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Kuldeep stars as India on top in fifth Test against England

Rohit was batting on 52 at stumps with Shubman Gill (26) also looking assured at the other end

Kuldeep stars as India on top in fifth Test against England PHOTO: AFP

India bowled out England for a subpar total of 218 runs, with Kuldeep Yadav dismantling the top order and Ravichandran Ashwin finishing off the tail in a little over two sessions during the fifth and final test on Thursday.

Opening with a formidable partnership of 104, India's captain, Rohit Sharma, and Yashasvi Jaiswal (57) seized control. Rohit, standing strong at 52 not out at stumps, found support from Shubman Gill (26), showcasing India's early command.

England's decision to bat first on a favorable track saw a solid start, with Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett establishing a 64-run opening stand. However, India's pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah created difficulties with the moving ball. Kuldeep Yadav entered the attack and quickly made an impact, breaking through with a spectacular catch by Gill and dismissing Duckett (27). Crawley reached his fifty, but Ollie Pope (11) fell just before lunch to Kuldeep's googly.

At 137-2, England seemed to have weathered the storm, but India's three-pronged spin attack, led by Kuldeep's brilliance (5-72), caused further havoc. Jonny Bairstow, playing his 100th test, hit a couple of sixes but succumbed to Kuldeep. Ravindra Jadeja dismissed Joe Root, and Kuldeep delivered a crucial blow by dismissing Ben Stokes for a duck. Ashwin, in his 100th test, then polished off the England tail, claiming four wickets.

As play resumed, India's reply was led by Rohit and Jaiswal, forming a century partnership. Jaiswal's aggressive play, including three sixes off England spinner Shoaib Bashir, propelled him to his fifth 50-plus score in nine innings. Bashir eventually got Jaiswal stumped, but with an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series, India is poised for a significant first-innings lead when play resumes on Friday.