Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja halt England’s progress after Mark Wood shines

By Sports Desk February 15, 2024

Mark Wood shone on his recall but hundreds from India captain Rohit Sharma and hometown hero Ravindra Jadeja blunted England’s charge on the opening day of the third Test.

Left out in Visakhapatnam, where the hosts levelled the series at 1-1, Wood rewarded England’s gamble to select two seamers for the first time this tour by finding the edges of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill as India stumbled to 33 for three.

But Joe Root’s drop to reprieve Rohit on 27 was a sliding doors moment as the opener added another 104 before falling to Wood, who finished with three for 69 and ran out the lively Sarfaraz Khan on debut.

Jadeja made a princely 110 not out on his return from a hamstring injury but England might have snared both centurions had they reviewed shortly before they reached three figures on a chastening day which finished with India on 326 for five.

Despite Ben Stokes calling incorrectly at the toss on his 100th Test, the early morning moisture aided England’s bowlers and they capitalised by leaving India three down inside the first nine overs.

As temperatures rose in Gujarat and the pitch gradually flattened out, Rohit, Jadeja then Sarfaraz, who contributed 62 off just 66 balls, helped India wrestle control as they added 151 in the last session.

England’s quicks shared new-ball duties and were punished for overpitching but Wood adjusted and gained some extra bounce and a hint of movement as he angled across Jaiswal, a double centurion in Vizag who made 10 as a tentative poke caught the edge and was gobbled up by Root at first slip.

Gill looked ill-at-ease and departed for a nine-ball duck in Wood’s next over after playing inside the line and nicking off, having been beaten through the gate by the previous delivery.

When Tom Hartley found grip and turn from an innocuous length in his first over, Rajat Patidar miscued to cover on five.

Jadeja was shuffled up one place to spare Sarfaraz a baptism of fire but the debutant might have walked in with India on 47 for four had a diving Root held on when Rohit edged an attempted flick off Hartley.

Root’s drop seemed inconsequential when Rohit was given lbw off James Anderson three balls later but an inside edge saw the decision overturned. Having been sconed on the grill by a spiteful Wood lifter and left needing treatment after inside edging on to his thigh, Rohit was struggling but hanging in there.

As the surface became more docile under the beating hot sun, he and Jadeja made hay either side of lunch, with Rohit surviving a tight lbw call on 49 to move to his first Test 50 in nine innings.

He cast off the shackles by depositing both Hartley and Root over long-on as England toiled without reward in a wicketless middle session.

A sinking feeling may have pervaded for the tourists after they failed to review a muted lbw appeal when Rohit missed a sweep on 87. While the ball might have brushed Rohit’s glove, it definitely thudded into his forearm and would have gone on to crash into leg stump.

Third umpire Rod Tucker was spared a tricky decision and Rohit brought up his century after tea before looking to turn the screw, perishing when a full-blooded heave took a top-edge and was caught by Stokes. The Durham pair celebrated wildly after ending a 204-run union but it was brief respite.

Jadeja was strong all around the wicket and especially off his hips, getting a short-arm pull off Wood to go the distance, before offering his first chance on 93. Hartley seemed to beat the inside edge with one that skidded on and the ball would have gone on to clatter middle stump.

Sarfaraz, who was drafted in for his international bow with a lofty first-class average of 69.85, poured salt into the wound as India moved through the gears. The 26-year-old was not overawed by the occasion, handling England’s spinners with ease and driving superbly.

He moved briskly to a 48-ball 50 but he was left high and dry when his partner was on 99. Setting off for a single which would have taken Jadeja to three figures, Sarfaraz was sent back and left well short of his crease following Wood’s direct hit.

There were muted celebrations when Jadeja reached his hundred just before stumps but his contribution helped India gain control.

Related items

  • Usain Bolt named ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Ambassador Usain Bolt named ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Ambassador

    The International Cricket Council (ICC) have announced Olympic legend Usain Bolt as an ambassador for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which will be played in the West Indies and USA from 1-29 June 2024.

    The announcement comes a few weeks ahead of the start of the biggest cricket carnival spectacle ever that will inspire a new generation of fans. Bolt’s global appeal alongside his out of this world athletic achievements and ability to transcend boundaries makes him a perfect fit for the biggest T20 World Cup ever.

    Bolt created history at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio when he achieved the ‘Triple-Triple’, three gold medals at three consecutive Olympic Games. His journey to worldwide stardom started at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing where he won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m, all in world record times.

    Bolt currently holds world records in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m with times of 9.58 secs, 19.19 secs and 36.84 secs. His first world record was in the 100m in 2008 when he posted a time of 9.72 secs in New York. He lowered it to 9.69 secs at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and then to 9.58 secs at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. He holds the three fastest times ever run: 9.58, 9.64 and 9.69 seconds.

    As an ambassador, Bolt will play a key role in promoting the event, starting with a cameo appearance in next week’s release of the event’s official anthem music video alongside iconic artists Sean Paul and Kes. The eight-time Olympic Gold Medallist will also attend T20 World Cup matches in the West Indies and be part of fan engagement events promoting the sport within the United States.

    Usain Bolt expressed his excitement about his new role, saying: "I am thrilled to be an ambassador for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Coming from the Caribbean where cricket is a part of life, the sport has always held a special place in my heart, and I look forward to attending West Indies matches at the World Cup and making a contribution to the growth of cricket globally.

    “While I will of course be supporting West Indies at the World Cup, getting the sport into the US is big for cricket. It’s the biggest sports market in the world and the energy that we will bring for the T20 World Cup is a huge opportunity leading towards cricket’s inclusion in the LA Olympics in 2028.”

    ICC Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Allardice said: "Usain Bolt is a global icon, we are thrilled to have him on board as an Ambassador for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 to engage with a new generation of fans. His passion for cricket is well known, making him the perfect fit for this role. Alongside his world record breaking achievements and energetic personality, he will add another exciting element to the World Cup.”

    The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 is set to be action packed with Bolt's presence adding a new level of excitement for fans globally. Fans can look forward to seeing the world's best teams battle it out for glory, with the World Cup opening match seeing co-host USA taking on Canada at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Dallas, Texas on Saturday 1 June. For full match fixtures and tickets, including hospitality packages in both the West Indies and USA, visit tickets.t20worldcup.com

     

  • Poor Mitchell form causing 'pressure' as CSK lose again in IPL Poor Mitchell form causing 'pressure' as CSK lose again in IPL

    Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming acknowledges there is "pressure" on New Zealand batter Daryl Mitchell after his team lost again to Lucknow Super Giants.

    Holders CSK had won four of their first six Indian Premier League matches this season, but consecutive losses to LSG in the space of five days have seen them slip to fifth in the standings.

    Their latest IPL defeat on Tuesday came after CSK had left out Rachin Ravindra, with Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ajinkya Rahane opening the batting, with Mitchell coming in at number three.

    While captain Gaikwad scored an impressive unbeaten 108, Rahane managed just one run and Mitchell fell for just 11 off 10 balls.

    LSG then chased down their 211 target for victory with three balls left, inspired by a superb innings of 124 not out by Marcus Stoinis.

    Mitchell was a major acquisition by CSK at the IPL auction, but so far he has managed just 146 runs in seven innings at a strike rate of 123.72.

    "There's a lot of pressure obviously," Fleming said when asked about Mitchell's poor form.

    "Getting up the order is more comfortable for him. Me putting him down the order in the hitting role wasn't his best position. So, we've looked to rectify that and get him up the order where he has had his best performances internationally. 

    "That might take a little bit of time, but the top three need to contribute the majority of runs.

    "Ruturaj did that, so hopefully he can continue his form and the others can pick that up."

    CSK are back in action at home against in-form Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday and Fleming accepts there is work to do, but takes comfort from the fact their defeats have not been comprehensive.

    He added: "We are not firing on all cylinders by any means but we are in each game and we are asking teams to play well to beat us. 

    "We just have to make sure we are good enough to win and we have been. Again [versus LSG] we created a chance, so it is not like we are down and out.

    "But we know we could be stronger. We have just got to get a little bit better. It is a mixture of trying to find that [combination at the top of the order] and also form.

    "We are a little bit uncomfortable with some areas, so we are trying to find not a quick fix, but the right combination where players are going to contribute for the back end of this tournament.

    "We have had injuries, we have been a little bit unsettled, but the main thing is getting guys in key areas and in form."

    IPL 2024 continues on Wednesday when Delhi Capitals face Gujarat Titans, with both teams sitting outside the playoff positions as things stand.

  • CWI president Shallow anticipates fruitful discussions at Caribbean Cricket Conference set for April 25-27 CWI president Shallow anticipates fruitful discussions at Caribbean Cricket Conference set for April 25-27

    Dr. Kishore Shallow, President of Cricket West Indies (CWI), eagerly anticipates the forthcoming Regional Conference on West Indies Cricket, slated for 25-26 April 2024 at the Hyatt Regency in Trinidad and Tobago. As stakeholders convene under the banner "Reinvigorating West Indies Cricket - A Symposium for Strategic Collaboration and Innovation," Dr. Shallow acknowledges the significant strides taken by CWI as it navigates a new four-year cycle and strategic plan.

    "While we have made considerable progress within CWI, setting the stage for a brighter future for West Indies Cricket, it's essential to recognize that there is no quick fix addressing the complex challenges facing our sport," remarked Dr. Shallow. "It requires sustained effort and participation from all stakeholders involved."

    Dr. Shallow emphasizes the need for shared responsibility in driving positive change within the cricketing community. "While CWI shoulders a significant portion of the responsibility, we understand that meaningful progress cannot be achieved in isolation," he stated.

    "It is crucial for all stakeholders, including CARICOM Governments, territorial boards, and other relevant entities, to actively engage and contribute to the advancement of West Indies Cricket."

    The upcoming conference provides a platform for collaborative efforts aimed at addressing critical areas such as infrastructure development, investment in grassroots, youth, and women's cricket, and other aspects of sports development. Dr. Shallow expresses optimism about the potential outcomes of the conference, stating, "Together, we can forge sustainable solutions that will propel West Indies Cricket to new heights of success and prominence on the global stage.

    "We remain committed to building upon the progress we've made and charting a course towards a vibrant and prosperous future for West Indies Cricket," affirmed Dr. Shallow. "Through collective action and shared responsibility, we are confident in our ability to overcome challenges and realize our vision for the sport."

    The CWI delegation at the conference will be led by President Dr. Kishore Shallow along with Vice President Azim Bassarath, CWI Directors, Chief Executive Officer, Director of Cricket, Business Planning Manager, and Head Coaches Andre Coley and Daren Sammy. Additionally, other key members of the CWI organization will also be present to contribute to the discussions and deliberations.

    The conference will be live-streamed on Cricket West Indies' official YouTube channel.

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.