India vs England: Tourists collapse before superb Yashasvi Jaiswal hundred

Kuldeep Yadav (left) took the key wickets of Jonny Bairstow and Ben Duckett before lunch
Third Test, Rajkot (day three of five):
India 445 (Rohit 131, Jadeja 112; Wood 4-114) & 196-2 (Jaiswal 104, Gill 65*)
England 319 (Duckett 153, Stokes 41; Siraj 4-84)
India lead by 322 runs

England are in a dire position in the third Test after a dramatic collapse and spectacular Yashasvi Jaiswal century on day three gave India complete control in Rajkot.

A breathtaking fightback on the second evening had seemingly handed England all the momentum when they resumed on 207-2 in response to India’s 445.

But the tourists lost their last eight wickets for 95 runs to be bowled out for 319, an implosion that began when Joe Root’s reverse scoop at the pace of Jasprit Bumrah was caught at second slip.

Jonny Bairstow was out fourth ball for a duck and Ben Duckett tamely patted a very wide delivery from Kuldeep Yadav to cover to fall for 153.

Captain Ben Stokes made 41 but then became the first in a final slide of 5-29 after lunch as England conceded a first-innings deficit of 126.

Left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep conjured a beguiling spell and paceman Mohammed Siraj claimed 4-84 as India’s bowlers put in a huge effort following the loss of Ravichandran Ashwin, who withdrew from the Test overnight because of a family emergency.

Jaiswal rammed home India’s advantage with his second hundred in as many matches, adding an increasingly damaging 155 with Shubman Gill, who remains 65 not out.

England’s bowlers were taken apart by India’s free scoring in the evening session before Jaiswal retired hurt with a back problem on 104.

By the end, the hosts had moved to 196-2, 322 ahead and primed to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

England waste golden opportunity

This was a golden opportunity for England. Even with Ashwin, India had been floored on the second evening and the tourists had a platform from which they could possibly fashion victory.

There were questions as to whether, given the circumstances, England would allow Ashwin to be replaced in the India XI. The playing conditions do not permit such a move, so England showed compassion and generosity with their batting.

It was a wreckage similar to England’s self-destruction in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, when Australia were there for the taking after Nathan Lyon was injured. This was possibly a bigger waste and could even be England’s worst day under Stokes’ captaincy.

The spotlight with fall on Root and the nature of his dismissal. No doubt it was ugly and unnecessary, but he was certainly not the only England player guilty of a poor stroke.

England repeated their mistake from the second Test in Visakhapatnam, where a sloppy first innings left them too much to do in the second. They will be bullish about their eventual run chase, but comebacks are so much harder in India because of the way pitches deteriorate – this one is showing signs of sharp turn.

Presented with their sizable and unexpected lead, Jaiswal and Gill roasted England in the burning sunshine, and already Stokes’ men face pulling off the highest pursuit by a visiting team in this country.

Root scoop sparks England collapse

Bar some handy bowling in the first Test in Hyderabad, Root is enduring a tough tour. In five innings he has not made more than 29 and on the first morning of this Test dropped a crucial slip catch off Rohit Sharma.

The reverse scoop has become his trademark under Stokes’ captaincy, yet in the circumstances this was a grave error of judgement. Jaiswal took a sharp catch to give Jasprit Bumrah his ninth dismissal of Root in Test cricket.

England never recovered. Bairstow played back to a sharp turner from Kuldeep and was bang in front. Duckett, architect of a stunning 133 not out on Friday, added 20 more runs but could have been caught twice and run out before he toe-ended one off Kuldeep that he could barely reach.

Stokes took his time before lunch, then could not resist a slog sweep at Ravindra Jadeja shortly after and was caught at long-on.

The lower-order was exposed. Ben Foakes patted Siraj to mid-on and Tom Hartley sprinted past Jadeja to be stumped.

Both Rehan Ahmed and James Anderson were victim to deadly Siraj yorkers. In all, England lost their last five wickets in just 38 deliveries.

India defy odds to take control

India opener Yashasvi Jaiswal raises his helmet and bat in celebration after hitting a century
Yashasvi Jaiswal followed up his brilliant double century in the second Test with a sublime century in Rajkot

India’s mauling on Friday was compounded by the loss of Ashwin, yet still the hosts rallied with incredible spirit to take charge of the match and series.

Kuldeep was transformed from the man battered by Duckett to bowl a mesmerising spell of 12 successive overs. Siraj was lethal with reverse-swing. Rohit captained expertly, especially with defensive fields that frustrated Duckett.

Rohit was lbw on review sweeping Root to give England their best moment of the day, but after that rising stars Jaiswal and Gill again demonstrated why they are the future of India’s batting.

They had been careful up to a point when Anderson set six fielders on the leg side to Jaiswal. At that stage, the left-hander had 35 from 73 balls, but flicked a switch to hit a six and two fours in three consecutive deliveries.

From then on, Jaiswal was unstoppable, taking 65 from his next 49 balls and bringing up his third Test hundred with a cut for four, celebrating with what is becoming a trademark outstretch of his arms.

Gill had been quiet, only to hit Root for a straight six and pull Wood for another. All of Jaiswal’s swinging put his back out, so he gave way to Rajat Patidar, who somehow miscued a Hartley long-hop to mid-wicket.

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