India v England: Ben Duckett counterpunch upstages Ravichandran Ashwin

After the Indian spinner became the ninth player to bring up 500 Test wickets, England's left-handed opener stormed to a fine century on day two in Rajkot


Rajkot (day two of five): India 445, England 207-2 - England are 238 runs behind with eight first-innings wickets remaining

Ben Duckett produced a storming century as England responded strongly to India's first-innings 445 on day two of the third Test in Rajkot.

The Nottinghamshire left-hander went to three figures for the third time in the format, crunching 21 fours and two sixes before reaching the close unbeaten on 133.

Ravichandran Ashwin removed Zak Crawley (15) to become the ninth player to reach 500 Test wickets - but it was a rare moment of celebration for the hosts.

England ended on 207 for 2, 238 runs short of parity, but a combination of favourable conditions, an out-of-sorts Indian attack and some quick scoring means they could do further damage on day three and beyond.

India settled on 445 all out - Mark Wood took 4 for 114 - with Dhruv Jurel (46) and Ashwin (37) putting on a handy 77-run stand for the eighth wicket.

It was during that partnership that India were handed a five-run penalty (which was applied at the start of England's first innings) after Ashwin was adjudged to have run onto the protected area of the pitch on the second morning. It followed warnings to Ravindra Jadeja and Sarfaraz Khan on day one.

Having bookended the opening day with their best cricket, England again started fast with wickets in successive overs inside the opening half hour.

Kuldeep Yadav (4) was removed by James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja (112) looped up a simple catch to Joe Root having added just two to his overnight century.

But India weren't about to roll over for a substandard total, adding another 114 for the final three wickets to push themselves beyond 400.

Debutant wicketkeeper Jurel made 46, being twice dropped by Ollie Pope and Ben Stokes on 32, and put on 77 with Ashwin.

During that partnership, Ashwin triggered a five-run penalty after treading on the protected area of the pitch - following two warnings issued by the umpires to Jadeja and Khan on day one.

Both were eventually removed to give Rehan Ahmed his first wickets of the match before Wood completed a four-wicket haul by trapping Jasprit Bumrah (26) lbw.

Helped by a five-run springboard thanks to India's indiscretion, England navigated their way to tea before starting to take chunks out of the hosts' first-innings total during a devastating evening blitz.

Duckett led the way, first by taking on Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj and then by dispatching Kuldeep to the boundary three times in the space of eight deliveries.

Sharma had delayed throwing the ball to Ashwin but upon doing so immediately found a breakthrough as Crawley miss-timed a sweep and picked out Rajat Patidar.

The scalp brought up 500 Test wickets for the Indian spinner in what was proving to be an eventful day.

But it was England and Duckett who continued to motor. The left-hander was in imperious touch, taking advantage of an off-colour Indian bowling display on a pitch which only occasionally showed signs of assistance.

He went to a third Test century with another four through mid-on but continued to be aggressive as England's run-rate went above a run-a-ball.

Siraj got some belated success with the wicket of Pope (39) as DRS contradicted umpire Joel Wilson's original determination that the ball was missing leg-stump; the technology showed it clipping.

None of the hosts' attack looked more out of sorts than Jadeja, returning to the side following a hamstring injury, and he came back into the attack to relinquish the pressure with an eight-ball over which included a six from Duckett over cover.

England's compounded a dreary day for the home side by surviving a DRS relay - Duckett looked to be trapped in front but survived as Ashwin's delivery pitched outside of leg stump - before the final ball of the delay was punched for four by Joe Root to bring up 176 runs in the session.

The Cricketer's chief correspondent George Dobell will be providing full analysis and reaction from day two in Rajkot.

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