Sarfaraz picks the bones out of Root’s overpitched delivery

Sarfaraz Khan came out with a clear game plan and showed immense faith in his ball-striking ability in the Rajkot Test. He slog-swept Joe Root, thumped Tom Hartley into the sightscreen and pulled off a cheeky dab against James Anderson to lift the scoring rate at a time when Ravindra Jadeja, approaching a hundred, began playing possum.

Oozing confidence, the stocky right-hander looked primed for three figures when a cruel twist of fate hampered his exploits. On 99, Jadeja pushed one straight to mid-on and called Sarfaraz, who reacted immediately only to be sold down the river by his senior partner.

Skipper Rohit was livid in the dressing room and the guilt was apparent in Jadeja’s subdued celebration upon reaching the landmark. The onus is now on the local lad, Jadeja, to usher India to an above-par first innings total at the venue where he crafted his maiden Test ton in 2018.