, previously held by the 2023 Ashes Series between England and Australia.

The hosts wrapped up the day’s play at a score of 219/7 with Jurel unbeaten on the score of 30 runs off 58 balls while Kuldeep is also unbeaten at a score of 17 runs off 72 balls.