India have set a mammoth but achievable target of 399 for England to take the win on Day 3 of the second Test match on Sunday. Building on Yashasvi Jaiswal’s double ton in the first innings, Shubman Gill showed his flair and scored a century in the second innings, putting India in a firm position to equal the five-match series at 1-1.
Gill shone even as a depleted Indian batting line-up could not manage to put on much runs. He went on to score 104 off 147 balls with 11 fours and two sixes taking India’s total to 255 runs, and with the advantage from the first innings, the hosts set a target of 399 for the visitors.
Shubman Gill's century and Axar Patel's composed innings maintained India's dominance on the third day at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium.
After the Tea break, India scored 227/6, taking a lead of 370 runs, with KS Bharat and Ravichandran Ashwin remaining not out with scores of 6(27) and 1(8) respectively.
After India began to display indications of faltering, reminiscent of the first Test, Gill (104) and Axar (45) dispelled the uncertainties with their 89-run partnership.
Gill assumed responsibility for scoring most of the runs, while Patel took on the role of the anchor, guiding the game's momentum and consistently rotating the strike whenever possible.
The 24-year-old focused on Rehan Ahmed and scored runs consistently. Shubman adopted a simple approach, using his feet to achieve his third Test century and raising his bat in celebration.
Both batsmen successfully evaded the strategic field placements set by England Test captain Ben Stokes through continuous adjustments.
Gill attempted a reverse sweep but unfortunately, he gloved the ball straight to Ben Foakes during Shoaib Bashir's over. At first, the on-field umpire ruled Gill not out, prompting Stokes to opt for the Decision Review System (DRS). The replay revealed that the ball had indeed touched Gill's gloves, resulting in England's first successful review in the series.
Gill's innings, which included 11 fours and two sixes, concluded with a total of 104 runs. Axar was caught in front of the wicket by Tom Hartley, resulting in the entrance of Ravichandran Ashwin.
KS Bharat and Ashwin impeded the run rate by bowling five maiden overs for England. The only runs scored during this period were two leg byes.
Earlier today, India began the session at 28/0, with captain Rohit Sharma (13*) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (15*) remaining unbeaten.
In the session, James Anderson took an early wicket for England by dismissing Rohit for 13 runs, adding to the Indian veteran's ongoing difficulties in test matches. This left India at 29/1.
Jaiswal, who scored a double century in the first innings, was caught by Joe Root at slip for only 17 runs, resulting in Anderson securing his second wicket. This led to India being at 30/2.
Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill, both struggling to score runs and regain their form, formed a new batting partnership with the responsibility of building a strong alliance.
Gill hit Shoaib Bashir for a six in the 17th over, extending India's lead to 200 runs.
Iyer and Gill continued to aggressively target England's inexperienced spin bowlers, Rehan Ahmed and Tom Hartley, by consistently scoring multiple boundaries off their deliveries. India reached a total of 100 runs in 25.3 overs.
Gill achieved his 50 runs in his fifth Test match after facing 60 balls. He hit eight boundaries and a six, with one of those boundaries against Rehan helping him reach the milestone.
Iyer-Gill appeared to be making significant progress when Hartley made a breakthrough for the visiting team. Iyer's challenges in Test cricket persisted as he failed to elevate a full-length delivery and skipper Ben Stokes sprinted from mid-off to make a diving catch. Iyer was dismissed for 29 off 52 balls, including two fours. At that point, India's score was 111/3.
Rajat Patidar, the newcomer, was unable to sustain his innings for an extended period as Rehan dismissed him for only nine runs after he was caught by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes. At that point, India's score was 122/4.