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Shoaib Bashir shines, but England toil again as India build big lead on day two of fifth Test

Shoaib Bashir finished day two in Dharamsala with figures of 4-170 for England, but India lead by 255 runs; Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill both made centuries for the hosts, while Devdutt Padikkal chalked up 65 on his Test debut and Sarfaraz Khan chipped in with a half-century as well

England spinner Shoaib Bashir (Associated Press)
Image: Shoaib Bashir was among the wickets for England, but otherwise it was a tough day two in the field for the tourists

Shoaib Bashir continued his impressive start to his Test career, but there was little else for England to cheer as India put themselves into a dominant position on day two of the fifth and final Test of the series.

Resuming on 135-1 in Dharamsala, India asserted their authority on the contest in the morning session as skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill both went on to pass the century mark in a second-wicket stand which had reached 160 by lunch.

However, the partnership was broken in spectacular fashion by England captain Ben Stokes, who removed his opposite number for 103 with his first delivery since July in the second over of the afternoon and that was followed by James Anderson dismissing Gill for 110.

India vs England fifth Test score summary

India 473-8: Shubman Gill (110), Rohit Sharma (103), Devdutt Padikkal (65), Yashasvi Jaiswal (57), Sarfaraz Khan (56); Shoaib Bashir (4-170).

England 218 all out: Zak Crawley (79); Kuldeep Yadav (5-72), Ravi Ashwin (4-51).

That marked Test wicket 699 for the 41-year-old, but half-centuries from Sarfaraz Khan and Devdutt Padikkal helped ensure the hosts pressed on before spinner Bashir accounted for both after tea. Nevertheless, India were able to see it through to the close on 473-5 with a lead of 255 runs.

Rohit and Gill dominate morning session

Already in a promising position after bowling out England for 218 on day one after being made to field first, India pressed on in the morning session of the final Test of the series, with Rohit and Gill looking in imperious form.

Rohit did have something of a let-off in the sixth over of the day while on 68 when he popped up one behind him which flashed beyond the grasp of close-in fielder Zak Crawley and raced away to the boundary for four.

Otherwise, the pair were untroubled against either the tourists' seam or spin attack, despite Mark Wood sending down the occasional testing short ball, and Gill went on to bring up his fourth half-century against England in Tests in his side's 40th over.

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India's Shubman Gill bats on the second day of the fifth and final test match between England and India in Dharamshala, India, Friday, March 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)
Image: Shubman Gill top-scored for India on day two with 110

Rohit's 12th Test century arrived shortly after the duo took their second-wicket partnership past 150 in the 58th over and that was followed the next over by his fellow right-hander, notching his ton by pulling Shoaib Bashir away for four.

The pair guided India to lunch on 264-1 - a lead of 46 - but their partnership came to an end early in the afternoon session on 171 when Stokes, bowling in a Test match for the first time since last year's defeat to Australia at Lord's, clean-bowled Rohit with the first ball of the 62nd over.

Gill followed his captain back to the pavilion the next over when he played all round a reverse-swinger from Anderson which took the England seamer one away from becoming only the third player in Test history to take 700 wickets.

Bashir makes inroads, but India build commanding lead

Anderson would have to wait for that milestone though as Sarfaraz and debutant Padikkal set about the rebuilding job for the hosts, with the former cantering to his half-century from 55 balls including eight fours and one six along the way.

India's Devdutt Padikkal celebrates his fifty runs on the second day of the fifth and final test match between England and India in Dharamshala, India, Friday, March 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)
Image: Devdutt Padikkal made 65 in his first Test innings

Together, they put on 97 for the third wicket and saw India through to tea on 376-3, but Sarfaraz added only six more runs to his total as he edged Shoaib Bashir to Joe Root in the slips with an attempted late cut the first ball of the evening session.

Newcomer Padikkal was making the most of an unexpected appearance which was granted after Rajat Patidar was injured in a pre-match training session on Wednesday though and reached a maiden Test 50 in some style as he carted Tom Hartley back down the ground for six.

Padikkal eventually departed for 65 as he became Bashir's third scalp of the innings, being clean-bowled by the right-armer at the start of the 92nd over, and the Somerset bowler claimed his fourth after getting Dhruv Jurel (15) caught by Ben Duckett.

Slow left-armer Tom Hartley then snared Ravi Jadeja lbw for 15 and bowled Ravi Ashwin without him troubling the scorer to leave India eight down. Kuldeep Yadav (27no) was then dropped by Stokes late in the day off Bashir though, and by the close had put on 45 for the ninth wicket with Jasprit Bumrah (19no).

England's Tom Hartley, right, celebrates the wicket of India's Ravichandran Ashwin on the second day of the fifth and final test match between England and India in Dharamshala, India, Friday, March 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)
Image: Tom Hartley celebrates the wicket of India's Ravi Ashwin

What they said

England spin bowling coach Jeetan Patel, speaking on TNT Sports:

"Bashir, it's a hell of an effort, he wasn't well before the game and he's still a bit iffy today.

"But to go out there and bang out 45 overs and nearly get a five-for, he's put in a hell of a shift, so have Mark Wood, Hartley and James Anderson.

"The first thing in the morning is to get the two wickets and then set up some partnerships.

Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook, speaking on TNT Sports:

"Stokes will be saying, 'can we score 450 runs to put pressure on India in the fourth and fifth day?'

"I think it will be a good effort if England can bat out the whole day. We haven't seen them put pressure back onto India.

"It will be really interesting to see how they come out tomorrow and if the players who need a big score can get one."

What's next?

The fifth and final Test between India and England in Dharamsala continues on Saturday, with the first ball of day three at 4am. Follow all of the action with text commentary in our live blog.

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