Steven Finn hails Ben Duckett ton and rates England’s chances in third Test against India

Ben Duckett dismantled India’s bowling attack as England hit back on day two (Picture: Getty)

Steven Finn has waxed lyrical about Ben Duckett’s stunning century in England’s third Test against India, claiming the ‘brilliant innings’ has ‘wrestled all of the momentum’ back in the tourists’ favour.

On a thrilling second day in Rajkot, Duckett smashed an exquisite ton off just 88 balls, hitting 21 fours and two sixes, to steer England to 207-2 at the close, 238 behind India’s first innings total of 445.

Ben Stokes and co started the day by dismissing Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja inside the first five overs before being frustrated by an obdurate Indian tail, with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj sharing a last-wicket stand of 30 to put the hosts in control.

England’s opening pair flew out of the blocks in response, but Zak Crawley fell for 15 before Ollie Pope was given out lbw for 39 off the bowling of Siraj. Nottinghamshire batter Duckett finished the day 133 not out, with Joe Root set to resume the third day on nine not out.

The series is evenly poised after India triumphed in Vizag to cancel out the touring side’s staggering Pope-inspired Hyderabad victory.

Reflecting on the day’s play in the TNT Sports studio, former England quick Finn reserved special praise for Duckett and said the Test match appeared ‘neck and neck’.

On Duckett’s sublime knock, Finn said: ‘That intent and commitment to hitting the ball hard got him to his 50 off just 39 deliveries and then he kept accelerating.

England star Ben Duckett plays a shot in Rajkot

The England opener smashed 21 fours and two sixes in Rajkot (Picture: Getty)

‘[Ravichandran] Ashwin bizarrely was not brought into the attack until England were 76-0.

‘And for Ben Duckett to get his 100, that was a brilliant shot. The balance, the level head… he quite rightly kisses the badge and punches the air because he has wrestled all of the momentum back towards England now.

‘It was a brilliant innings to watch. You couldn’t take your eyes off it. Two teams approaching Test cricket very differently and I think they’re pretty much neck and neck at the end of day two.’

Former England quick Steven Finn

Finn was blown away by Duckett’s breathtaking ton (Picture: Getty)

Former England captain Alastair Cook felt India ‘panicked’ as an inspired Duckett dismantled their bowlers in breathtaking fashion.

‘Ben Duckett in those first few overs, India bowled very poorly at him,’ Cook said.

‘The pressure when they’re running at the top of the mark, saying: “I can’t bowl in this area to Ben Duckett” and they did, they just kept bowling short and wide pretty much.

‘He scores so square of the wicket. You want Ben Duckett to be playing straight down the ground. There’s not much reward for it on this wicket but you’d much rather be driven.

‘It was a lovely drive to reach his 100, but you’d much rather Duckett be driving at you.

‘I think India panicked a little bit. The confrontational nature of Bazball, they’re coming at you and you kind of forget the basics.’

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