India fighting to avoid follow-on against relentless England in 1st Test!
Galatta | Feb 07, 2021, 07:12 pm
England started Day 3 of the first Test in Chennai on a very positive note, despite being 8 Wickets down. With a massive score on board, the English tail wagged and India took the final two Wickets with Bumrah taking out Dom Bess with the new ball, before Ashwin cleaned up Anderson with the third new ball! England had reached a dominant 578 and India had their task cut out. The openers were required to put up a strong start but Jofra Archer ensured that did not happen. He got Rohit Sharma in the 4th over for a paltry 6 runs, edging to keeper Buttler. Just as Gill and Pujara began rebuilding the innings, Archer returned to get Gill for 29 in the 10th over, with Anderson taking a superb diving catch. A lot rested on returning Captain Kohli and Pujara now but spinner Dom Bess had different thoughts as he got Kohli cheaply for just 11 runs, to yet another sharp catch this time by Pope.
India were 71/3 in less than 25 Overs before the dependable Rahane joined Pujara but today was not that sort of a day as Joe Root showed off his abilities in the field to take a one-handed catch off Bess's bowling to send back Rahane for 1! Even before the Indian innings took off, they were 73/4 with almost all the recognised batsmen back in the hut, leaving Pant at the crease with Pujara! Pant decided that enough was enough and began taking the attack to the English bowlers and teed off in his inimitable style! Pant played a chanceless innings to reach an attacking half-century while Pujara played in his traditional style to reach there. Pant took a special liking to Jack Leach, smacking him all around the ground for an innings which had a total of nine fours and five sixes. However, Dom Bess returned to take out both the set batsmen, Pant for 91 and Pujara for 73, leaving India staring at a massive deficit.
The local boys - R Ashwin and Washington Sundar came up with yet another rearguard effort to play out almost 20 Overs between them. They ended the day without giving the England bowlers any further wickets. India went to stumps on Day 3 at 257 for the loss of 6 Wickets, trailing England by 321 runs. India's tail have to put up a strong show on Day 4 and need atleast another 122 runs to avoid being asked to follow-on! Does the Indian tail have it in them to avoid the follow-on and ask the English batsmen to come out to the crease again. The Wicket has deteriorated enough to provide uneven bounce for the bowlers who put in the effort and the English bowlers are highly capable of taking 14 Indian Wickets in 6 sessions, if the Indians do not avoid the follow on! We will have to wait for the first two sessions of Day 4 to see if this Test goes England's way or if the Indians can show some of the resolve they showed on their recent tour to Australia and manage a draw! Stay tuned for updates...