India vs England, 2nd Test, Day 3: Bowlers toil for India, England take 27-run lead
Stumps: England 391 (Root 180*, Bairstow 57, Siraj 4-94, Ishant 3-69) lead India 364 (Rahul 129, Anderson 5-62) by 27 runs
The India-England 2nd Test which stood interestingly poised before start of play on Day 3 quickly turned to a 'raga of runs' as England batted all day to overtake India’s first innings score by 27runs. Building the innings from 119/3 on Day 2, England finished the Day 3 at 391/10 with 27 runs lead. A most satisfying day in terms of batting for England this entire summer courtesy English skipper, Joe Root's sublime form.
Joe Root scores nearly half of England's runs
Joe Root seemingly collecting centuries like gaming cards, accumulated another 100 (second of the series and 5th one this year) with relative ease. A notch above the rest, honing the mindset to contribute each time he’s on the field, watched the ball well playing off tight sessions and making the most of deliveries bowled in his areas.
He went on to hit big, contributing 180 runs and playing a mammoth 321 balls across the two days to remain not out until the end of the innings. Bairstow hit a crucial half century, 57 (107) batting through the first session while Moeen Ali hit 27 off 72 before India restricted the opposition on the back of a few consecutive wickets to bowl them out.
With this century, Joe Root completes his 9000 test runs as well. Now, he stands second to Alastair Cook for all time English record. Joe Root becomes fastest player to score 9000 runs in Test cricket among English cricketers. He achieved this milestone in just 196 Test innings and he broke the record of Alastair Cook achieved it in 204 Test innings.
Read More: Joe Root surpasses Graham Gooch, becomes second-highest English run-getter
England won first two session
Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, carried the momentum into the third day with positive shot making from the get-go. India although hoping to get their wickets early, struggled to find the right line in the first spell. With the ease of playing being high, batsmen gathered flow on a relatively flat wicket offering sparse help to bowlers against the set batsmen.
Lunch was called after 97 runs were added by England at no loss of wickets. Root and Bairstow stitched a 121-run partnership through sensible play: defending the good balls along with capitalizing on the easy scoring opportunities on the leg coming far too often.
India's field placements left much to be desired
For India, the day encompassed a series of questionable decisions wrapped in missed opportunities - Trying to find the right balance to set defensive yet challenging fields, not starting the day with Jasprit Bumrah, Shami’s off-colour bowling undermining the importance of bowling partnerships, underutilizing Jadeja until the latter half post tea but most of all, giving singles to sloppy fielding and catches repetitively falling wide or short of slips.
While running between the wickets throughout the England’s innings deserves a round of applause, the 33 extras conceded by India as form of no balls and over throws need to be highly scrutinized.
Short ball ploy gets Bairstow
Post Lunch, Mohammed Siraj bowled short attacking bouncers with the aim to conceal runs with the hopes of inducing a batsman into playing a false shot. Bairstow falling right into India’s plan’s got out at 57 right before the new ball was due. Jos Buttler the next batsmen in, made a handy 23 before being bowled by Ishant Sharma.
Read More: India vs England 2nd Test, Day 2 Highlights
Ishant gives double break, Siraj takes 4/94
Shaking off his rustiness, Ishant Sharma came back strong taking 2 consecutive wickets in form of Moeen Ali and Sam Curran.
Siraj ended the day taking four wickets for 94 runs, bowling fiery spells with high energy and bringing his all on the field. Ravindra Jadeja who bowled late on day 3 found the ball getting spin off the surface, which may result to be a crucial factor going into the last two days.
What lies ahead
With England 27 ahead, India find themselves in an awkward position. Diminished by their accustomed advantage held over the first 2 days, they need to construct an innings from scratch.
England, sitting at a vantage point hold the cards going into the last 2 days. India would look to bat out the fourth day. All three results are probable.
Read More: India vs England 2nd Test, Day 1 Highlights