3rd Test: Rohit, Jadeja smash centuries, Sarfaraz sparkles with 62 as India end Day 1 at 326/5

Rajkot, Feb 15 (IANS) Captain Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja smashed centuries each, while Sarfaraz Khan sparkled on his Test debut with 62 off 66 balls as India reached 326/5 in 86 overs at stumps on Day One of the third Test against England at the Niranjan Shah Stadium here on Thursday.

While Rohit made 131, Jadeja was unbeaten on 110, as the duo added 204 runs for the fourth wicket, after India were reduced to 33/3 on a pitch which flattened out as the day progressed.

After the Rohit-Jadeja partnership, also India’s first-century stand of the current series ended, Sarfaraz played immaculately against the England spinners, making a 48-ball fifty on Test debut.

But he was run out after a huge mix-up with Jadeja, who was on 99. Jadeja eventually got his century to be undefeated at stumps on Day One, which set up the game well for India to make a grand total in their first innings.

The final session began with Rohit reaching his 11th Test century with a brace off Rehan Ahmed and England losing a review against him in desperation. The runs continued to flow for the duo, till Wood was rewarded for his persistence when Rohit miscued a pull to mid-wicket.

Sarfaraz had a few nervous moments, before settling himself in nicely against the spinners. He showed good footwork, used the depth of crease well, and was fine in picking the lengths and playing with soft hands to manoeuvre against the spinners while taking calculated risks.

It meant that Sarfaraz was flawless with his lofts down the ground, pull and sweeps to reach his first Test fifty with seven fours and a six in front of his father and wife.

Sarfaraz dazzled with boundaries off Anderson and Hartley, before being sold down the river by Jadeja in pursuit of taking a single, as Mark Wood aimed a direct hit from mid-on at the non-striker’s end.

That run-out of Sarfaraz brought out an angry reaction from Rohit, who flung his cap in anger in the dressing room. A ball later, Jadeja would reach his fourth Test hundred and brought out the sword-like celebration, but it was subdued. He would collect two more boundaries before play was called off on a fruitful day for India.

Brief scores:

India 326/5 in 86 overs (Rohit Sharma 131, Ravindra Jadeja 110 not out, Sarfaraz Khan 62; Mark Wood 3-69, Tom Hartley 1-81) against England



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