Kuldeep Yadav strikes as England reach 290/5 at lunch on Day 3

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Kuldeep Yadav strikes as England reach 290/5 at lunch on Day 3

Saturday, 17 February 2024 | PTI | Rajkot

Kuldeep Yadav strikes as England reach 290/5 at lunch on Day 3

Kuldeep Yadav (2/77) found his rhythm and helped India take the upper hand in the first session of the third day as the hosts made vital breakthroughs to leave England struggling at 290/5 at lunch, here on Saturday.

Resuming at 207/2 and 238 runs behind, England batters were also guilty of throwing away their wickets, while the perseverance of Kuldeep and Jasprit Bumrah (1/54) kept the visitors on their toes with almost every delivery they bowled on a benign wicket.

The absence of Ravichandran Ashwin, who had to pull out of the Test late on Friday night due to a medical emergency in the family, came as a major blow to the India camp.

But Kuldeep and Bumrah calmed the nerves with their incisive bowling. Seasoned England campaigner Joe Root (18) played a horrendous reverse ramp shot straight to Yashasvi Jaiswal at second slip off Bumrah.

It was the ninth time in 21 innings that Bumrah got the better of England's most successful batter.

The gift from Root was followed immediately by a ripper from Kuldeep to Jonny Bairstow (0), who played on the back-foot to a delivery that turned sharply into the batter.

Bairstow burned a review against the lbw decision and jubilation ensued in the India camp.

Ben Duckett had luck favouring him when a mis-timed reverse sweep brushed Rohit Sharma's fingers off Kuldeep in the 45th over, after which the England opener raised his 150.

India's early strikes put England under pressure as Stokes and Duckett took a less aggressive approach following the twin dismissals.

Just when it appeared England were looking to break free again, with Stokes smashing a few boundaries, Duckett played a rank bad shot.

Kuldeep sent one very wide to southpaw Duckett. The opener chased the delivery and hit it straight to cover with the toe end of the bat, as Shubman Gill too an easy catch.

It certainly was a tame end to a fine knock, with Duckett amassing 153 off 151 balls with 23 fours and two sixes.

With India's first-innings total of 445 still a considerable distance away, the pair of Stokes (39) and Ben Foakes (6) did enough to get to the lunch break unscathed. They still trail India by 155 runs.

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