England slump to miserable defeat in third Test

Ben Duckett was run out to begin England’s slide on the fourth day
Third Test, Rajkot (day four of five):
India 445 (Rohit 131, Jadeja 112; Wood 4-114) & 430-4 dec (Jaiswal 214*, Gill 91, Sarfaraz 68*)
England 319 (Duckett 153, Stokes 41; Siraj 4-84) & 122 (Jadeja 5-41)
India won by 434 runs, lead series 2-1

England spiralled to a miserable and massive defeat by India on the fourth day of the third Test in Rajkot.

In perhaps their worst performance since captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum took charge, England were dismantled by Yashasvi Jaiswal’s 214 not out, then capitulated with the bat.

Set a notional 557 to win, the tourists were bundled out for an embarrassing 122 in a blur of irresponsible strokes.

The 434-run margin of defeat is England’s largest in terms of runs since 1934 and India’s biggest of all time.

India, who take a 2-1 lead in the series, were led by the brilliant Jaiswal’s second double century in as many Tests.

The opener returned on 104 after retiring hurt on the third evening and took his tally to 12 sixes, equalling the record for a single Test innings.

In partnership with Sarfaraz Khan, who made 68 not out, Jaiswal took India to a declaration on 430-4.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja ran through England’s middle order for figures of 5-41, to go with the century he made in the first innings.

The fourth Test begins on Friday in Ranchi, where an India win will preserve an unbeaten home record that stretches back to 2012.

England wasteful and humbled

This was an astonishing implosion from England, who began Saturday with a golden opportunity to take control of the match, only to be crushed by Sunday evening.

It was a performance from a bygone age. England dropped crucial chances, misused the decision review system and at times saw their bowling dismantled by the India batting.

Most disappointing was England’s own batting. They surrendered the initiative with a collapse of eight wickets for 95 runs in their first innings, then were absolutely awful in the second.

So often England talk about their love of chases, whereas just taking this game into a final day would have been the minimum requirement.

What makes the defeat all the more galling is the fact India played more than a day of the match with 10 men after Ravichandran Ashwin returned home because of a family emergency. Ashwin, who withdrew on Friday evening, returned on Sunday and took a wicket in his six overs.

For any team to win one Test in India, let alone an entire series, is an incredibly difficult task, yet England have let chances slip by.

The superb win in the first Test in Hyderabad now feels a long time ago, surpassed by the wastefulness of the second and third Tests. Somehow, they must regroup for Ranchi.

England suffer at hands of ‘Jaisball’

India's Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrate hitting a double century
Yashasvi Jaiswal made 209 in the second Test and finished 214 not out in Rajkot

This is turning into Jaiswal’s series, confirmation that the 22-year-old has arrived as a superstar of the global game.

He had to retire hurt with a back injury on Saturday, but not before helping India to 196-2 overnight.

Returning after Shubman Gill was run out for 91, Jaiswal’s awesome demolition of the England bowling effectively meant he made two separate hundreds in the same innings without being dismissed.

Just like on day three, Jaiswal slipped gears in an instant, scooping James Anderson over his shoulder in the first over after lunch. In Anderson’s next over, Jaiswal flayed three consecutive sixes.

Debutant Sarfaraz kept pace with Jaiswal for his second half-century of the match. The sixth-wicket pair added 172 in 158 riotous balls, laying waste to the England bowling in the unbearable afternoon heat.

Jaiswal’s single off Joe Root made him the third youngest man, after Vinod Kambli and Don Bradman, to make double hundreds in successive Tests. He hit the next two balls for six to match the record set by Pakistan’s Wasim Akram against Zimbabwe in 1996.

India declared at the end of the following over, the first team to do so against England since Stokes and McCullum took charge just under two years ago.

England implode

Before this Test, Stokes reiterated his belief that draws are “off the table”. On the third evening, when asked about a potential target, Ben Duckett said “the more the better”.

In reality, when given 131 overs to chase their record target, England could not last 40 of them.

Duckett was the first wicket to fall – run out after pushing into the leg side and setting off, before Zak Crawley rightly sent him back.

Mohammed Siraj’s throw was smartly gathered by wicketkeeper Dhruv Jurel to leave Duckett well short.

Crawley was aggrieved when replays showed Jasprit Bumrah’s lbw shout to be just clipping leg stump, then England fell apart.

Ollie Pope forced Jadeja to slip, while Jonny Bairstow and Root were both out sweeping the same bowler. Stokes also missed a sweep, this time to Kuldeep Yadav, the wrist-spinner then enticing Rehan Ahmed to hole out to long on.

Ben Foakes and Tom Hartley flirted with the fifth day, but Foakes edged Jadeja and Hartley chopped on off Ashwin to leave England 91-9.

Mark Wood smeared 33 from 15 balls before lofting to long-off to give Jadeja his fifth and end England’s sorry showing.

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