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India Takes Control on Chilly Day 1 in Dharamsala: Kuldeep Yadav's Five-Wicket Haul Puts England on Back Foot

India Takes Control on Chilly Day 1 in Dharamsala: Kuldeep Yadav’s Five-Wicket Haul Puts England on Back Foot

Dharamsala:  On the opening day of the fifth and final Test match between India and England at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala, the hosts took firm control, finishing the day at 135/1, trailing England by just 83 runs.

The star of the day was the Indian spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who mesmerized the crowd with a brilliant five-wicket haul. England, after winning the toss and choosing to bat, initially looked comfortable at 175/3. However, a dramatic collapse in the second session saw them finishing their innings at a modest total of 218, with all ten wickets falling to the spinners.

Yashasvi Jaiswal, continuing his impressive form, played a pivotal role for India, scoring a promising 57 runs. His innings included a record-breaking feat as he surpassed Virat Kohli to become the highest run-scorer for India against England in a Test series.

Indian skipper Rohit Sharma led the charge with composure, reaching an unbeaten half-century at stumps with 52 runs, while Shubman Gill showcased his aggressive approach, remaining not out on 26. The duo’s partnership has put India in a strong position, trailing by only 83 runs with nine wickets in hand.

Earlier in the day, England’s top-order struggled against the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja. The middle-order collapse saw key players like Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes departing for ducks, contributing to a disastrous second session for the visitors.

In a special ceremony, Ravichandran Ashwin, set to play his 100th Test, was handed his milestone cap by head coach Rahul Dravid. Meanwhile, young talent Devdutt Padikkal made his Test debut, replacing the injured Rajat Patidar.

The HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala is proving to be a challenging venue due to intense cold, with temperatures hovering around 1 degree Celsius. Players are expected to face harsh conditions throughout the five-day match, adding an extra layer of complexity to the gripping contest between the two cricketing giants.

As the series reaches its climax, all eyes are on the Indian team to maintain their dominance on home soil, while England will be eager to stage a comeback and end the series on a high note. Cricket enthusiasts worldwide are eagerly anticipating the unfolding drama in the picturesque but chilly setting of Dharamsala.

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