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Rohit, Jadeja tons put India in command against England

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RAJKOT: Skipper Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja scored centuries and recovered India to 326/5 at Stumps on Day 1 of the ongoing third Test against England here on Thursday.

Opting to bat first, the hosts found themselves in deep trouble as their top-order batters Yashasvi Jaiswal (10), Shubman Gill (0) and Rajat Patidar (5) fell cheaply.

Their back-to-back dismissals had India reeling at 33/3 inside the first overs.

Following the slump, all-rounder Jadeja joined his captain Sharma in the middle and the duo launched an astounding recovery.

Jadeja and Sharma soaked the pressure exerted by the aggressive visitors and kept the scoreboard ticking.

They added a mammoth 204 runs in their exquisite partnership with Sharma bringing up his 11th century soon after the Tea break.

The marathon stand was the hosts’ first century-plus partnership and the highest so far by either India or England in the ongoing five-match series, currently squared at 1-1.

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Rohit Sharma fell in the final session off Mark Wood, falling into the short-ball plan set up by England. He remained the top-scorer for India with 131 which featured 14 boundaries and three sixes.

Following Sharma’s dismissal came India’s emotional debutant Sarfaraz Khan.

The right-handed batter announced himself in style, smashing regular boundaries and pushing England onto the backfoot.

He put together a one-sided 77-run stand with Jadeja, scoring 80 per cent of the runs.

Sarfaraz had an agonizing end to his sensational knock as a mix-up, followed by a direct hit from Wood, resulted in him packing.

He smashed nine boundaries and a six on his way to a 66-ball 62.

Ravindra Jadeja brought up a well-crafted century in the dying minutes of Thursday’s action and celebrated by swinging the bat in his trademark sword dance.

He remained unbeaten on 110 alongside Kuldeep Yadav (1*) and will now resume India’s first innings on Day 2.

Mark Wood was the pick of the bowlers for England, picking up three wickets while Hartley made one scalp.

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