Cricket: India v England — Rohit Sharma scores first Test ton in over a year

Dubai: India opener Rohit Sharma scored his first Test century in over a year and after eight Test innings to drive India ahead on the first day of the second Test on a pitch that aided turn from the first session.

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The right-handed batsman, on way to his seventh Test ton, took an aggressive route to return to form, playing his shots on a wicket that offered nothing to the fast bowlers but plenty to the spinners.

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The 33-year-old took 130 deliveries for his century, lacing it with 14 fours and two sixes.

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Sharma got India off the mark with a boundary through extra cover even though fellow opening partner Shubman Gill had fallen in only the second over of the match. He then dealt in boundaries reaching 41 off 36 balls at the first drinks break, hitting six fours and a six.

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Sharma reached his fifty — with two more fours — just after the drinks break off 49 deliveries.

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He went to lunch at 80 off 78 deliveries.

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Even as his 85-run with Cheteshwar Pujara ended and Virat Kohli fell for a duck, Sharma continued playing shots.

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After his double century in Ranchi against South Africa in October, 2019, the Mumbai batsman had failed to put up a big score, scoring just one half-century. He also missed a few Tests due to injury and COVID-19 quarantine.

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Last month, in the third Test against Australia in Sydney, Sharma played his first Test since November, 2019 and began with promise. But he failed to get big scores.

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On Saturday, he ensured he stayed on to complete not just fifty but century and looked good for more after lunch. By the team India reached the 150-run mark, he had scored more than two-thirds of his team’s score.

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