England 31-0 after bowling out India for 445 in third Test

Ashwin (37) and debutant Dhruv Jurel (46) put on a stubborn eighth-wicket stand for India

Ravichandran Ashwin of India bats during day two of the 3rd Test Match against England at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on February 16, 2024 in Rajkot, India. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Pramod Thomas

ENGLAND reached tea unscathed at 31-0 after bowling out India for 445 on Friday (16) with fast bowler Mark Wood taking four wickets in the third Test at Rajkot.

Zak Crawley, on six, and Ben Duckett, on 19, were batting at the break after surviving a hostile opening spell shared between Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj.

The tourists began at five for no loss after India were penalised for Ravichandran Ashwin running on the danger area of the pitch, earning a reprimand by on-field umpire Joel Wilson.

Ashwin (37) and debutant Dhruv Jurel (46) put on a stubborn eighth-wicket stand of 77 before England wrapped up the Indian innings in the second session on day two.

India lost two early wickets but Ashwin and Jurel batted with patience and occasional boundaries to tackle a persistent England attack which was rotated by skipper Ben Stokes in his landmark 100th Test.

Rehan Ahmed sent back Ashwin with his leg-spin in the afternoon and then got Jurel caught behind on a delivery that pitched and turned sharply.

Number 10 Bumrah hit a breezy 26 to frustrate England before Wood got him lbw to finish 4-114 after his three strikes on day one.

Fast bowler James Anderson struck first to get nightwatchman Kuldeep Yadav caught behind for four. Anderson moved to 696 Test wickets over 185 matches since his 2003 debut.

The 41-year-old seamer is poised to become only the third bowler in history to reach 700 wickets after Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and late Australian spin wizard Shane Warne (708).

Ashwin needs one more to reach 500 Test wickets.

Part-time spinner Joe Root had overnight centurion Ravindra Jadeja caught and bowled on 112 as the hosts lost two wickets in the first five overs of the day.

The five-Test series is level at 1-1 after England won the opener in Hyderabad and India bounced back in the second match.