India vs England | Hosts set for early win after England crumble in second innings

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© Official FB - Indian cricket team

India vs England | Hosts set for early win after England crumble in second innings

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SportsCafe Desk


Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant Yadav led India to a 100+ lead on Day 3 of the third Test as the lower order outdid the Indian top order to end the first innings at 417 runs. Batting next, England lost four wickets, three to R Ashwin's wily bowling, to end the day at 78/4, still 56 runs behind India.

Brief scores : England 283 (Bairstow 88, Buttler 43, Shami 3/63, Jayant Yadav 2/49) and 78/4 ( Root 36*, Ashwin 3/19) vs India 271/6 ( Jadeja 90, Ashiwn 72, Stokes 5/73, Rashid 4/118)

Jadeja-Jayant take India to good lead

Resuming the innings from 271/6 on day 3, Ashwin and Jadeja took India past England's mark very soon. Off the first ball of the morning itself, Ashwin played a flick to the square-leg fence. Some time later, Jadeja struck a beautiful punch through covers and then a lofted drive over mid-off to make clear the team’s attacking intent.

But the joy was short-lived. Ben Stokes brought in a short cover, point, and gully to lure Ashwin to drive, and then dropped a slightly slower delivery around the off-stump that held its line. Ashwin went for the flashy drive, only to be gobbled up by Jos Buttler at Point. Buttler had his 50th catch of his career and co-incidentally the first without the gloves. 

After the dismissal of Ashwin, India continued to score runs as Ravindra Jadeja notched up his 3rd Test fifty of his career. This fifty was much more different than the previous ones as Jadeja stayed calm against short balls and wide balls alike. He celebrated his milestone in his typical style by wielding his bat like a sword, grinning from one ear to the other. 

Jayant Yadav, who was playing only his second Test of his career, showed his class again by hitting James Anderson down the ground and through cover for boundaries before hitting a handsome straight drive off Woakes.  

India went into lunch with the scoreboard reading 354/7 with a 53-run stand between Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant Yadav.

Resuming after lunch, Jadeja and Jayant slowly collected runs to add to India's lead. The eight over after lunch, however, suddenly saw Jadeja erupt. The batsman clobbered Woakes for a hat-trick of boundaries off the first three balls forcing the bowler to come over the wicket. But that too did not work as Jadeja sent him to the ropes off the last ball to reach 89. But that aggression soon led to his dismissal as the batsman holed out at long-on off Rashid, ironically caught by Woakes.

Jayant Yadav though carried on the good work, and in the company of the patient Umesh Yadav who took 18 balls to get off the mark, he brought up India's 400 and soon his fifty.

Soon, Stokes accounted for both the players bringing India's innings to an end at 417.

England crumble early

After having let the Indian lower order take away their advantage, England really needed its batsmen to come through. Even a 150+ target could pose real problems for India on the fifth-day track.

Instead of the young Haseeb Hameed, who has apparent issues with his finger injury, Joe Root came in to open the innings alongside Alastair Cook. The England captain started with an emphatic drive in the second over, but was troubled time and again once the spinners came in.

Cook escaped the noose twice in as many overs – first in the 8th over, when India reviewed a not-out decision off Jadeja, and then when England reviewed to reverse an lbw given off Ashwin. The Indian offie, however, had the final say leaving no room for any reviews. Four overs after the reviews, he snuck one through bat and pad as Cook looked to have played for non-existent spin and took off the bails.

Moeen Ali, who came in next, looked patient enough as he collected singles one by one and saw out the rest with solid defence. But, his impatience got the better of him. The batsman came down the track for a premeditated slog, but Ashwin quickly adjusted his half-volley and pitched the ball short to induce a flailing shot off Ali that was easily pouched at mid-on. Outmaneuvered smartly by Ashwin!

Coming in, Jonny Bairstow managed to ward off Ashwin and Jadeja and the duo put on some runs to take England past the 50-mark. At 33, Root survived a vociferous appeal after Mohammad Shami's inswinger struck him on the thigh before looping over to the slips. It showed just how much India wanted Root's wicket, as he stood tall amid all the ruins around. However, Bairstow returned to the pavilion soon after a wonderful low catch by Parthiv Patel off Jayant Yadav's bowling.

England suffered their fourth blow in the last over of the day with Ben Stokes falling to R Ashwin. India finally appear to be getting a hang of the DRS – Stokes was originally given not out after the ball had rapped him on the pad, but the review showed that the ball was clipping the top of the off-stump and England were reduced to 78/4. Although India wanted to test the batsmen for another over, Joe Root's fervent appeals found a taker as the umpire called it a day off to finally end England's misery.

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