Bazball on the brink of Dharamsala demolition: Tons of fun for Sharma, Gill as India build huge lead


Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill have struck their second hundreds of the series to fetch India a handy first innings lead on day two of the fifth and final Test against England.

Each of India’s top five batters, including debutant Devdutt Padikkal, managed scores of more than 50 to power the hosts to a commanding 8-473 for a lead of 255 in Dharamsala on Friday.

Ben Stokes claimed a wicket with his first ball in eight months, and James Anderson inched closer to his 700th Test wicket, but India, holding an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series, look in control of the contest.

The hosts have been in the ascendancy since bowling out England for 218 on day one at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium.

Overnight batters Rohit and Gill went after the bowlers right from the word go.

The one shot that epitomised their approach was when Gill stepped out against Anderson and hit Test cricket’s most successful fast bowler over his head for a six.

“I thought the ball wasn’t doing much at that time,” said Gill, who smashed 110.

“I wanted to go over the top to put some pressure on him, and that’s why I played that shot.”

Captain Rohit (103) took a single off Tom Hartley to bring up his hundred, while Gill slog-swept spinner Shoaib Bashir for a four in the next over to complete his century.

Of hundreds and celebrations! ???? ????

Rohit Sharma ???? Shubman Gill

Follow the match #TeamIndia | #INDvENG | @ImRo45 | @ShubmanGill | @IDFCFIRSTBank

— BCCI (@BCCI) March 8, 2024

Stokes, who underwent knee surgery in November, resumed bowling duties with a magical delivery that hit the top of Rohit’s off stump.

Anderson flattened Gill’s off stump in the next over to claim his 699th Test scalp.

“I think I missed out on a big one,” said India’s No.3.

But the collapse England wanted did not materialise as Sarfaraz Khan (56) counter-attacked.

Rohit Sharma. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The 26-year-old played an audacious ramp shot against Mark Wood and pulled the fast bowler for a six en route to his third fifty of his debut series.

Padikkal (65) hit Bashir for a six to bring up his half-century before the offspinner produced a three-wicket burst.

Sarfaraz (56) perished in the slips, Padikkal lost his off stump and Dhruv Jurel (15) holed out in the deep. Bashir finished with figures of 4-170.

Hartley joined the party removing Ravindra Jadeja (15) and Ravichandran Ashwin (0) in the same over.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.