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Rohit, Gill tons put India in charge against England

The top five Indian batters, including debutant Devdutt Padikkal, all surpassed the 50-run mark, propelling the team to an imposing 473-8 and establishing a lead of 255

Rohit, Gill tons put India in charge against England PHOTO: AFP

Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill both notched up their second centuries of the series, contributing to India's substantial first-innings lead on the second day of the fifth and final test against England. The top five Indian batters, including debutant Devdutt Padikkal, all surpassed the 50-run mark, propelling the team to an imposing 473-8 and establishing a lead of 255. Despite Ben Stokes claiming a wicket with his first ball in eight months and James Anderson nearing his 700th test wicket, India, with a 3-1 series lead, appeared firmly in control.

The unbroken ninth-wicket partnership between Kuldeep Yadav (27) and Jasprit Bumrah (19) added a crucial 45 runs, with India eyeing a total beyond 500. Since dismissing England for 218 on the opening day, India maintained their dominance at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium.

Rohit and Gill, batting overnight, aggressively took on the bowlers, exemplified by Gill's audacious six against Anderson. Gill, who scored 110, explained his strategy of applying pressure on the experienced bowler. Rohit reached his century with a single off Tom Hartley, while Gill completed his ton with a slog-swept four against spinner Shoaib Bashir. Stokes, returning from knee surgery, made an impact by dismissing Rohit with a delivery that hit the top of the off-stump, while Anderson claimed his 699th test wicket by flattening Gill's off-stump. 

Despite England's hopes for a collapse, Sarfaraz Khan's counter-attacking fifty (56) prevented it. Sarfaraz played bold shots, including a ramp shot for six against Mark Wood. Padikkal (65) reached his fifty with a six but fell victim to Bashir's three-wicket burst, which also accounted for Sarfaraz and Dhruv Jurel. Bashir concluded with figures of 4-170, while Tom Hartley dismissed Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in the same over, adding to England's bowling efforts.