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'Aaj kal ke bacche'...

February 20, 2024 08:30 IST
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IMAGE: Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrates his double century during the third Test in Rajkot. Photograph: BCCI

Captain Rohit Sharma was in awe of youngsters Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sarfaraz Khan and Dhruv Jurel as they played a pivotal role in India's record victory in the third Test against England in Rajkot.

'Aaj kal ke bacche,' a beaming Rohit quipped on Instagram.

A dominant India demolished England by a record 434 runs to register their biggest win in Test cricket in terms of runs in Rajkot on Sunday to take a 2-1 series lead.

Jaiswal was the architect of India's dominating showing in Rajkot as he smashed his way to a splendid 214 not out from 236 balls -- his second successive double century. The Mumbai youngster blasted a record-equalling 12 sixes in his innings -- the most by an Indian batter in Test cricket going past the previous record held by Navjot Singh Sidhu and Mayank Agarwal, who had hit eight sixes.

He equalled the overall record set by Pakistan great Wasim Akram, who had hit 12 sixes against Zimbabwe in 1996.

Jaiswal also bettered the previous record held by Rohit Sharma (19 sixes) for the most sixes in a bilateral Test series.

The 22 year old has taken Test cricket by storm since his debut last year, with a tally of 861 runs in seven matches at an average of 71, with three centuries and two fifties. He has overtaken Australia's Usman Khwaja (855 runs) to become the most prolific batter in the current World Test Championship cycle with 861 runs.

IMAGE: Sarfaraz Khan dismantled the England spinners with his sweep shots in Rajkot. Photograph: BCCI

His Mumbai team-mate Sarfaraz Khan also made an instant impact on his Test debut. He had to wait a long time for his India cap and he certainly seized the opportunity with both hands.

Sarfaraz gave a masterclass in batting against spin. While he used his feet to hit over the top, he also used the sweep to good effect to cart the England bowlers to all parts of the ground, for a dream debut with quickfire half-centuries in both innings.

The right-hander slammed a 48-ball fifty in his first innings in Test cricket -- to level the record for the second fastest fifty on debut by an Indian.

When India were in need of some quick runs in the second innings, Sarfaraz hit an unbeaten 68 from 72 balls, putting on an entertaining 172 run partnership from 158 balls for the fifth wicket with Jaiswal as the two Mumbai youngsters sent the England bowlers on a leather hunt.

Their partnership run-rate was 6.53, the new record for the highest run-rate in any 150-plus run partnership for India, outdoing Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay's run rate of 5.76 in their 168-run partnership against Afghanistan back in 2018.

Sarfaraz is only the fourth Indian to score two half-centuries in his debut Test, after Dilawar Hussain (1934), Sunil Gavaskar (1971) and Shreyas Iyer (2021).

Sarfaraz's first class average of 70.91 (4,042 runs in 46 matches) is the third best on the all-time list behind greats Sir Donald Bradman (28,067 runs in 234 matches at an average of 95.14) and Vijay Merchant (13,470 runs in 150 matches at an average of 71.64.

IMAGE: Dhruv Jurel runs out Ben Duckett in England's second innings. Photograph: BCCI

Dhruv Jurel left everyone impressed with his assured glovework in his debut Test. His run out of Ben Duckett in the England second innings, when he charged to the stumps to collect Mohammed Siraj's throw on the half-volley and break the stumps in a swift movement was hailed by everyone.

Jurel, 22, didn't come with a lot of first class experience, but he showed he has the temperament to succeed at the highest level.

He played a composed knock of 46 in India's first innings to put on 77 runs for the eighth wicket with Ravichandran Ashwin to take India past 400.

The highlight of his innings was the ramp shot off England fast bowler Mark Wood over the wicket-keeper for a boundary.

No wonder Rohit was effusive in his praise of the youngsters, who he says 'belong' at the highest level.

'A lot of credit to these young boys who have come in and showed a lot of character. Looks like they actually belong here and they want to stay here as well./

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