India roar back after early wobble against England: third Test, day one – as it happened | England in India 2024

Key events

Adam Collins

Righto, on that note – I’m going to get out of here. Thanks for your company – lovely to see plenty of familiar names in my inbox. Again soon. Have nice days.

Updated at 

John Starbuck is in the building (my inbox): “If England can knock over the rest of India’s wickets before lunch tomorrow, under 400, they’ll probably reckon they are well in the game. How many for this not to happen?”

Have England lost a single first hour of the day in this series? Not many, if any. Keeping it under 400, on that basis, should be quite achievable.

So, two wickets in the final session. And both against the flow of play. Rohit, who had to rebuild the innings with Jaedja from 33-3, fell into the bouncer trap from Mark Wood when he was motoring on 131. Then poor old Sarfaraz, who looked a lock to join the select club of players to reach a ton at the first time of asking, was run out by Jadeja (via Wood’s throw) when his sole focus was completing a ton. It can’t help but take some of the gloss off the otherwise terrific work of the left-hander, who does to bed 110 not out having put on 204 with Rohit. India’s day.

STUMPS! India 326-5

86th over: India 326-5 (Jadeja 110, Kuldeep 1) “They’ve called for two, this is going to get tricky….” and the world feed drops out! We get it back in time to see they couldn’t get back for two. So, Jadeja will have to face Anderson before the close for two balls. But he didn’t worry, he clips him to the rope for four – that takes Jaedja past 3000 runs in his career. Final ball of the day. Can Anderson do something special? Three slips waiting, a short leg too… and he thrusts down to keep it out from the line of the middle stump. That’s the day done. Somehow, losing four overs despite three spinners sending down 50 overs between them. But that won’t bother Stokes, they’ve shown through their behaviour that making the WTC Final isn’t that important, otherwise they wouldn’t keep risking these point deductions.

85th over: India 321-5 (Jadeja 106, Kuldeep 0) Joe Root takes the other over with the new ball, something he did at Vizag as well. He misses his length to begin, Jadeja helping a full toss past mid-on for four – the first run since the ton. He improves from there, round the wicket, trying to threaten both edges – will we see that arm ball? The last ball is a poor one though, allowing Jadeja to take a single to keep the strike but he… elects not to. So, Kuldeep to take strike to Anderson and barring some very odd, Jadeja will be not out overnight with a ton to his name.

84th over: India 315-5 (Jadeja 100, Kuldeep 0) Nick Knight on telly is spot on – who doesn’t Kuldeep want to face? Jimmy with a new ball. He’s where he needs to be, where he always is, in that channel outside off without finding the edge. They should get two more overs in, so Anderson is likely to finish the day as well.

“During the Bazball era, Boycott’s old rule about how you should always add two wickets to the score because one wicket often buys two seems doubly applicable,” writes Tom v d Gucht. “Stokes seems to burgle wickets from thin air.” The big blow-up from Rohit in the dressing room when the run out was completed suggests he feels the same – you can’t let this England team edge their way back into the game.

And more correspondence from Tobias Hanbury. “Sarah Robinson, the first-ever female Committee Member of the Carioca Cricket Club, Rio de Janeiro’s only cricket club, has flown to Rajkot from Bangkok (where she now lives) to represent the CCC at the Test match. She is wearing a pink CCC shirt!” Love it – have a great week!

83rd over: India 315-5 (Jadeja 100, Kuldeep 0) Kuldeep is the nightwatchman with 13 minutes until the compulsory close of play. But it is Jadeja on strike, facing Hartley, who has replaced Wood. He knocks it around for a maiden. Between overs, England have called for the new ball with Anderson in operation. Good call.

Jadeja brings up his 4th Test ton and 2nd on his home ground

The chaotic over ends with Jadeja raising his century with a single to backward square. He knows what he’s done, the sword celebration is subdued, which is noted by cheeky Jimmy when running past. Promoted up to No5 today he had a huge job to do after they fell to 24-3 and did it splendidly with Rohit across a 204-run stand.

82nd over: India 315-5 (Jadeja 100, Kuldeep 0)

WICKET! Sarfaraz run out Wood (India 314-5)

Jadeja has waited and waited and cuts here for two, Anderson tempting him well outside off. Now a quick single…. Sarfaraz to the danger end and dives to safety. Had Crawley’s throw been on target that would’ve been interesting. Jadeja back on strike with two balls to go in the over, one to get… and he runs Sarfaraz out! DIRECT HIT! Wood pings the stumps down at mid-on. Jadeja called him through! Oh dear, the personal milestone for Jadeja on his home ground has clearly changed the way he’s played in the 90s and has now burned the bloke on debut.

81st over: India 310-4 (Jadeja 96, Sarfaraz 61) Wood is back but it’s to bowl bouncers from round the wicket to Sarfaraz rather than to take the new ball – he might be on debut but knows exactly what is coming and soaks it up. Back-to-back maidens. This was when, at Vizag, England had a good half hour to finish the day broadly in balance with six wickets. They have 20 minutes left here before cut off.

Nick Wiltsher has a return of serve for Andy Roberts. “Delighted to see that, even in retirement, Stuart Broad manages to get certain kinds of Australian (I assume) all in a tizzy about his ‘poor sportsmanship’. I assume he is accused of crossing ‘the line’, the location and nature of which is exclusively known to such Australians. Not all Australians, of course, and many supporters of other teams, too. But honestly: can we give the whinging a rest? Thanks. And thanks for all the OBO’ing.”

I get in trouble every time I talk about this, so I’m shouldering arms today!

80th over: India 310-4 (Jadeja 96, Sarfaraz 61) Anderson’s energy and speed remain, getting balls to move off the seam to Jadeja from round the wicket too. As he continues his go-slow to 100, he’s happy to absorb the dots – a rare maiden – just eight of those from the first 80. Oh, and that means the second new ball is now due.

“Frazball?” asks Max Bonnell in Sydney.

And Steve Pye, as he identifies himself, is a flat English fan. I’d balance this call against the fact that England had a very real chance to run through India are fluffed their lines. On top of that, missed two chances to get decisions overturned…

Losing the toss in India puts you on the back foot immediately. Is there perhaps an argument that both teams should have the choice of batting first in alternating Tests and maybe the final Test can be decided by a coin toss? From an already negative England fan. @collinsadam

— Steve Pye (@1980sSportsBlog) February 15, 2024

79th over: India 310-4 (Jadeja 96, Sarfaraz 61) Under the pump, Hartley bowls a beauty to Sarfaraz from round the wicket: drift, turn, bounce… but misses the edge and the off-stump. How does the man on his first day respond? By dancing at the bowler and sticking him over his head again, this time for four. This pair have put on 73 with 61 of those from the newcomer; Jadeja is a boundary away from 100.

78th over: India 306-4 (Jadeja 96, Sarfaraz 57) Anderson is back with a few overs until the second new ball and Sarfaraz just walks at him – blimey. Cuts a couple. It prompts a change, Foakes up to the stumps. Sure enough, the response from the batter is a gentle late cut for four, a stroke you seldom see with the ‘keeper back. “It looks like he’s racing Jadeja to a hundred,” notes Graeme Swann on TV. Good point.

“He does look like Rohit,” writes Arul Kanhere, “but to me he looks more like a right-handed Pant.” Pant, who they expect will be back in 2024. Great news.

Sarfaraz Khan to 50 from 48 balls!

77th over: India 299-4 (Jadeja 96, Sarfaraz 50) With complete authority, it’s Sarfaraz taking on the spin again, lofting Hartley back over his head for a triumphant SIX. Then with a turn around the corner from the next ball, he has himself the joint fastest half-century for India on debut. That’s not for nothing. Looks so good.

India’s Sarfaraz Khan celebrates after reaching his half century on his debut test. Photograph: Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters

Andy Roberts is off the long run (hey, hey!) on the Wisden cover:

“Been enjoying the cricket until I saw the new cover of Wisden at the drinks break. I found it shocking and disheartening that Wisden would grant the honour of the cover to Stuart Broad. Yes, he was an English international player, he played for a long time and took a lot of wickets, and yes, he retired last year. But considering his incredibly poor sportsmanship after the Johnny Bairstow stumping and his part in whipping up poor crowd behaviour, I can’t see how anyone would consider him an appropriate cover choice. What makes it even more inexplicable is his consistent refusal to admit to any poor behaviour or poor sportsmanship on the part of himself, his teammates, coach or supporters. There were far more deserving players to put on the cover over the last 12 months. I would have started with Meg Lanning, who also retired after an incredible career – the difference being hers was accompanied thoroughout with incredible sportsmanship. Other great choices could have been the all-conquering Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell after his world cup heroics, or Jonathon Trott and some of his Afghanistani players. Putting Broad on there is a tacit endorsement of his consistent poor sportsmanship, and it’s disappointing to see Wisden abandoning their standards in his cause.”

For balance, I’ll add the comments from the Wisden Almanack editor, Lawrence Booth (previously of this parish, of course) on why he picked Broad:

“Stuart Broad has been on Wisden’s cover once before, but that was in 2021, during the Covid pandemic, and he was wearing a mask. This time, you can see how much he’s enjoying himself, having just removed Australia’s Travis Head at Old Trafford to become only the second seamer in Test history – after his old mate and new-ball partner Jimmy Anderson – to claim 600 wickets. Broad finished one of the most memorable Ashes series of all time with 22 wickets, more than any of his England team-mates, and ended a magnificent career by taking Australia’s last two wickets to square the series at The Oval. He was the natural choice to be our cover star.”

Updated at 

76th over: India 291-4 (Jadeja 95, Sarfaraz 43) And again! Sarfaraz has consistently looked to sweep Root and nails the stroke over midwicket – that’s his seventh boundary and raises the 50-partnership, dominated by the newcomer. Back to Jadeja, who we’ve forgotten about to an extent, but is five away from a ton.

75th over: India 285-4 (Jadeja 94, Sarfaraz 38) Sarfaraz looks born for this. Early call, but he’s not put a foot wrong and just looks so much like Rohit. Hartley to him, and with no fear he lifts him over mid-on for four – never in doubt. Then later in the over, when the spinner drops a touch short, he’s back deep in the crease to pull him aerially over midwicket – four more. Nine from it. 15 overs left in the day.

74th over: India 276-4 (Jadeja 94, Sarfaraz 29) It was pad first! So for the second time today, England haven’t decisions on the ground that would’ve been given out on review – goodness me, how that hurts a fielding team in the modern game. I did think, watching it live, that Hartley backed away too quickly and didn’t give himself a chance to get Stokes over the line – he didn’t really litigate the case at all. Reminded me a bit of a young Nathan Lyon, who could never quite believe when he’d picked up a wicket, something of a defence mechanism. Anyway, it’s a moot point, they’ve missed out, Jadeja is still there. And remains so at the end of this busy over, seven runs added – Sarfaraz played a lovely sweep off Root for four.

73rd over: India 269-4 (Jadeja 93, Sarfaraz 23) A big appeal for lbw to finish, Hartley believing that it’s pad/bat from round the wicket, but he’s turned down and Stokes isn’t going to speculate on another review like this after blowing one to start the session. To that stage, four singles – good batting, a partnership now worth 32.

72nd over: India 265-4 (Jadeja 91, Sarfaraz 21) Risk-free cricket from Jadeja here – he’s not going to miss a chance to complete a Test ton on his home ground. This is shown when Root drops well short and he places it to deep point rather than smashing it pretty much anywhere he likes. Ohhh, a top edge from Sarfaraz to end the over, a sweep gone wrong, but after hanging in the air for a long while it doesn’t have far to go to reach the rope and trickles into it. Frustration for England.

Meanwhile at Perth, Alyssa Healy is out for 99!

71st over: India 259-4 (Jadeja 90, Sarfaraz 16) Tommy H! Welcome back to the bowling crease! He might’ve forgotten how to do it, been that long. Sorry, I’ll stop banging away about this now. He begins at Safraraz – who knows, these two might play international cricket against each other for a decade or more, with it all beginning on a fairly sleepy Rajkot afternoon. Dare to dream. He turns one from round the wicket to Jadeja later in the over that evades the inside edge by the finest margin, prompting a false stroke from the next ball from the shoulder of the blade.

Updated at 

70th over: India 258-4 (Jadeja 90, Sarfaraz 15) That was Rohit-esque from the new man Sarfaraz, stepping down with authority at Root before launching him over midwicket – one bounce, over the ropes. This is no criticism of Root, who I think is so much better than a part-timer it’s not funny, but England are missing Leach. It’s forgotten in the washup of the 2021 misadventure that he bowled well under exceptional pressure across those Tests, taking plenty of wickets too.

While we drink, I trust we all saw the Wisden 2024 cover. Thoughts?

69th over: India 253-4 (Jadeja 90, Sarfaraz 10) Is Rehan going to bowl for the rest of the day? What’s poor old Honest Tom Hartley gotta do to get back on? Anyway, a short googly is just what you want when finding some rhythm on debut, Sarfaraz striking a boundary for the first time for India, cutting through point. Drinks!

68th over: India 246-4 (Jadeja 89, Sarfaraz 4) Back to spin at both ends after Wood’s hostile and effective spell – he will only bowl a few at a time, as we know. Jadeja takes a couple behind square, but he’s watchful at this point this close to a ton.

67th over: India 244-4 (Jadeja 87, Sarfaraz 4) Rehan has bowled unchanged for over an over since tea – a real show of faith from Stokes. Not much going on here though, the over started with two singles to the legside, the remainder defended. Sarfaraz’s numbers flash up on the screen showing a highest score of 301 not out. The chat follows on telly – so many of these Indian modern players have triples. Jadeja, famously, has three of them. Pujara, barely spoken about before this Test despite clocking a double ton a month ago, has a triple on this ground too.

66th over: India 242-4 (Jadeja 86, Sarfaraz 3) Sarfaraz is off the mark in Tests with three runs out to midwicket. It was full from Wood around the wicket, too full, helped past the diving Bairstow. Ohhh, the short ball nearly gets Jadeja too! Catchers everywhere, he takes on the bumper with his pull shot landing but metres in front of Pope at forward square. As we are learning with every series where this is rolled out (i.e. every series now), it’s quite effective. Not at all pretty, makes for some pretty boring cricket, but these quicks are good enough now to bowl six short balls an over where only two are above shoulder height and even the very best in the world are falling into the trap sooner or later – see Smith, SPD.

65th over: India 238-4 (Jadeja 85, Sarfaraz 0) Rehan once more, who is letting everything out the back of his hand to Jadeja – he plays with the spin of the googly, riding the bounce out to cover for the only run of the over.

64th over: India 237-4 (Jadeja 84, Sarfaraz 0) To the man on debut, Sarafraz, who arrives in Test cricket with a First Class average touching 70 (!) with 15 tons in 44 matches. He might be only 26, but we have been waiting for this for a while after he first generated interest when making a quadruple ton as a schoolboy. His cap presentation earlier was a beauty, his dad in tears. Hope he makes his mark. First up to him in Test cricket is Mark Wood with the field still mostly spread for the bouncers to surely come. He ducks, defends then leaves. A successful over for England is complete – relief at last for the visitors. One brings two…

WICKET! Rohit c Stokes b Wood 131 (India 237-4)

The field was set for the bouncer war and it works! Rohit can’t resist for long, miscuing his pull to the captain at midwicket. The huge stand is complete, worth 204 for the hosts, with the captain departing with an 11th Test century.

Mark Wood (third left) is congratulated by his England teammates after taking the wicket of India’s captain Rohit Sharma. Photograph: Ajit Solanki/AP

Updated at 

63rd over: India 235-3 (Rohit 130, Jadeja 83) Rehan again? Strange given his previous over, but Stokes has a habit of making us look daft. Not so here: Rohit goes back and steers with class for four – that’s the 200 partnership. Oh, I better hit send because, spoiler alert, something significant happens in over number 64…

62nd over: India 230-3 (Rohit 125, Jadeja 83) India are going at one run an over quicker this session compared to the previous, helped by a fine pulled boundary from Jadeja when taking on Wood’s short ball – had enough time to get it straight of the man at catching midwicket, into the 80s he races. If it wasn’t already, this is getting dangerous for England now with 28 overs still to come before stumps.

61st over: India 224-3 (Rohit 124, Jadeja 78) Stokes keeps Rehan in the attack and he fluffs his lines with a genuine half-tracker, helped for SIX MORE – Rohit the beneficiary. An occupational hazard for most wristspinners; they are conditioned to dusting themselves off and going again. But unfortunately for the young man, he repeats the dose later in the over and Rohit can advance to 124 with a languid pull for four more. Surely it’s Hartley to replace him with the board moving again now.

60th over: India 214-3 (Rohit 114, Jadeja 78) Another top edge, this time SIX runs! It’s the additional pace of Mark Wood, on for Anderson, who makes this possible. But it’s an astonishing shot really – Jadeja pulls out of the attempted pull and allows the ball to hit his horizontal blade, yet it still has the legs to travel over the ropes at deep backward square, where there isn’t quite a fielder. Modern bats, etc.

59th over: India 206-3 (Rohit 113, Jadeja 72) You can tell if a fielder has any chance based on the insistence of the wicketkeeper when roaring ‘catch!’ In this case, when Rohit top-edged a sweep towards deep midwicket, Foakes’ voice was the giveaway that it was more hope than expectation. But still, a false stroke is a false stroke – Rehan has prompted a couple of them in his spell in a quiet passage of play.

58th over: India 204-3 (Rohit 112, Jadeja 71) Anderson is working exclusively into the stumps of Rohit, who is equal to the slight movement, helping a fuller delivery to fine leg for one then Jadeja does the same. Might be worth getting him back on later when the ball is a bit older to see if he can get some exaggerated reverse.

57th over: India 202-3 (Rohit 111, Jadeja 70) The same rhythm as Rehan’s previous over here: four dots then a couple of singles. No concerns for India here.

Meanwhile, I was momentarily distracted when taking a look at the scorecard from the Australia v South Africa Women’s Test at the WACA Ground – you can read Jim Wallace on the blog for that one at the moment. In short: the Proteas were bowled out for 76 inside 32 overs then had the hosts 12/3! Chaos. But, sure enough, the world-beating Aussies are now 176-4 with the captain Healy 78 not out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *