Skipper Rohit Sharma Sidelined with Stiff Back on Day 3 of the 5th Test

Spectators and commentators alike were left puzzled when Indian cricket captain Rohit Sharma was noticeably absent from the field on the third day of the ongoing 5th Test match. As India’s first innings concluded, it became apparent that something was amiss, with the Indian team adding a mere four runs to their impressive overnight total of 475, ultimately being bowled out for 477 runs.

The void left by the captain’s absence was filled by the official confirmation from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which issued a brief statement on social media. “UPDATE: Captain Rohit Sharma has not taken the field on Day 3 due to a stiff back,” declared the BCCI, bringing an end to the swirling speculation among the cricket fraternity.

The mantle of leadership on the field was taken up by vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah, who shouldered the responsibility in Sharma’s stead. Despite the Indian team’s aspirations for a monumental 500-run landmark, their innings were swiftly terminated.

England’s veteran James Anderson reached a personal milestone, claiming his 700th Test wicket as he dismissed Kuldeep Yadav caught behind. Adding to India’s abrupt fold-up, Shoab Bashir obliterated any remaining hopes by removing the last man standing, Jasprit Bumrah, and in doing so, dashed India’s shot at the envisaged mammoth total.

The subject of much discourse, Rohit Sharma has been in sterling form with the bat throughout the series, reinforcing his prowess with a commanding century in the first innings of this Test match—it’s his second century of the series. A sublime 103 off 162 balls was scored before he was ousted by Ben Stokes; notably, Stokes’s first ball since the Ashes 2023 took the prized scalp.

The captain’s partnership with Shubman Gill for the second wicket was a highlight, contributing a hefty 171 runs to India’s total. Post-second day, there had been no word on Sharma’s condition, leaving fans and analysts in wait of an update.

It’s worth highlighting that Rohit Sharma’s batting achievements have significantly embellished after turning 30. This most recent century in Dharamsala represents his 35th in the international circuit since crossing the age threshold, equaling the record for an Indian batsman held alongside the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.

Beyond his batting, Sharma’s leadership has not gone unnoticed during this series. His astute bowling changes and thoughtful field placements have earned him accolades from numerous cricket experts. Fans and pundits continue to anticipate news regarding the health and return of the Indian skipper.

As the day’s play continued, India’s line-up absent its regular captain looked thus:

India’s Playing XI:
Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Devdutt Padikkal, Ravindra Jadeja, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah

England countered with a strong selection of their own:

England’s Playing XI:
Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Ben Stokes (c), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes (wk), Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir, Mark Wood, James Anderson

As the match progresses, the eyes of cricket enthusiasts from around the world remain fixed on the updates regarding Rohit Sharma’s condition and his potential return to the field. In the interim, the Indian team must adapt and rally under the leadership of Bumrah, striving to maintain their competitive edge in the absence of their charismatic captain.

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