IND vs ENG: Ben Duckett-led bazball charges England to dominant position on Day 2

Ben Duckett
Image Source : GETTY Ben Duckett celebrates his century against India in the Rajkot Test on February 16, 2024

India and England played out a balanced game on Day 2 of the third Test match in Rajkot on Friday. Opener Ben Duckett recorded an 88-ball hundred as England posted 207/2 in their reply to India’s 445 in the first innings.

Resuming Day 2’s play from 326/5, India managed to add 119 runs to take their first innings total to 445. India lost Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav in the back-to-back overs as England picked two wickets before lunch break on Friday. Jadeja scored 112 off 225 balls before getting dismissed by Joe Root

But a crucial 77-run stand for the eighth wicket between debutant Dhruv Jurel and spin all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin guided India past 400. Jasprit Bumrah also contributed with bat by smashing 26 off 28 to help India post the highest total in this series. Mark Wood emerged as the best bowler for the visiting side with four wickets while youngster Rehan Ahmed picked two. 

Once again, England openers provided a promising and quick start to balance the game. Duckett and Zak Crawley added 89 runs for the first wicket with the former single-handedly leading the hammering. 

Ravichandran Ashwin gave India a much-needed breakthrough in the 14th over to dismiss Zak Crawley and complete 500 Test wickets. Ashwin became India’s only second cricketer to bag 500 Test wickets after legendary Anil Kumble and also the second-fastest in the world after Muthiah Muralidharan to achieve the historic feat in just 98 matches.

Duckett kept the hammering on and produced another crucial 93-run stand for the second with Ollie Pope. Duckett completed his hundred in just 88 balls, the fastest century for England on Indian soil in red-ball cricket. Mohammed Siraj dismissed Pope in the 30th over to put some smile on the faces of Indian fans but England managed to post 207/2 in just 35 overs before the stumps. 

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

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