India vs England 2021: Twitter Reacts As Rohit Sharma's Masterclass On A Raging Turner Puts The Hosts In Ascendency
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India vs England 2021: Twitter Reacts As Rohit Sharma’s Masterclass On A Raging Turner Puts The Hosts In Ascendency

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli
Rohit Sharma [Image Credits: BCCI]

A batting masterclass by Rohit Sharma [161] and a well-complied half-century by Ajinkya Rahane has helped India take a position of strength at the close of play on the first day of the second Test against England, finishing the day at 6/300 on what has turned out to be a raging turner at the Chepauk.

After having lost the all-important toss, England got off to a dream start as young fast bowler Olly Stone sent Shubman Gill packing for his maiden duck in his Test career. It all happened on the third ball of the second over of the Indian innings when Shubman Gill completely misjudged the line of the ball and was trapped plumb in front of the wickets.

England, Michael Vaughan, Olly Stone, Shubman Gill
Olly Stone with his teammates [Image Credit: BCCI]
Shubman Gill shouldered arms to a delivery that jagged back in at pace to hit his front pad. But post the dismissal, Rohit Sharma took centerstage.

The charismatic opener looked in full flow right from the first ball he faced and what followed was a 3.5-hour playlist of the ‘Hitman’ cutting, pulling, driving, hooking, and sweeping the cricket ball.

Sharma breezed past his first half-century in the last four innings and he proceeded to dominate the 85-run-stand that he stitched with Cheteshwar Pujara. However, just as it looked like the duo will take India to a commanding position with a big partnership, Jack Leach once again removed Pujara.

The Indian No.3, in an attempt to carve the ball between point and third-man, proceeded to edge it to first slip where Ben Stokes took a sharp low catch.

India, England, Virat Kohli, Moeen Ali
Virat Kohli knocked over by Moeen Ali [Image Credits: BCCI]
One brought two for England as Virat Kohli registered a five-ball duck thanks to a peach of a delivery by Moeen Ali, and his reaction to his dismissal was certainly the moment of the morning session.

It was a perfect off-spinners dismissal for Moeen Ali as he tossed the ball outside the off-stump, forcing Virat Kohli to lung forward for a cover-drive. The ball turned viciously off the square and went on to hit the off-stump. Virat was perplexed as to what had happened and even though it was clear that the ball had gone to hit the stumps, the champion batsman stood there in utter shock.

The English team started celebrating but Virat stood his ground as the umpire went upstairs for confirmation. And, the 3rd Umpire needed just one replay to ascertain that it was clear that Virat had been bowled for a 5-ball duck. After having not bowled in Test match cricket since January 2018, Virat Kohli has now been knocked over in back-to-back innings. This was also the first instance of Virat get dismissed for a duck by a spinner.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma [Image Credits: BCCI]
But Rohit Sharma, it seemed was batting on a completely different track. The stylish opener looked in complete control and he proceeded to continue with his merry way even as India lost back-to-back wickets.

Sharma went on to become the first Indian batsman to smash 200 sixes on home soil across all three formats of the game when he took Moeen Ali downtown while he was in the 90s. He soon completed his 7th Test ton with a paddle sweep off Ali to become India’s first centurion of 2021.

Ajinkya Rahane struggled against the likes of Olly Stone during the initial part of his innings but when he got into his zone, he proceeded to play some cracking strokes against both pace and spin, especially off the back foot.

Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane
Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane. Image Credits: BCCI

Rahane completed a well-compiled half-century after the Tea break as he and Rohit took complete control of the proceedings with a near impregnable fourth-wicket stand.

The partnership soon crossed the 150-run-mark and in the process, Rohit Sharma also completed his 150. Rohit survived a close stumping call in the 71st over of the innings when Jack Leach got one to beat Rohit’s edge, leading to Ben Foakes dislodging the bails off in a flash.

On replay, it looked like his back foot was on the edge of the crease but the third umpire decided to give the benefit of doubt to the batsman. However, Jack Leach got his man in the very next over as Rohit mistimed the slog-sweep to give a simple catch to Moeen Ali.

Rohit Sharma, Jack Leach
Jack Leach dismisses Rohit Sharma [Image Credits: BCCI]
Jack Leach should have got Ajinkya Rahane too but for a horrible misjudgment by the third umpire. It all happened when Leach got one to spin past Rahane’s bat and pad to short leg. England reviewed immediately following the nod of disapproval by the on-field umpire.

The RTS showed a flat line as the ball passed Rahane’s bat and the 3rd umpire was quick to adjudge him not-out without realizing that there was a significant spike as the ball went past his gloves.

Nevertheless, it did not harm England much as Moeen Ali knocked over Ajinkya Rahane in the very next over. With the ball spitting off the surface, England spinners got into the game big time as Joe Root dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin shortly to leave India six down for 284. However, Rishabh Pant and Axar Patel ensured that India did not lose any more wickets, eventually finishing the day at 6/300.

 

Here’s how Twitter reacted:

Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.