India thrash England for their biggest win in Test cricket

Wednesday 21st February 2024 05:26 EST

Yashasvi Jaiswal scored a sparkling double century, and Ravindra Jadeja finished with 5/41 as India steamrolled England by 434 runs – their biggest ever in history to win the Rajkot Test in four days. Having to chase 557, England were bowled out for 114 – their sixth-lowest Test total against India – with Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav running through their batting order.

Jaiswal set the tone for India's second-innings total of 430/4 declared with a consecutive Test double. Forced to retire hurt on 104 on Saturday, Jaiswal walked out on Sunday at the fall of Shubman Gill's wicket after he was run out for 91. And by the time Jaiswal and the Indian innings finished, the only question on everyone’s mind was: "Retired hurt, who?" That's how good Jaiswal was. He went on a rampage, inflicting carnage during a quickfire 172-run partnership with Sarfaraz Khan, who scored his 2nd fifty of the match. The debutant went on a hitting spree himself, finishing unbeaten on 68 off 72 balls with six fours and three sixes, but the day obviously belonged to Jaiswal, who remained not out on 214 off 236 balls.

Their collective beating of England was enough to set the visitors a monumental target, in pursuit of which they crashed and burned. From the moment, Ben Duckett, their centurion in the last innings, was run out, the writing was on the wall. Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow were all over the place, while Zak Crawley continued to struggle against Jasprit Bumrah. At 24/5, England sensed a semblance of hope when Ben Stokes and Joe Root tried to resist but all it did was delay the inevitable.

In pursuit of a formidable target, England encountered a staggering collapse, with only two of their top six batters – Zak Crawley (7) and Stokes (15) – managing to reach double figures. India asserted dominance over the English team right from the start, with England adopting an unusually cautious approach at the beginning of their innings.

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