ANI Photo | 3rd Test: Ben Duckett’s ‘Bazball’ rattles India on Day 2, puts England in stronghold (Stumps)

England’s ‘Bazball’ strategy rattled the Indian bowling attack throughout the day and left the hosts shell-shocked as an assertive century from Ben Duckett ensured that England finished strong here at Niranjan Shah Stadium on Friday.
At stumps, England’s score read 207/2 -trail by 238 runs- with Duckett (133) and Joe Root (9) standing unbeaten at the crease. Duckett reached triple figures in just 88 balls, having completed his fifty in just 39 balls. Amid all the hype of ‘Bazball,’ Ravichandran Ashwin earned his 500th wicket – a massive achievement.
England got off to a flying start as their openers Zak Crawley and Duckett were aggressive in their approach and the duo continued to pile up runs at a breakneck pace. The duo were dealing with the boundaries frustrating Indian bowlers.
Indian spin maestro Ashwin then shattered an 89-run partnership stand and picked up his 500th Test wicket, removing Zak Crawley to give India a big breakthrough in the final session.
The Indian bowling attack leaked runs and lacked discipline on a pitch that suited the batters, giving chances to England batters to hammer deliveries in stands.
However, on a docile pitch that has not favoured any style of bowling yet, Mohammed Siraj then brought India back in the game as he gave hosts a much-needed breakthrough late in the final session, denying Ollie Pope a half-century, getting rid of him for 39.
India looked rattled for most parts as Duckett played all the shots he had in his arsenal, displaying the masterful shots of sweep, reverse-sweep, switch-hit and the paddle, taking England to 207/2 at the time of stumps of Day 2.
Earlier, India were bundled out for 445 in the first innings. The partnership of Ravichandran Ashwin and Dhruv Jurel and important runs from Jasprit Bumrah gave the upper hand to team India after the end of the second session.
Both the batters were able to add 20 runs more to the total as Ashwin was sent back to the pavilion at the score of 408 runs after scoring 37 runs. Inside seven runs, India lost the wicket of set-batter Jurel who played a knock of 46 runs in his first innings of Test career with the help of three sixes and two fours.
In the end, Jasprit Bumrah played a valuable knock of 26 runs in 28 balls with the help of three fours and a six. India was bowled out at 445 runs and the visitors started off their innings from 5/0 as India got five penalty runs because Ashwin ran in the middle of the pitch.
For the visitors, the pick of the bowler was Mark Wood who grabbed four wickets and conceded 114 runs in his spell of 27.5 overs, two wickets were bagged by leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed in his spell of 22 overs where he conceded 85 runs. One wicket each was taken by James Anderson, Tom Hartley, and Joe Root in their respective spells.
Brief Score: England 207/2 (Ben Duckett 133*, Joe Root 9*, Ravichandran Ashwin 1-37) vs India 445 in 130.5 overs (Rohit Sharma 131, Ravindra Jadeja 112, Mark Wood 4/114). (ANI)

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