In the aftermath of India's defeat in the third Test, former Indian Test opener Sunil Gavaskar has asserted that losing seven wickets in the space of 54 minutes is very hard to accept. He also reckoned that once India lost their top three batsmen, it was clear that they wouldn't survive long.
With Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli set in the middle, expectations were ripe for a big show from the duo and the other middle-order batters when a bright sunny day welcomed India on day four of the Leeds Test. However, Pujara was back to the hut even before adding a run to his overnight score of 91. Virat Kohli, who had played some mesmerising strokes in his innings and looked set to cross the three-figure mark for the first time since 2019, also followed in the footsteps of Pujara and soon fell for 55. Ajinkya Rahane was the next batsman to fall with a deja-vu of the first innings collapse looming large.
However, the Indian fans hoped for a fighting display from the left-handed duo of Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja, given they have bailed out India from tough situations in the past. But that was not to be as Pant also perished for 1, continuing his sub-par run in the series. And from 215-2, India were reduced to 239 for 6, before Jadeja showed some resistance to propel India to 278. But, that didn't have much impact on the outcome of the game, with India losing the Test by an innings and 76 runs.
Reflecting on India's poor batting display in the third Test, Indian cricket expert Sunil Gavaskar reckoned that such a collapse is hard to fathom. He also reckoned that once India's top-order was dismissed, it was inevitable for the Virat Kohli-led India to fold out quickly.
"It was. When you have a look at what we have got at 8,9,10, and 11, we did have some rearguard action at Lord's, where England lost the plot more than anything else. Once the top three batsmen fell, it was clear we (India) were not going to survive for too long. By any stretch of the imagination, in 54 minutes for 7 wickets to fall is a little bit hard to take," Gavaskar said on Sony, reported India Today.
After three Tests, the series is levelled at 1-1 with two Tests remaining. India and England will now lock horns at the Oval on September 2.