Day 3 of the 3rd test began just the way India hoped for. The Indian seamers didn’t let the “tail wag” as they got the two wickets in the first 15 minutes itself. Shami and Bumrah looked perfect from the first ball itself though there was an odd Ravindra Jadeja over in between. The last wicket was a delight to watch as Bumrah bowled out Ollie Robinson.
Rahul and Rohit saw off the new ball well but Rahul looked scratchy for the most part of his innings. Eventually, Rahul nicked off a ball to the first slip just before the stroke of lunch. The second session saw Rohit notch up a gritty half-century. Meanwhile, Pujara batted with a positive approach at the start of the innings. That’s a brave statement from India’s No. 3. In fact, during the duo’s partnership of 78 runs, Pujara contributed 40 with a strike rate even better than that of the “Hitman”.. Rohit did lose his wicket in the second over after tea but he had done his part well. He set up an excellent platform for Captain Kohli. And then the session saw some absolutely flawless batting from the duo of Pujara and Kohli, who were lacking runs for a long time. The experienced duo stood up to the task just when Team India needed it the most.
With the conditions not as threatening as the opening day, Pujara and Kohli hardly looked flustered at the crease. Since the light was fading, the duo scored some easy runs off the spinners in the second half of the final session. Now the prime question arises. Can India’s middle-order continue the good work? Two days are left in the test and the hosts are still in the driver’s seat. And with the new ball coming in tomorrow, the English team must be expecting quick wickets. If India dominates Day 4 too, then we surely are in for a rollercoaster of a game.
Pleasantly Suprised to see Pujara play attacking cricket: Zaheer Khan
Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan lauded Pujara’s performance on Day 3. The 42-year-old said, “Pujara went against the flow of pressure that the English pacers were trying to create. His strategy was brilliant and is an extremely positive sign which says that I am here to score too.”
He further added, “Usually, the bowlers have their own strategy in mind against each particular batsman. But due to Pujara playing attacking cricket, created pressure on the bowlers. And Pujara deserves praise for trying different gameplay and executing it so brilliantly.
Zaheer concluded, “The most positive thing was that India didn’t give any wicket in the 3rd session. This changes the momentum of the match. If Pujara and Kohli hold out for another session, situations will drastically change in India’s favor.”