After three days of taxing cricket, England are on top following an underwhelming display by the Indians with the bat. Cheteshwar Pujara’s cautious stay along with Rishabh Pant’s counter-attacking exploits were the only positives for India as Jofra Archer and Dominic Bess ran through the batting line-up.
Resuming their pursuit for a dreamy 600 run first innings total, England survived for 10 more overs in the first session before being bowled out for 578 with Bumrah and Ashwin picking up the final wickets.
While the pitch showed some signs in favour of the bowler, it was reckless batting which caused India’s doom. Jofra Archer struck twice in the first session to dismiss both the openers. Rohit Sharma edged one to Jos Buttler and Shubman Gill failed to make the most of a brisk start.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli stood firm until lunch for the hosts. Dominic Bess’ traditional old school off-spin came into play in the second session. A soft dismissal sealed the end of Virat Kohli, extending his dismal run in the longest format.
In his very next over, Bess managed to remove the vice-captain as well. While Kohli’s dismissal involved a mix of drift, bounce and turn, Rahane managed to hit a full toss to the cover region, where Root took a stunning one-handed catch.
Stuck at 73-4, India were at a precautions situation and miles behind England’s total. Much like the Australian tour, it was Rishabh Pant and Pujara who stepped up with a crucial stand.
Pujara’s monk-like temperament combined with Pant’s counter-attacking instinct gave birth to a 119-run stand. The partnership was broken following an unlucky dismissal of Pujara.
Batting on 73, the batsman aimed to dispatch a loose short delivery by Bess, but the ball hit Ollie Pope’s shoulder on the way which prompted the ball to loop up straight into Rory Burns’ hands at short midwicket.
Rishabh Pant was stuck in his nineties once again as he went for one shot too many in the end. His wild slog off Bess came off wrong, bringing an end to his innings at 91.
Washington Sundar and Ravichandran Ashwin played out the remaining overs and have stitched an unbeaten 34-run stand, ending the day at 257-6.
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