Jos Buttler announced himself with a quick-fire 85 on debut © Getty Images
Jos Buttler announced himself with a quick-fire 85 on debut © Getty Images

By Shiamak Unwalla

Jul 28, 2014

India finished on 25 for one at stumps on Day Two of the third Test against England at Southampton. Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan came out to open the innings as usual, and as usual Dhawan was dismissed early by James Anderson. Cheteshwar Pujara and Vijay managed to survive some probing overs to go to Day Three.

England were in a very secure position as they declared their innings at 569 for seven. Big knocks from Alastair Cook, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, and Jos Buttler helped England pile on the runs. Buttler scored a fifty on Test debut in the third Test between India and England at Southampton, thereby becoming only the eighth English wicketkeeper-batsman to achieve the landmark on Test debut. After a fidgety start, Buttler overcame his nerves to compile an aggressive half-century. The innings came at a time when England were struggling to score quickly.

Ian Bell was dismissed for 167, caught by Pankaj Singh off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, moments after Jos Buttler celebrated a fifty on Test debut in the third Test between India and England at Southampton. Earlier, Bell helped England to 452 for five, as he scored his 21st Test hundred and fourth against India. He brought up his ton with a six and followed it up with a couple of fours and another six off the next three balls to accelerate an otherwise slow day for England.

Moeen Ali was once again dismissed trying to pull a short ball and was caught very well by Ajinkya Rahane, diving across the fielder at first slip. This was another failure by Moeen to deal with a short ball, and another wicket for Bhuvneshwar Kumar. After being largely lackluster throughout the day, Bhuvneshwar had earlier produced an innocuous delivery outside off stump, but Joe Root poked at it and produced the edge to wicketkeeper MS Dhoni.

Earlier, The part-time off-spin of Rohit Sharma produced the key wicket of Gary Ballance at the stroke of lunch to provide some respite for India after they were sent on a leather hunt for the better part of a session. Ballance got to his highest Test score as well, when he went past 110 — which he scored against India at Lord’s in the second Test of the ongoing series. He got to his maiden Test 150 in the process — the first time anyone had reached the landmark at the Aegas Bowl. Ballance was unlucky to be dismissed — for 156 — as the ball struck the pad rather than the bat as he was given out caught behind by MS Dhoni.

Bhuvneshwar and Pankaj Singh started things off on Day Two. There were a few balls that went past the bat, but for the most part, it was easy going for the batsmen. Even the introduction of Mohammed Shami did not change things, as Ian Bell and Gary Ballance put together a hundred-run partnership as England got well and truly ahead in the first session.

Brief scores:

England 569 for 7 decl. (Alastair Cook 95, Gary Ballance 156, Ian Bell 167; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3 for 101, Ravindra Jadeja 2 for 153) lead India 25 for 1 (Murali Vijay 11*, Cheteshwar Pujara 4*) by 544 runs.

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(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)