At the stumps, India were 125 for 3 in their second innings with Cheteshwar Pujara (50 at bat, 139 balls) displaying his bold avatar with half a century, battling in the company of the flamboyant Rishabh Pants (30 batters, 46 balls). The overall lead was 257 runs.
It’s Stumps on day 3 of the Edgbaston test! @cheteshwar1 (50*) & @RishabhPant17 (30*) remain undefeated as… https://t.co/pUIl0Ys2W2
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1656871797000
However, the dismissals of Shubman Gill (4), Hanuma Vihari (11) and Virat Kohli (20) would make the visitors uneasy heading into the final day.
Day 3: How It Happened
Kohli, as usual, had the best performance of the whole third day of play when the rival skipper Ben Stokes had one to rear up and no hitter would have survived such a delivery with less than a split second of reaction time.
Kohli, who stood a good two feet outside the batting crease, literally put his best foot forward to defend from 17 yards while addressing the probing questions James Anderson kept asking but, for luck, that delivery outside the off-sump had his name written on it.
Pujara played her usual waiting game with the toe clips and the occasional boxy cut when provided in width. Pant, on the other hand, mixed caution with aggression and if there is an hour left on the fourth morning, he will completely turn the tables.
While India in recent years, having taken a lead of over 100 points, have never lost a Test match, the current England squad under Brendon McCullum’s “Bazball” (relentless attack) philosophy s is mocked by nearly 300 lawsuits.
India would like to score at least 275 in their second try and set England a target of at least 400 more in order to close the game.
Day three is considered an emotional day in Test cricket and things indeed moved at a blistering pace as England scored at 4.61 runs per over, thanks to the counterattack of Jonny Bairstow (106 on 140 balls) third hundred in as many games.
Bairstow was quick but brutal in his onslaught which earned him 14 limits and two sixes.
But, in keeping with India’s overseas scenario over the past two years, the troika of skipper Jaspreet Bumrah (3/68 in 19 overs), Mohammed Shami (2/78 in 22 overs) and Mohammed Siraj (4/ 66 in 11.3 overs) kept the pressure on to secure a massive lead of 132 carries.
Shardul Thakur (1/48) was taken to cleaners by Bairstow but his happy knack for picking up crucial wickets saw him dump Stokes (25) just when the 66 partnership looked dangerous.
Kohli sleds, Bairstow hammers
The morning session belonged to Bairstow (106 from 140 balls), who crushed the Indian attack after being largely trailed by Kohli.
Kohli had something to say to Bairstow about his ‘play and miss’ game and the England hitter was not one to take matters into his own hands.
Unstoppable Jonny 🚀#WTC23 | #ENGvIND https://t.co/MJzgr1OhNo
— ICC (@ICC) 1656853299000
After that altercation, Bairstow started changing his arms and played a lot of slick shots mid-stroke and clipped a few towards the boundary of the mid-wicket.
“Don’t push the bear that is Johnny Bairstow anymore please,” commentator Ian Bishop noted on Twitter while Virender Sehwag joked that Kohli forced Bairstow to transform from “Pujara to Pant.”
Bairstow, who looked to be struggling for the final hour of day two, played and missed the first 20 minutes of the morning.
But once Bumrah continued with the offensive field, he had plenty of options in front of the wicket.
While Thakur got Stokes’ prized scalp, Bairstow meted out severe punishment with a ramp shot followed by a square drive.
There was also a royal pickup for maximum bowling from Siraj.
There were two more sixes on Thakur’s bowling as the morning session belonged to England before India made their comeback in the next one.
Bumrah creates the pressure, Siraj reaps the reward
Once Bairstow crushed Shardul Thakur (1/48 from 7 overs) from cover to end his 11th Test century with 119 balls and third in as many games, he suddenly went into a shell.
Skipper Jasprit Bumrah (3/68 in 19 overs), who had a dream game as an individual performer, cast a probing spell, batting the bat time and time again.
In the next 20 balls, Bairstow managed just six runs after his mayhem that saw him get 14 limits and two sixes.
Bottled by Bumrah, Bairstow had no choice but to try an expansive drive when a fuller delivery was thrown on Shami’s fourth stump line. The resulting thick edge was smartly taken by a leaping Kohli, who made amends for his unnecessary engagement with the batter.
After the 92 run Bairstow-Sam Billings (36) stand was completed, Siraj played fast and fast to secure the remaining three wickets for the addition of another 43 runs.
You Can Read Also