Kuldeep, Siraj, and Jaiswal star on Day 3 to put India in command of the Rajkot Test

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Ben Stokes appreciates Yashasvi Jaiswal’s innings on Day 3

After England took control at stumps on Day 2 of the Rajkot Test, India wreaked havoc in the first hour of play dismissing the trio of Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, and Ben Duckett, dismissing the fear of missing Ravichandran Ashwin who has been ruled out of the third test after the second day’s play due to a family emergency.

The overnight pair of Duckett and Root brought out the shots early in the morning as the duo scored a boundary each before Jasprit Bumrah dismissed the former England captain yet again as Root tried a reverse-scoop shot but found Yashaswi Jaiswal in the slip cordon who completed a fine catch.

Bairstow was trying to get his eye in but Kuldeep Yadav bowled a brilliant delivery to trap the middle-order batter LBW and send him packing without troubling the scorers.

In the 45th over, Duckett almost lost his prized wicket as a half-chance went down in the slips with skipper Rohit Sharma only getting his left hand to the ball which didn’t stick in his palm. On the next ball, the southpaw reached the 150-run landmark.

Soon after, a loosener from Kuldeep saw Duckett play a lazy shot and cut the ball straight into the hands of Shubman Gill as the opening batter ended his innings with 153 runs off 151 balls with 23 boundaries and 2 maximums.

English skipper Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes survived till Lunch and posted 290/5 on the scoreboard as debutant Dhruv Jurel continued to impress with his wicket-keeping skills to seamers while he struggled a bit off Kuldeep’s turning balls.

Ravindra Jadeja tightened the screws after the Lunch break as the local hero bowled a maiden over before he forced Stokes to hole out in the deep with Bumrah safely completing the catch in the deep ending his innings with a score of 41 runs off 89 balls which included 6 boundaries.

Mohammed Siraj didn’t allow the English tail to wag under his supervision

India got two wickets in two balls as Mohammed Siraj dismissed Foakes on a score of 13 runs off 37 balls with Rohit completing the catch safely this time around.

Tom Hartley tried to wrestle back momentum with two boundaries off Jadeja’s bowling and Rehan Ahmed followed suit with a four against Siraj but two balls later, the fast bowler undid the bails off the stumps with a brilliant yorker dismissing the young all-rounder.

Realizing the tail was up, Hartley tried to attack even more but was stumped in the process as Jadeja’s ball turned a bit and Jurel got his first dismissal in Test cricket.

Mark Wood was next in line to procure a boundary as he swept Jadeja away and the ball raced to the fence. Siraj cleaned up James Anderson’s stumps with another searing yorker as he finished with a 4-fer in the innings and England folded for a score of 319 runs handing the hosts a lead of 126 runs.

India started with intent as Rohit smashed two consecutive boundaries in the first over before the visitors stemmed the flow of runs giving away only six runs off four overs which included a maiden over by Root. After Jaiswal survived a wild DRS call from Stokes, Rohit once again displayed intent by sending the ball racing to the fence for another four.

While the other bowlers continued to leak runs, Root continued to tighten the noose around the hosts’ neck and the skipper soon fell into his trap, getting dismissed LBW after contributing 19 runs off 28 balls.

Gill signalled intent with a boundary off the second ball he faced while Jaiswal displayed a beautiful drive to bag his first four of the innings in the last over of the second session. The Tea was taken on Day 3 with India at 44/1.

After a subdued performance from both batters in the second session, the duo came out from the dressing room with an aim to fire as Anderson conceded 19 runs in the 27th over. It was followed by two consecutive maximums by Jaiswal in the next over bowled by Hartley as the Rajasthan Royals batter brought up his half-century.

Rehan’s introduction into the attack couldn’t change things as he ended up conceding 19 runs in his first three overs and the duo also reached the 100-run partnership in the process. The southpaw also played two reverse-sweeps which both ended in boundaries as Jaiswal deployed the ‘Bazball’ ploy against the ‘Bazball’ inventors.

After a few boundary-less overs, Jaiswal smashed Wood away to the fence in the 39th over bringing up his century inside 122 deliveries. A display of beautiful strokeplay against the raw pace of Wood also helped Gill reach his half-century within 98 balls.

Soon after, Jaiswal complained of back spasms and had to retire hurt to allow Rajat Patidar to come to the fore and make a partnership with Gill. The incumbent Gujarat Titans skipper continued the attack from one end but Patidar holed out to Hartley as Ahmed completed an easy catch at mid-wicket.

With KL Rahul expected to return to full fitness for the Ranchi Test, the Madhya Pradesh batter failed to pose a challenge to skipper Rohit and head coach Rahul Dravid about the selection for the next fixture.

Nightwatchman Kuldeep and Gill closed out the day’s play at 196/2 with Gill unbeaten at a score of 65 runs off 120 balls with Jadeja, Sarfaraz Khan, and Dhruv Jurel to come to the crease on Day 4 with a slight possibility of Jaiswal resuming his innings as well.