INDvENG, 3rd Test: Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten fifty leads India’s fightback after England make early inroads

Rohit Sharma rode his luck to slam an unbeaten fifty, to lead a fightback for the hosts after being reduced to 33/3

Rajkot, Feb 15 (IANS) India captain Rohit Sharma rode his luck to slam an unbeaten fifty, to lead a fightback for the hosts after being reduced to 33/3 on day one of third Test against England at the Niranjan Shah Stadium here on Thursday.

At lunch, India reached 93/3 in 25 overs, with Rohit not out on 52 off 74 balls. He put on an unbroken stand of 60 for the fourth wicket with Ravindra Jadeja, who’s unbeaten on 24 off 44 balls, as the duo steadied the ship after early inroads by England in the first 45 minutes of the session.

At the start of the session, Mark Wood and James Anderson were immaculate with their lines and lengths. Though there was early moisture, Rohit and Yashasvi Jaiswal got some quick boundaries, with not much swing present.

Wood drew first blood when he angled across a delivery which caught Jaiswal at the crease and the left-hander could only edge behind to first slip. In his next over, Wood had an uncomfortable Shubman Gill nicking behind a good length delivery to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.

England had their third wicket in the ninth over when Hartley got a delivery to jump off a length, which gripped and turned very sharply to take Rajat Patidar’s edge towards cover. After being hit on the helmet grille by Wood in a short-ball play, with three fielders stationed at deep in the leg-side, Rohit tried to unsettle Hartley with cut and sweep for boundaries.

He even got a life at 27 in the same over when Joe Root dropped his catch at first slip on an attempted slog. Luck continued to favour Rohit when survived a close lbw shout while dancing down the pitch against Anderson.

Rohit then brought out his good-looking punch, loft down the pitch, pull and sweep to reach his fifty in 71 balls. From the other end, Jadeja, sent ahead of debutants Sarfaraz Khan and Dhruv Jurel, remained rock-solid, driving and punching Root for a brace of fours to be an ideal partner for Rohit in leading the recovery act for India.

Brief Scores: India 93/3 in 25 overs (Rohit Sharma 52 not out, Ravindra Jadeja 24 not out; Mark Wood 2-26, Tom Hartley 1-30) against England

–IANS

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