Visakhapatnam: A historic maiden double century from young opener Yashasvi Jaiswal illuminated the second day of the Visakhapatnam Test, but England fought back brilliantly to restrict India to 396 and end the day trailing by 364 runs.
Jaiswal, the 20-year-old prodigy, stole the show with a magnificent 209, showcasing his immense talent and grit. He batted relentlessly for over seven hours, defying the England bowling attack with a combination of elegance and power. However, a late flurry of wickets, orchestrated by the evergreen James Anderson (3-47) and the promising Rehan Ahmed (3-65), prevented India from posting a truly mammoth total.
Jaiswal's innings was a masterclass in patience and timing. He started cautiously, negotiating the early swing expertly. Once settled, he unleashed a flurry of boundaries, particularly against the spinners. His drives were crisp, his cuts elegant, and his pulls powerful. He brought up his second Test century shortly after lunch, the crowd erupting in thunderous applause.
The dismissal of overnight batsman Ravichandran Ashwin, who fell prey to Anderson's guile shortly after reaching 24, sparked a mini-collapse. Rishabh Pant (22) and Shreyas Iyer (14) fell cheaply, raising England's hopes. However, Jaiswal stood firm, refusing to be cowed.
He reached his maiden double century with a booming six off Jack Leach, sending the stadium into a frenzy. The celebrations were short-lived as Anderson returned with renewed venom, dismissing Jaiswal with a beautiful delivery that induced an edge to Jonny Bairstow.
The Indian tail offered little resistance as Rehan Ahmed, the 18-year-old leg-spinner, showcased his impressive control and variations. He picked up three quick wickets to bundle India out for 396, leaving England with a challenging but achievable target.
In reply, England's openers, Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley, adopted an aggressive approach, reminiscent of their "Bazball" philosophy. Duckett, especially, was in imperious form, taking the attack to the young Indian bowlers. He smashed five boundaries in a single over from Mukesh Kumar, setting the tone for a positive start.
At the close of play, England were 32/0, needing a further 332 runs to win. While the match remains evenly poised, the momentum after a dominant afternoon session belongs to the visitors.