England vs India, 5th Test, Day 3, Top Performances: Jonny Bairstow's 106, Mohammed Siraj's 4-66 and Cheteshwar Pujara's 50* are top performances. India lead by 257 runs.
Brief Scores: India 125/3 (Pujara 50*, Stokes 1-22) & 416 (Pant 146, Jadeja 104, Anderson 5/60) lead England 284 (Bairstow 106, Siraj 4/66, Bumrah 3/68) by 257 runs at Stumps on Day 3
In two action-packed days, India, after piling up a mountain of 416 in the first innings thanks to centuries from Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja, reduced England to 84/5 with the help of some elite swing bowling late on the second day.
India mark dominance with 257-run lead at the end of Day 3
England, starting the day on 84/5, were bundled out for 284, a total they managed thanks to the counter-attacking innings of 106 from the determined Jonny Bairstow, who get good support from Ben Stokes and Sam Billings. Mohammed Siraj picked up 4/66 but because of the rain breaks, out of the 61 overs, 41 were bowled by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami that helped India gain a 132-run lead.
India batted to increase their lead to 257 at the end of the day shouldering on a gritty 139-ball half century from Cheteshwar Pujara who stitched up an unbeaten 50-run stand with Rishabh Pant.
Let’s scan the top performances from Day 3 of the fifth Test between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham.
Counter-attacking Bairstow extended purple patch with 11th Test century
Jonny Bairstow, who has been in the form of his life in the longest format of the game, was lucky to be out there on the third morning of the Test especially after so many ‘plays & misses’.
He had the same sort of time in the middle against the India attack at the start of Sunday morning before he exchanged a few words with former India captain Virat Kohli. Bairstow was on 16 off 64 balls by then and was finding it tough to score some runs.
But since that interaction with Kohli, he decided to counter-attack as boundaries started to fly around the ground. And soon with a single towards the mid-off region, Bairstow reached his 24th half-century in just 81 balls. From the point when Bairstow was at a laborious 16(64), he smashed 34 runs in 17 balls with six boundaries at a strike rate of 200 to reach a well-deserved fifty.
England did lose their captain Ben Stokes in between, but Bairstow seemed to be batting in another mode. When India tried to attack with bouncers, Bairstow smoked one of those over backward square leg for a six before cracking a four and six of consecutive balls against Shardul Thakur. Even after the rain break, he didn’t lose his concentration.
With a misfield in the square region on the off side that saw the ball crossing the rope, Jonny Bairstow hoisted a huge roar to celebrate his 11th Test century in just 119 balls which meant he smacked 84 runs in his 55 balls from the point he was at 16 (64).
Jonny Bairstow became the second player to score five or more hundreds in a calendar year batting at five or below after Michael Clarke did it in 2012. Thanks to the England batter’s 162 and 136 in the last two games against New Zealand, Bairstow is also the 15th England player to hit hundreds in three successive Tests.
A 119 balls to score this ton is also the fastest by any player to reach a hundred against India in Tests since January 2016. With 880 Test runs in 15 innings at an average of 67.7, Bairstow is now the leading run-scorer in 2022.
Fired up Siraj picked four crucial wickets
Mohammed Siraj has been excellent for India in this Test. Even though Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, India’s two opening new ball bowlers were putting pressure on England, India needed someone to support them too.
Siraj got rid of Joe Root on a personal score of 31 on Saturday evening with a short ball that shaped back a long way to take the edge of Root’s gloves as Rishabh Pant grabbed an easy catch behind the stumps. It was the first time Siraj had the better of the former England captain.
On the third morning, Siraj was hit to every corner of the ground by Bairstow before the pacer, in his comeback spell, sent back Stuart Broad on 1 with a bouncer that went sky high after taking the edge of the bat and died in the hands of Pant.
Further, Siraj’s hard work reaped just reward when a wobble seam delivery took the inside edge of Sam Billings’ bat and rattled the stumps to send him back on a personal score of 36 as England lost their ninth wicket.
Matthew Potts, just after smacking Siraj over deep mid-wicket for a clear six, edged one into the hands of Shreyas Iyer at second slip; the catch although grabbed some eyebrows and raised more questions on the soft signal given by the field umpires. Siraj finished with 4/66, in the process packing England for 284.
Gritty Pujara holds one end with 50*
Even after a decent amount of lead, India needed someone to hold one end specially after losing Shubman Gill early. Cheteshwar Pujara had been excellent in the second innings of the Test series with scores of 12*, 45, 91 and 61.
Leaving the odd boundaries that he was hitting over the backward point region or through the slip cordon with soft hands, Pujara was mostly leaving or defending the deliveries with full confidence.
Wickets were falling from the other end, but Pujara with a single in the last over of the day notched up his 33rd Test fifty in 139 balls and brought up a fifty-run partnership between him and Pant.
India extended their lead to 257 runs.
What to expect on Day 4
India will look to stretch their lead as much as they can especially after England’s chase in the last two games against New Zealand, while the hosts with few breakthroughs early in the morning will want to restrict the target below 350.