Hundreds by Rohit and Jadeja help India weather early wobble against England

India were reeling at 33-3 inside the opening hour after Mark Wood proved the value of extra pace on a docile track at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium

Reuters
Published : 15 Feb 2024, 06:44 AM
Updated : 15 Feb 2024, 06:44 AM

Captain Rohit Sharma and middle-order batter Ravindra Jadeja smashed defiant hundreds to drag India out of the doldrums and into a comfortable 326 for five on the opening day of the third Test against England on Thursday.

India were reeling at 33-3 inside the opening hour after Mark Wood proved the value of extra pace on a docile track at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

Rohit and Jadeja rebuilt the innings with a 204-run stand to drag the hosts back into the contest.

Jadeja was batting on 110 at stumps, his fourth Test hundred, with nightwatchman Kuldeep Yadav on one at the other end.

Rohit's stellar 131 contained three sixes, 14 fours and plenty of drama.

The opener suffered a blow to his helmet, was dropped in the slip and succeeded in having an lbw decision against him reversed en route to his 11th Test hundred innings.

With the five-match series poised at 1-1, Rohit's decision to bat on a flat surface was hardly surprising but Wood tormented the batters with his express speed.

The fast bowler had Yashasvi Jaiswal (10) caught in the slip in his second over and Shubman Gill fell caught behind for a duck in Wood's next.

England captain Ben Stokes, playing his 100th Test, introduced spin in the ninth over and was rewarded immediately as Tom Hartley dismissed Rajat Patidar for five.

Wood continued to bowl with relentless hostility at the other end, hitting Rohit on his helmet grille on one occasion.

The opener got a life on 27 when he edged Hartley and Joe Root spilled the catch at slip.

Rohit was adjudged lbw to James Anderson but the decision was reversed after replays confirmed the ball had hit bat first.

Rohit and Jadeja denied England a breakthrough in the second session dragging India back into the contest.

Rohit took 157 balls to bring up his hundred and the muted celebration indicated his resolve to carry on but Stokes and Wood combined to scupper that plan.

The short-ball tactics they pursued against Rohit paid off as the batter slapped the ball from Wood to Stokes at midwicket.

Debutant SarfarazKhan shrugged off early jitters and raced to a 48-ball fifty before his entertaining knock of 62 was cut short.

Jadeja was on 99 when his hesitation led to Sarfaraz being run out. A furious Rohit was seen hurling his cap on the floor in the pavilion after the dismissal.

Wicketkeeper Dhruv Jurel also made his Test debut for India in the match.