India conceded easy wickets on a pitch which was conducive for batting © Getty Images
England continued to dominate for third straight day at Southampton as Indians squandered an opportunity to bat long in the ongoing third Test. Devarchit Varma brings the highlights from the third day.
It has been a very long time that England have been seen dominating in Test cricket. Since the Ashes series at their home last year they have been on a downfall. However, with three straight dominating days at Southampton, England seem to be back on track. Their bowlers were impressive enough, but thanks to poor shot selection by the Indian batsmen, England seized control of this Test match.
The day started with India resuming at 25 for one. They were expected to revel on this flat deck having all their batting firepower in the playing XI, but it was England who ended the play being completely in command. Let’s take a look at the highlights of the third day’s play:
Stuart Broad’s early burst: Late on the second day when England came on to bowl, the commentators mentioned that Stuart Broad might not be 100 per cent fit for the third Test. But Broad was named in the playing XI and he started off well as well. It was on the third day morning when the lanky pacer was seen doing what he does the best – bowling fast and troubling the batsmen with his bouncers. The delivery off which he got rid of Cheteshwar Pujara was a terrific one.
India’s faltering big guns: Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan have had disappointing outings in England so far. While the out-of-form English batsmen such as Alastair Cook and Ian Bell made merry on the benign track for batting in Southampton, Indian batsmen’s poor shot selection ended in their dismissal. While Murali Vijay chopped one into his stumps, Virat Kohli chase one outside the off-stump, Rohit Sharma got out to a reckless stroke and Ajinkya Rahane as well, who had batted brilliantly for his 54. It was surprising to see so many batsmen going for strokes when it was not needed and executing them all poorly.
England keep winning session after session: They say, one session can change the entire scenario in the match. But so far in the third Test, England have won all the nine sessions. They batted cautiously, did not give anything to the Indians and were disciplined in the shot selection. India, on the other hand, have been a little complacent giving away too much of width and proved that they are not the side that can dominate on a longer run. What transpired at Lord’s was something different all together, but so far in all three days India have looked a different side completely.
Ravindra Jadeja’s blitz: The Indian all-rounder looked like a man on a mission for as long as he was at the crease. He somewhat made mockery of James Anderson-led pace attack when England were issued the second new ball. Against Anderson, Jadeja even danced down the track and played a couple of spectacular strokes through the covers. India would certainly have liked few more quick runs by Jadeja, had he been dismissed by Anderson with the second new ball.
Sunny days? When sun is out in England, they say batting conditions becomes a lot easier. England enjoyed some of it at Lord’s and also in Southampton. But when Indians got their turn, they proved the notion entirely wrong. The shot selection was horrific and none among their famed batsmen could put his hands up to lead the side in troubled times.
India scored 298 runs despite losing so many wickets on the third day. This implies that the wicket is still favouring the batsmen and there is a lot of hard work left for both the sides if there is a possibility of any result.
Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014
(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)