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India v England, 3rd Test, Day 3 Review: India in firm control of the match

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Joe Root (36*) took charge of the proceedings and guided England through the end of the session pretty smoothly after off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin shook the English top order with regular strikes. It was a toilsome day for the visitors who were made to bowl for two full sessions before getting a chance to bat.

The Indian lower formed by the – Ravichandran Ashwin (70), Ravindra Jadeja (90) and Jayant Yadav (55) – batted pretty stubbornly and left the bowling side in with sore feet. All these efforts saw gain a healthy 134 run lead leaving England with a huge task of getting at least 350-400 runs in the second innings to stay in the contest and not let India run away with the match easily.

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India finished at solid 354/7 at lunch on day three after Ravindra Jadeja took over the mantle from Ravichandran Ashwin and led the lower order fightback. The session was a highly productive one, yielding 83 runs at the cost of just one wicket.

Ashwin, who walked back with yet another fifty registered to his name at stumps yesterday, was the only casualty. The off-spinner lost his wicket in the 95th over to Ben Stokes after been able to add only 15 runs to his overnight score of 57 and returned with 72 against his name.

After experiencing a late slump in the last session where India lost three wickets for just 8 runs, India resuming batting on a 271/6, still 12 runs away from England’s total. While overhauling the deficit didn’t seem like a concern but gaining a considerable amount of lead was the matter which would have lingered in the minds of the Indians.

However, Ravindra Jadeja (72*) continued from where Ashwin left and along with Jayant Yadav (26*) helped India end with a healthy 71 run advantage at the break. Jaddu, whilst fighting it out for the team, also ended up with his career high score and looks well-set to reach his maiden Test century if he continues to bat with the same command.

Ben Stokes put an end to a highly frustrating time by getting up the last two Indian batsmen while Rashid snapped the all-important wicket of Ravindra Jadeja to end India’s innings for 417 at tea. Stokes completed yet another five-wicket haul.

The post-lunch session began with a heartbreak for Jadeja as he lost his wicket leg-spinner, Rashid just ten runs short of his maiden Test century. Stokes then endured a few frustrating moments before picking up Jayant Yadav and Umesh Yadav to end with 5/73.

Post tea break, the Indian spinners came back with the ball continued to have a level of dominance over the opposition, starting with Ravichandran Ashwin who snapped two big wickets, that of Alastair Cook and Moeen Ali to hurt the batting side’s response.

These two wickets, which fell in quick succession after a sort of stable start, were heavy setbacks as England were already forced to start without with their regular opener Haseeb Hameed who was dropped down the order to a sore finger for which he is supposed to undergo scans after the match.

New opening pair Cook and Joe Root certainly had no plans to rush and were pretty happy with their defensive approach. They faced no problem initially and continued to do well until Ashwin broke through the defence of the Cook in the 14th over. Cook rarely misjudges a spinner and his success in India speaks for the mentioned claim.

However, what happened off the last ball in the 14th over was an exception. Cook, drawn forward by a good length delivery, could not judge the amount of turn and left a slight gap between his bat and pad to let the ball sneak through and disturb the stumps. Three overs later, Ali also fell victim leaving England two down.

Bairstow looked promising yet again and took the innings further with Root for a brief time before lost his wicket to Jayant Yadav. Ashwin continued his spell and struck again in the last over of the day with the wicket of Ben Stokes to give a perfect ending to the highly satisfying day of cricket for India. Root meanwhile returned to the pavilion with a dissatisfied look after failing find a stable partner.

Brief Scores: 

England: 283 all out (Jonny Bairstow 89; Mohammad Shami 3/63) & 78/4 (Joe Root 36*; R Ashwin 3/19)

India: 417 all out (Ravindra Jadeja 90; Ben Stokes 5/73)

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