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Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill showcased their prowess with centuries, complemented by a stylish 65 from debutant Devdutt Padikkal, guiding India beyond the 250-run mark against England on Day 2 of the fifth Test in Dharamsala.

As the day concluded, India stood at 473/8 at Stumps, enjoying a commanding lead of 255 runs over the visitors. Bowlers Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah displayed resilience at the crease, contributing an unbeaten 49 for the ninth wicket. England witnessed a late fightback, led by Shoaib Bashir, who picked up four crucial wickets to inject some momentum into the contest.

Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill centuries propel India

Resuming from the overnight score of 135/1, Rohit and Shubman capitalized on the pristine weather and favourable batting conditions, asserting their dominance in the opening session of the day with a commanding 160-run partnership. This marked India’s second consecutive hundred partnership in the series.

The formidable duo displayed no intention of allowing England back into the game, achieving their centuries just three balls apart. Rohit led the charge, reaching the three-figure mark first with a sublime clip through midwicket off Tom Hartley, securing his second century of the series and 12th overall. In the subsequent over, Gill joined the century club, bringing up his second century of the series and fourth in the format. As the players headed into Lunch, India’s scoreboard was 264/1.

Mini comeback by England

Following a strenuous morning, England achieved a breakthrough when Captain Ben Stokes, making a significant impact, introduced himself into the attack. Stokes, who had refrained from bowling since the Lord’s Test in June due to persistent knee problems necessitating surgery before Christmas, played a pivotal role in turning the tide for England.

Rohit’s impressive innings concluded at 103, with the Indian skipper falling victim to an exquisite delivery that hit the off-stump. Subsequently, debutant Padikkal joined Gill, but their partnership was cut short by James Anderson. Anderson dismissed Gill for 110, claiming his 699th Test scalp in a milestone moment for the veteran pacer.

Crucial partnership between Devdutt Padikkal and Sarfaraz Khan

Sarfaraz Khan entered the crease at No. 5 for India, partnering with Padikkal. The duo provided stability for the team and successfully reclaimed momentum following England’s double-strike post-lunch. Padikkal swiftly exhibited his skills, showcasing his ability to find the boundary with seven well-timed fours. Meanwhile, Sarfaraz initially adopted a cautious approach but quickly transitioned to an aggressive stance, reaching his third Test fifty. Together, they built a formidable partnership, adding 97 runs for the fifth wicket.

Also WATCH: Sarfaraz Khan blows a flying kiss at wife Romana after completing his half-century

Shoaib Bashir sparks England’s fightback with vital wickets

However, Bashir’s masterful spell with the ball saw the dismissal of Sarfaraz, Padikkal, and the hero of the Ranchi Test, wicketkeeper-batter Dhruv Jurel. In the bowling department, left-arm spinner Hartley removed ace all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. Despite a mini-collapse in the evening session, Kuldeep (27 not out) and Bumrah (19 not out) resiliently ensured that India concluded the day with two wickets still in hand, boasting an unbroken ninth-wicket stand currently worth 45.

So far in the match, India had displayed dominance by bowling England out for a modest 218. The Indian spin trio of Kuldeep (5/72), Ravichandran Ashwin (4/51) and Ravindra Jadeja (1/17) orchestrated a splendid performance, accounting for all 10 wickets and setting the stage for India’s strong position in the fifth Test.

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Also READ: IND vs ENG: Fans react as Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill smash centuries in Dharamsala Test


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