IND vs ENG: Records tumble on Day 1 as Rohit Sharma Ravindra Jadeja and Sarfaraz Khan shine for India

The stage was set at the Niranjan Shah stadium in Rajkot for what became a spectacular display of cricket mastery from the Indian side, as they took to the field against England on the inaugural day of the third Test match. Despite early setbacks, the hosts ended the day rejoicing, with milestones achieved by Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, and an unforgettable entrance by debutant Sarfaraz Khan. The day’s events led India to a comfortable position of 326/5 after 86 overs.

Commencing with a poignant note, the debut cap presentation to Sarfaraz Khan, witnessed by his elated family, embodied the spirit of the game. Another newcomer, Dhruv Jurel, also received his debut cap, immortalizing the day for both players. However, the opening hour was marred by England’s impressive bowling, as Mark Wood managed to clinch three crucial wickets, sending early jitters through the Indian camp, with Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, and Rajat Patidar falling prey to his fast bowling.

Deep into precarious territory at 33/3, a dramatic revival unfolded, thanks to the stalwarts of Indian cricket—Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja. Stepping out under pressing circumstances, Jadeja joined forces with the composed Sharma, and the pair masterfully orchestrated a revitalizing partnership. Their synergy was undeniable as they stitched together an instrumental 204-run stand for the fourth wicket. Initially cautious in their approach, they meticulously neutralized England’s attack, even surviving a dropped catch by Joe Root.

Rohit Sharma, known for his prowess, unleashed an aggressive stance against England’s fresh-legged spinners, notching up his 11th Test century, which also marked his 47th in international cricket. This landmark also crowned him the oldest Indian captain to score a century in Test cricket, surpassing MS Dhoni in hitting the most sixes for India in this venerable format.

India’s skipper was on the trail of a ‘daddy hundred’, yet, in an unexpected twist, succumbed to a short ball from Wood, effectively ending his vital knock of 131. Nonetheless, his departure paved the way for sensation Sarfaraz Khan, who seamlessly transitioned to the Test arena. Khan demonstrated commendable composure and elegance, especially against spin, indicating a promising addition to India’s batting arsenal.

Fifty runs came off just 48 deliveries for the newcomer, equaling the second-fastest fifty on Test debut for an Indian player. However, a mix-up led to a fatal run-out at the close of day’s play, as Sarfaraz ventured out for an ambitious run to support partner Jadeja. Wood’s lightning reflexes and direct throw caught him well short of the crease, thereby granting England their crucial fifth wicket.

The very next delivery witnessed Jadeja’s painstaking ninety transforming into a glorious century—the fourth of his Test career. Unshaken, he concluded the day unbeaten on 110, with Kuldeep Yadav for company as a nightwatchman, guiding India to their dominant position.

With spirits high and the momentum firmly in their grasp, India aspires to cross the 500-run threshold in their first innings. Contrarily, England will cling to the hope of replicating their early morning success on the second day to contain their hosts. The stage is set for what could unfold as a gripping encounter between these two cricketing giants in the days to come.

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