‘First-innings Runs Vital’: Nasser Hussain Wants England to be Ruthless Like Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja

Last Updated: February 16, 2024, 09:11 IST

Ravindr Jadeja and Rohit Sharma stitched a double-century stand. (AP Photo)

Ravindr Jadeja and Rohit Sharma stitched a double-century stand. (AP Photo)

England handed back the advantage after getting rid of three top-order India batters early on Day 1 of the third Test thanks to centuries from Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja.

From 33/3, India recovered to finish the opening day of the third Test against England at a comfortable 326/5 with centuries from captain Rohit Sharma and allrounder Ravindra Jadeja. Sarfaraz Khan too made an impression with an attacking half-century on debut.

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England begin well despite losing the toss on what was expected to be a batting paradise. Mark Wood, returning after being benched for the 2nd Test, was superb with the new ball as he got rid of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill cheaply before Tom Hartley landed a punch too with the dismissal of Rajat Patidar.

England legend Nasser Hussain feels that Ben Stokes’ men can still snatch back the advantage if they manage to limit India’s first innings inside 400 runs.

“England will want to wrap up the lower order of India. There is an opportunity for them tomorrow (Friday) morning, but they’re going to have to bowl them out for less than 400. India have been a bit sloppy with the bat in this series, gifting England a few soft dismissals, and you could see that Rohit, after that drop, was absolutely determined not to give his wicket away,” Hussain said told Sky Sports.

“It’s the sort of pitch where first-innings runs are going to be vital. That’s where India were good today, with two centurions already. When England come round to bat, they’ve got to be as ruthless as Rohit and Jadeja. In the last game, there were a lot of starts – 20s, 30s, 40s – but you win Test matches with hundreds, and big hundreds,” he added.

Nasser feels it was a challenging day for England with Rohit and Jadeja stitching a double-century stand. However, the tourists fluffed a chance early on to dismiss Rohit when Joe Root at first slip missed a catch when India were 47/3.

“England have had a difficult day. They were buoyed by the late run out of Sarfaraz, the debutant, right at the end of play but it could have been so much better. India were 47/3 when Root dropped Rohit. The day had started so well; England’s two-seamers were exceptional – Wood, in particular, when coming back into the side,” Hussain said.

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