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Jaiswal, bowlers deliver a record 434-run victory

By, Rajkot
Feb 19, 2024 06:20 AM IST

India's biggest Test victory by runs, crushing England by 434 after Yashasvi Jaiswal's heroics and Jadeja's five-wicket haul to lead the series 2-1.

India crushed England by 434 in four days to register their biggest Test victory by runs on Sunday, taking a 2-1 series lead. Their second win in a row followed another resounding counter to the visitors’ Bazball approach of all-out aggression.

Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrates after scoring his second consecutive double century, at the Niranjan Shah Stadium in Rajkot on Sunday. (AFP)
Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrates after scoring his second consecutive double century, at the Niranjan Shah Stadium in Rajkot on Sunday. (AFP)

The brightest young star in India’s batting transition, Yashasvi Jaiswal, buried England with another sensational innings before the seasoned Ravindra Jadeja captured five wickets to rout England for 122 in their second innings in just over a session, the all-rounder claiming the Player-of-the-Match award on his home ground after scoring a first-innings 112.

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The 22-year-old Jaiswal, whose career graph has zoomed since his debut in the Caribbean last summer, smashed his second consecutive double century to remain 214 not out, after hitting a match-winning 209 in the second Test, in Visakhapatnam. Skipper Rohit Sharma declared at 430/4 before the bowlers ran through the England innings in 39.4 overs.

“It’s a big victory and a very good feeling to win a game like that, especially with such a young team,” India skipper Rohit Sharma told reporters. “So, a lot of these guys are learning from the experience they’re having in the middle. We got a lot to learn in Hyderabad (the first Test), and then in Vizag, when we won.

“Obviously, we knew it’s not going to be an easy one for us to just come out here and win this series; we have to work really hard, especially with a lot of our frontline players missing as well. A lot of credit to these young boys who have come in and shown a lot of character. Looks like they belong here, and they actually want to stay here as well.”

Only seven Tests old, the left-handed Jaiswal who resumed on 105 — he had retired hurt on Saturday with back spasms — and soon launched a stunning attack on England’s bowlers. It included three consecutive sixes against pace great Jimmy Anderson in an over that went for 21 runs.

Jaiswal hit 12 sixes to equal Wasim Akram’s world record for most sixes in a Test innings. India’s tally of 28 improved their own record for most sixes in a Test by one. It took their series tally to 48, also bettering India’s world record for most sixes in a series. He also eclipsed Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Indian record of most sixes in an innings -- eight.

Debutant Sarfaraz Khan and Jaiswal unleashed their power-hitting in an unbroken 172-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Sarfaraz, run out for 62 in the first innings, remained 68 not out, becoming only the fourth Indian batter — after Dilawar Hussain, Sunil Gavaskar and Shreyas Iyer — to cross 50 in both innings on debut.

England’s ultra-aggressive batting approach has come in for huge criticism after Joe Root threw away his wicket in the first innings trying to play a needless T20 style reverse ramp shot. Set an improbable 557 to win, England were more in survival mode on a pitch that was still playing well but could not survive even till stumps.

“I don’t think we need to temper anything,” Stokes said. “Was it how we executed the shots that led to our downfall? And a lot of us would say; ‘Yes, I didn’t execute well enough.’ But our batting line-up is full of international class players. We give them the freedom to play what’s in front of them.”

For India to put it past England inside four days is as dominant a win as it could have been, coming from an inexperienced playing eleven with two debutants and no Virat Kohli or KL Rahul. New wicket-keeper Dhruv Jurel impressed as well with brilliant glovework and solid batting.

It would also rank as a special win as India subdued England in the first innings despite missing premier off-spinner R Ashwin, who had left for Chennai due to a family emergency. Ashwin, who flew back on a chartered flight on Sunday afternoon, took a wicket and could celebrate the win with the team.

India were in front going into Day 4 with a lead of 322 runs and Jaiswal’s innings set up the victory.

First innings centurion Ben Duckett was run out with fielder Mohammed Siraj and Jurel combining brilliantly though fellow opener Zak Crawley (11) was a bit aggrieved as DRS upheld umpire Kumar Dharmsena’s leg before verdict off Jasprit Bumrah with the ball tracker showing it was only clipping leg-stump.

Jadeja then removed Hyderabad Test hero Ollie Pope (3) and the struggling Jonny Bairstow (4), whose attempt at sweep led to another downfall. With England reeling on 28/4, skipper Ben Stokes and Joe Root cut out the entertainment quotient. For once, England were playing the situation.

The change in mindset alone wasn’t enough to ward off the threat posed by Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav on a wearing track. For 65 balls, the two seniors resisted until Root (7 from 40 balls) was trapped leg before by Jadeja after another failed attempt to sweep. There was no boundary in the 22-run partnership, underlining how India had systematically dented England’s pride – their attacking mind-set.

Stokes (15 from 39 balls) still couldn’t resist sweeping, only to be beaten by Kuldeep. The left-arm wrist-spinner soon got Rehan Ahmed out. From 50/4, England slipped to 50/7.

On a track where England’s spinners had looked listless earlier in the day, India’s tweakers began to make it look like a tiring Test match pitch, demonstrating the gulf in standard between the two spin attacks.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Rasesh Mandani loves a straight drive. He has been covering cricket, the governance and business side of sport for close to two decades. He writes and video blogs for HT.

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