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India thrash England in third Test to take series lead

India thrash England to take Test series lead
© Reuters
India move 2-1 up against England in the best-of-five series after recording a mammoth 434-run victory in the third Test in Rajkot.

England have slumped to an embarrassing 434-run defeat at the hands of India in the third Test in Rajkot.

At the end of day two, England were in a position of strength, trailing by just 238 runs with eight wickets in hand, yet India were dominant during the following six sessions.

Declaring on 430-4 set England a target of 557, a total that they were never realistically going to reach, yet they were bowled out for just 122 in 39.4 overs.

India now lead the best-of-five series by a 2-1 scoreline, and it will take a gargantuan effort from England to remain competitive ahead of the fifth encounter on the back of such a demoralising defeat.

Resuming day four on 196-2, Yashasvi Jaiswal returned to the crease after retiring hurt the previous night to continue one of the most exciting Test innings by a young batsman for some time.

The opener ended with 214 from 236 balls, hitting 14 fours and a sensational 12 sixes, and he was helped along the way by Shubman Gill (91) and Sarfaraz Khan (68), another newcomer who has looked instantly at home.

After the declaration, England needed a solid start, yet Ben Duckett (4), Zak Crawley (11) and Ollie Pope (3) had all departed by the 10th over.

Of the top nine batsmen, Ben Foakes top scored with 16 as Ravindra Jadeja (5-41) ran riot with the ball, and it left England on 91-9.

Mark Wood smacked 33 from 15 balls to extend the match marginally further, yet it only prolonged the inevitable as India sealed a potentially-pivotal win in the context of the series.

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India batsman Rohit Sharma celebrates century against England on February 15, 2024.
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