Siraj, Kuldeep on fire as India bowl out England for 219, reach 44/1 at tea

| | Rajkot
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Siraj, Kuldeep on fire as India bowl out England for 219, reach 44/1 at tea

Saturday, 17 February 2024 | PTI | Rajkot

Siraj, Kuldeep on fire as India bowl out England for 219, reach 44/1 at tea

Mohammed Siraj and Kuldeep Yadav upped the ante in absence of a peerless Ravichandran Ashwin to give India a vital 126-run first innings lead which extended to 170 as hosts reached 44 for 1 at tea on the third day of the third Test against England.

England suffered a mini-collapse from an assured 290 for 5 to get all out for 319 in 71.1 overs with Siraj ending with figures of 4 for 84 while Kuldeep's twin strike at the start of the day set the tone.

Senior operators Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja also chipped in with one and two wickets respectively to ensure that India didn't suffer after Ashwin withdraw from the game due to medical emergency in the family.

India made an unhurried start to their second essay but skipper Rohit Sharma perished for 19, which left the inexperienced middle-order to deliver the goods.

The first innings centurion missed a slog sweep off Joe Root's delivery and was adjudged leg-before.

At the end of a gripping second session, India's overall lead surged to 170 runs with Yashasvi Jaiswal surviving a bat-pad DRS appeal to reach 19 not out, with Shubman Gill (5 batting) at the other end.

The pitch here at the Niranjan Shah Stadium has remained largely similar to the first two days of the Test with the odd ball keeping low and slow from the spinners, or the seamers getting some movement off the pitch.

England's enterprising line of batters played their aggressive game and faced the downside of it during the lower-order collapse.

Skipper Ben Stokes (41) took on Ravindra Jadeja (2/51) but did not get his timing right, with Jasprit Bumrah collecting a fine catch at deep midwicket for the biggest breakthrough post lunch. It was a nice bit of field placement by Rohit Sharma, who kept the long-on a bit straighter urging Stokes to change the angle of his lofted shot.

Off the very next delivery, Ben Foakes (13) perished when the ball stopped a bit than he anticipated as Siraj claimed his second wicket, with Rohit collecting a regulation chance at mid-on.

In the morning Bumrah (1/54) and Kuldeep (2/77) brought India back to dictating terms with their probing bowling.

In the absence of Ashwin, Kuldeep hitting the right length must have been a relief for Indian skipper.

India's persistent pressure on England kept producing further success when Tom Hartley (9) shimmied down to miss connecting one off Jadeja, with Dhruv Jurel completing the first stumping of his Test career.

With England on the brink, Siraj wasted no time in cleaning up Rehan Ahmed (6) with a perfect yorker on the off stump and James Anderson (1), handing India the command of the Test.

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