Gill, Sharma put India in control against England

SUMMARY: England 218 all out from 57.4 overs (Zak Crawley 79; Kuldeep Yadav 5-72, Ravichandran Ashwin 4-51) trail India 473-8 from 120 overs (Shubman Gill 110, Rohit Sharma 103, Devdutt Padikkal 65; Shoaib Bashir 4-170) by 255 runs


Centuries from Shubman Gill (110) and Rohit Sharma (103) headlined a dominating second day for India in the Dharamsala Test, with the duo’s 171-run stand as stroke-filled as they come. The hosts finished the day on 473-8, with a lead of 255 runs.

Gill and Sharma set the tone with a rollicking morning session that saw India racking up 129 runs without losing a wicket. Both batters brought out their signature strokes with aplomb; Rohit’s pulls and cuts came to the fore frequently, as did Gill’s unorthodox short-arm jabs against pace and lofts against spin.

England needed something special to break the partnership and that was provided by their skipper Ben Stokes who struck off his first ball of the series with a peach.

The near-unplayable nut castled a well-set Rohit and James Anderson then removed Gill in the next over with an in-swinger as both bowlers got the ball to reverse.

England’s hopes of restricting India’s lead soared with these strikes, but that’s when the second significant partnership of the day came for the home side. Devdutt Padikkal (65) on debut produced a counter-punching fifty along with Sarfaraz Khan (56) who also notched up a brisk fifty.

The pair added 97 off just 131 runs with Sarfaraz in particular shifting gears considerably once set. He was severe on the spinners but also played some adventurous shots against the pacers.

Padikkal started with a flurry of boundaries and while some were streaky, the other shots had that trademark left-hander’s elegance stamped all over.

The duo took India to tea and both batters looked set for their respective hundreds but once again, England struck in clusters after the break. Shoaib Bashir induced a soft shot from Sarfaraz and then cleaned up Padikkal with a ripper.

Dhruv Jurel and Ravindra Jadeja hung around for a bit before another double-strike from Bashir in successive overs dented India. Tom Hartley then spoiled Ravichandran Ashwin’s 100th Test from a batting perspective by getting him for a duck. Once again, the visitors would have wanted to wrap up things and have a crack at reducing the deficit.

However, Kuldeep Yadav (27*) and Jasprit Bumrah (19*) joined hands to dig in, for a partnership that’s already faced 108 deliveries. The surface did have something in it for the spinners but continued to be a largely good track for batting.

The collective batting effort from India could have possibly swelled their lead to a point of no return for England. Trailing by over 250 runs, the opposition still having two wickets left, and three full days to go, Stokes’ men will have to do something extraordinary to leave Dharamsala without a defeat. (cricbuzz)

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.