England set world-record 557 to beat India after Yashasvi Jaiswal double century

By Sports Desk February 18, 2024

England were chastened as never before in the Bazball era following another blockbuster double century from Yashasvi Jaiswal as they were set a world record 557 to win the third Test.

Jaiswal, who made 209 in Visakhapatnam last time out, equalled the record for the most sixes in an innings with a dozen in his unbeaten 214 to underpin India’s 430 for four declared in Rajkot.

England then lost both openers on the stroke of tea, ending a grim session on 18 for two in sapping conditions, as India took a giant stride towards moving 2-1 up in the five-match series.

Ben Stokes and England’s bowlers were powerless to stop Jaiswal, who crashed James Anderson for three successive sixes at one stage and shared an unbroken 172 in 158 balls alongside Sarfaraz Khan (68no).

Anderson leaked 78 from 13 wicketless overs, the first time he has gone at or more than a run-a-ball in several years, while Joe Root and Rehan Ahmed conceded over 100 runs with economy rates exceeding four.

This marked the first time under Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum’s stewardship that an opposing team had declared against England.

Ben Duckett said the previous evening India “can have as many as they want and we’ll go and get them” but India are set to be boosted by the reintroduction of Ravichandran Ashwin on the penultimate day.

Ashwin, India’s premier spinner, pulled out of the Test on Friday night to tend to a family medical emergency but it was announced he will return on Sunday afternoon and be available immediately.

Even before he had taken the field, Duckett ran himself out before Zak Crawley was given lbw off Jasprit Bumrah, the decision staying with the on-field umpire as the ball would have flicked leg stump.

Jaiswal made 104 before retiring hurt on the third evening although he was back in situ after England made their only breakthrough of the first hour when Shubman Gill was run out for 91.

Nightwatcher Kuldeep Yadav added 27 before edging Rehan Ahmed to Joe Root. There was no celebration and the umpires had to send the decision upstairs to confirm the dismissal.

That merely brought together Mumbai mates Jaiswal and Sarfaraz, two of India’s big-hitters with a licence to throw caution to the wind and the pair accelerated sharply either side of lunch.

It was especially brutal in the first hour of the afternoon as 98 runs were added. Anderson attempted to frustrate Jaiswal by initially bowling wider but after going straighter the 41-year-old was flicked over long leg, carved over deep extra cover then driven back over his head for three sixes in a row.

Anderson, who has only gone at six an over on only a handful of occasions and not since December 2006 when he has sent down more than 10 deliveries in an innings, was hooked for Root soon after.

Root put down a difficult return catch when Sarfaraz was on 37 – the Yorkshireman’s second drop of the Test, although this was not as important as his first-day spill of Rohit, which cost 104 runs.

Sarfaraz went on to record an almost understated 50, the debutant’s second of the Test, with the crowd’s energy firmly fixed on Jaiswal.

He pushed Root into the off-side for a single, spreading his arms aloft before taking off his helmet and leaping and punching the air before soaking up the acclaim and sharing a handshake with Stokes.

Jaiswal was denied the chance to set the record for the most sixes in an innings, he is joint with Pakistan great Wasim Akram on 12, as Rohit called in his batters.

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