ANI Photo | India’s Sarfaraz Khan has memorable Test debut, enters record books with twin fifties

Indian batter Sarfaraz Khan had a memorable debut in the international arena during the third Test against England, becoming the only fourth Indian to score twin half-centuries on Test debut.
In the match, Sarfaraz played a highly-attacking game, taking the spinners to attack. In the first innings, he scored 62 in 66 balls, with nine fours and a six. In the second innings, he scored 68* in 72 balls, with six fours and three sixes.
The first Indian to score a twin fifty on Test debut was Dilawar Hussain, who scored 59 and 57 against England in 1934 at Kolkata. Later, legendary Sunil Gavaskar (65 and 67* against West Indies at Port of Spain in 1971) and Shreyas Iyer (105 and 65 against New Zealand in Nagpur back in 2021) did the feat.
In the second innings, he put on a partnership of 172 runs for the fifth wicket with fellow Mumbai batter Yashasvi Jaiswal. Both the youngsters took England spinners to the cleaners in the 158 balls they played together. Their partnership run-rate was 6.53, the new record for the highest run-rate in any 150-plus run partnership for India, outdoing Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay’s run rate of 5.76 in their 168-run partnership against Afghanistan back in 2018.
Sarfaraz in the first innings, had smashed the second-fastest half-century on Test debut by an Indian in just 48 balls. The fastest fifty by an India player was by Yuvraj of Patiala against England in 1934.
Chasing 557, England was bundled out for just 122 runs in 39.4, losing the match by 434 runs. Ravindra Jadeja took 5/41, while Kuldeep Yadav took two wickets. Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah took a wicket each.
Earlier, India secured a 556-run second innings lead, declaring their second innings at 430/4. Following skipper Rohit’s early fall for just 19 runs, young batters Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill steadied the ship for India with a 155-run partnership for the second wicket, which ended after Jaiswal retired hurt for 104. India ended the day three at 196/2, with Gill (65*) and Kuldeep Yadav (3*).
On day four, Gill and Kuldeep continued to stitch yet another partnership, which ended with Gill heartbreakingly missing his fourth Test ton due to a run-out, scoring 91 in 151 balls, with nine fours and two sixes. Kuldeep also made a solid 27 in 91 balls, leaving India at 258/4. From this point on, Jaiswal resumed his innings with the fellow Mumbai star Sarfaraz Khan. Both took the English spinners to cleaners.
Jaiswal scored his second double-century in Tests after scoring his first one in the last Test. A key highlight of his knock was smashing veteran pace legend James Anderson for a hat-trick of sixes. Sarfaraz also scored his back-to-back half-century on Test debut. India ended the innings at 430/4, with Jaiswal (214* in 236 balls, 14 fours and 12 sixes) and Sarfaraz (68* in 72 balls, with six fours and three sixes) unbeaten to form a 172-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Joe Root, Tom Hartley and Rehan Ahmed took a wicket each for England.
Earlier, England in their first inning scored 319 runs in reply to India’s 445 runs in their first inning. Though Ben Duckett (153 in 151 balls, with 23 fours and two sixes) scored the fastest century by an English player in India, no other batter could give him much support. Skipper Stokes (41 in 89 balls, with six fours) and Pope (39 in 55 balls, with five fours and a six) played some decent knocks.
Siraj was the pick of the bowlers for India with 4/84, while Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets each. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin managed a scalp each, with the latter reaching his 500th Test wicket as well.
In the first innings, after opting to bat first, India put up 445 in the first innings. The hosts were rocked by England bowlers earlier and were struggling at 33/3. Then skipper Rohit stepped up, forming a 204-run stand with Jadeja. Rohit scored 131 runs in 196 balls, with 14 fours and three sixes. Jadeja went on to score his third Test ton and crafted a 77-run stand with debutant Sarfaraz (62 in 66 balls, with nine fours and a six). Useful scores from debutant Dhruv Jurel (46 in 104 balls, with two fours and three sixes) and Ashwin (37 in 89 balls, with six fours) took India to a fine total.
Mark Wood justified his selection with figures of 4/114. Rehan got two wickets while Root, Hartley and Anderson got a wicket each. (ANI)

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