IND vs ENG: Yashasvi Jaiswal Shubman Gill charge India’s lead to 322 on Day 3 in Rajkot Test

Saturday at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium unfolded as a day of Indian domination in the narrative of the third Test against England, as the hosts fortified a formidable lead standing at 322 runs by the close of the third day’s play. The Indian contingent, bereft of their spin maestro Ravichandran Ashwin due to a sudden family emergency, demonstrated a brilliant all-around performance which, punctuated by Mohammed Siraj’s four-wicket haul, dismantled the English batting order at a paltry 319, thus yielding India a first-innings advantage of 126 runs. Complementing the bowling brilliance, Yashasvi Jaiswal’s undefeated ton power-propelled the Indian second innings to an assertive 196/2.

England’s innings, despite Ben Duckett’s scintillating 153 from 151 deliveries, lacked substantial partnerships. Joe Root’s recent slump in form was underscored by his brief tenure at the crease, contributing a meager 18 runs before falling prey to Jasprit Bumrah’s prowess. England’s captain, Ben Stokes, managed a 41-run effort before his dismissal to the relentlessness of Ravindra Jadeja’s spin.

After lunch, Siraj, revitalizing his performance after a wicketless stint in the preceding Hyderabad Test, emerged as the wrecker-in-chief. He was instrumental in sending back Ollie Pope and Ben Foakes, further accentuating his impact with decisive blows to dismantle James Anderson and Rehan Ahmed with impeccable yorkers. The English side, having had an optimistic start courtesy of Duckett the previous day, could only muster an additional 112 runs on Day 3.

India’s response in their second innings adopted a cautious stance early on. However, the impregnable English bowling could only break through in the 12th over when Root snagged the pivotal wicket of Rohit Sharma at 19 runs. This was followed by a resilient partnership between Jaiswal and Shubman Gill, who together crafted a substantial 155* run stand for the second wicket. Jaiswal’s innings was the pièce de résistance, his 122-ball century reflecting an amalgamation of skill and concentration before a back injury upon celebrating the milestone forced his unfortunate exit, retired hurt.

The penultimate phases of India’s innings saw a hiccup with the loss of Rajat Patidar for a duck, momentarily stalling the momentum. Nonetheless, Gill’s persistence at the crease underscored his innings with an unbeaten 64* off 118 balls, culminating in a total of 196/2 in 51 overs when stumps were drawn.

The day had unfolded with India showcasing a caliber of game that resonated the strength and depth of their squad. Their command over proceedings, both with ball and bat, has placed them in an enviable position as the Test progresses. Come Day 4, the home team would look to tighten their grip further, with the visitors needing a display of exemplary resilience to challenge the unfolding Indian narrative in Rajkot.

As the stage is set for the upcoming play, England’s tactics and temperament will undergo stringent examination, while India, buoyed by their performance, will endeavor to consolidate their ascendancy. With Jaiswal and Gill displaying prime form and the bowlers making their mark, India’s cricket aficionados are poised for a gripping continuation of the Test. The scoreboard’s tale at the closure of Day 3 hints at numerous possibilities, with India clearly dictating the rhythm. Only time will articulate the final verses of this cricketing saga in Rajkot.

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