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Ind vs Eng, Rajkot: Resistance, composure and will: The Rohit-Jadeja edition on Day 1

The Rohit- Jadeja partnership

It was around half an hour before the end of the first day’s play between India and England, in Rajkot, when Ravindra Jadeja guided James Anderson on the leg side, for a single, to celebrate his century in a very muted gesture.

That came on the back of the very last ball, when his poor call for a run saw debutant Sarfaraz Khan, looked set for a huge hundred on 64, getting run out. Even Anderson perhaps asked Jadeja how his sword speed in the celebration got decreased, comparing to the fifty celebration.

There was another moment just after the Tea break, when for the first time it felt like Ben Stokes, on his 100th Test match, was a bit of switched off for a little moment as he pushed his fielders back on the rope when Rohit Sharma was due on his century.

Resistance & composure: The Rohit-Jadeja edition to save India

It was around the end of the first hour, when Jadeja walked down the stairs on his home town, where he was crowned last evening by the state board of Saurashtra. India was rocked back early at 33/3, with Mark Wood spreading fire in the dry town of Rajkot, on a pitch that’s known for taking a long nap, and spice up games for five days.

Rohit brought up another century
©-BCCI/ Twitter

Rohit was scoring runs and looked to be in a comfortable position. Yashasvi Jaiswal at the start was hanged out on the backfoot by Wood’s bouncer, while Gill, who was taking just a little front foot strides, without much movement in the backfoot, was fishing for the ball outside his off stump, to get the edge. Rajat Patidar probably scared everyone with his dismissal. The Tom Hartley delivery spun a little, and got his corner edge, as Patidar was puzzled up with his early cut shot.

India probably at the moment could have sent young Sarfaraz to the hot tub situation, but decided to send some smart and veteran guy to tolerate the punch with Jadeja’s combo of left-hand batting would give them an extra support.

Both Rohit and Jadeja looked to concentrate and manage to see off the first 30-mins of their partnership without much risk and runs. Jadeja’s composure, with the combo of Rohit’s resistance should get all the due credit. England’s inexperienced spinners looked really ineffective against the duo, as runs suddenly started to come on a big chunk.

England changed their tactic, and looked to keep on bowling with the short ball barrage, but both the batters never looked to take on those deliveries at all. Rohit loves to play the pull shot, and the world is well aware of it. Perhaps, that’s the reason why he has got out to the short ball so many times in Test cricket, the most recent against England was Lord’s in 2021.

Jadeja’s potential has been huge in this format of the game. He showed massive game temperament in that period, against both the pacers and spinners. There was greed in offer for him by the spinners, and pacers kept on targeting his rib-cage, but Jadeja never looked to put feet on the trap. He tried to pull and gets across the shots, but all by trying to put the ball on the ground.

Rohit too batted in the same fashion. Both scored their centuries, until last moment, when Rohit, perhaps mentally fatigued after a long knock, triggered him for a pull shot, but because the ball rushed on to him, the ball didn’t rise enough on his blade, as he was caught after a half-hearted shot.

Jadeja, however saved himself mentally from the Sarfaraz run-out, and kept him in the cool position. His century was so vital, and his unbeaten knock would probably keep India in the race for a huge score on the second day. In addition, there would be extra piece of belief when he would come with the ball on that flat Rajkot surface.

Jadeja showed potential again
©- Abhishek Ab/ Twitter
Poor Sarfaraz showed his belief, and kept hitting by luck

Just the ball before he was dismissed on a unlucky run-out, Sarfaraz dived badly on his haunches to complete the single that was purely called by Jadeja. He perhaps on another day would have said no, but only in that situation when his senior of the team was nearing towards his awaiting century.

The very next ball, Jadeja timed the ball perfectly to the mid-off fielder and called a single and also took a few big steps. Sarfaraz didn’t even look back and rushed towards the other end, only to be stopped in the middle of his running. Just not enough time he had, as the fielder’s direct throw ended of what could be his debut century for India, and break many records of the past.

For breaking records? He has already one. The shots he played from the start, or the sweep at the very first ball to the spinner, or the use of his feet down the ground, or going to the backfoot and punched the bowler from that position, all spoke about his unbelievable belief. The tears at the start of the morning, when he shared an emotional moment with his father when he received his Test cap showed what it meant to him, after almost breaking the door, and not knocking with truck loaded runs.

It’s not at the moment, but it will be at one moment as his father described, “The night needs time to pass, The sun won’t rise how I wish.”

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Stokes made little things to get bigger result on special occasion

Time flies as Ravi Shastri mentioned at the toss, with Stokes reaching his 100th Test match for England. He made a few mistakes in the day, but at 326/5 on a flat surface he would be happy, and he made things happen again.

Wood rattled India early
©- Cricbuzz/ Twitter

Stokes kept the fielders on the rope to attract Rohit for the pull shot for the major period of time. The same case was for Jadeja too. The spinners were charging in, but Stokes kept the fielders on the rope. There was a huge chunk of runs grilled by the pair of Rohit and Jadeja, but Stokes kept on changing his fields.

The art of shuffling your fielders doesn’t mean the captain of the team has no clue of what’s going on in the game. It’s more about making the batter thinking about their plannings, and a bit of asking to changing the mindset of the batters.

But whatever happens, England perhaps would be happy with the end result but not with what happened after 33/3 in the first hour. 150-run more, and India would be bossing the game to go 2-1 up.

That Mad Writer
Author: That Mad Writer

Someone who loves how Steve Smith from being Australia's future Shane Warne has become present Don Bradman, gets inspired by Anderson's longevity, gets awed with Kohli's drive and Southee's bowling action. Never gets excited with stats and records, and believes in instincts, and always questions spinners bowling with the new ball.

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