India vs England: Another day, another ton as Yashasvi wins a big fan in KP

I don’t see a single weakness in Jaiswal’s game in Indian conditions, batting legend Kevin Pietersen says

Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrates his century (photo: BCCI
Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrates his century (photo: BCCI

Gautam Bhattacharyya

80, 15, 209, 17, 10 & 104 retired hurt — talk about a dream Test series. Like the one Yashasvi Jaiswal is having against England at home. The young opener shifted gears in time to reach his second century of the series, his third in seven Tests, as India wrested the initiative from Ben Stokes & Co. by swelling the overall lead to 322 runs at the end of the third day of the third Test at Rajkot.

With the series poised at 1-1 and England having to bat last, the scales are tilted somewhat in favour of India, but then they will be without the leader of their spin pack in Ravi Ashwin. The latter, who kept his date with 500 Test wickets on Friday to become only the ninth bowler in history to do so, pulled out of the third Test due to a family emergency on Friday night, which was later clarified by a senior BCCI official as his mother’s illness.

Meanwhile, Yashavi continued from where he had left off in Vizag, the confidence and poise in his third Test century winning him an important admirer in England batting legend Kevin Pietersen. KP endorsed on his X handle: ‘’I don’t see a single weakness in Jaiswal’s game in Indian conditions,’’ while he felt that the 22-year-old’s greatest challenge will be to replicate this feat abroad.  

His second post read: ‘’And watching Jaiswal very closely over the last couple weeks, he CAN get 100s everywhere and I think he will be a GREAT of the game one day!’’

Jaiswal has now become the first batter to cross the 400-run mark in the series, staying ahead of the prolific Ollie Pope and other bigger names. However, the Indian camp will be worried lot as the centurion had to retire hurt with a back spasm — given the rash of injuries that they have had to cope with in this series along with the absence of Virat Kohli — and the fourth Test in Ranchi is almost a back-to-back affair.   

After dismissing England on 319 in the first innings, Yashasvi initially got off to a quiet start before Joe Root — who opened the bowling with his part time off spin along with Jimmy Anderson — removed captain Rohit Sharma. Yashasvi and Shubman Gill then took the attack to the rival camp with the left-handed opener being the aggressor of the two.

Yashasvi kept finding gaps at will, scoring at a fast clip. Not only against the spinners, but the in-form batter blunted the pacers by smashing them around the park as he had nine fours and five sixes when he crossed the three figures. Not to be done, Gill also joined the party in good batting conditions to put India in the driver’s seat.

Shortly after completing his hundred, a Mark Wood bouncer stuck Jaiswal before a persisting back problem led him to retire hurt. Hartley picked Rajat Patidar on duck while nightwatchman Kuldeep Yadav remained unbeaten on three – as an intriguing fourth day’s action awaits the fans.

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