Ind v Eng 3rd Test: Pujara & Rohit leads India fightback as Eng face strong resistance
The much maligned Cheteshwar Pujara has answered his critics in no uncertain terms as he played a magnificent innings following Rohit’s start and while Kohli has looked good too, India has managed to put the ghosts of the first innings away by reaching 215/2 in the 2nd innings before play was called off for bad light. India thus gets another day to fight to salvage the test.
Earlier Indian bowlers Shami and Bumrah ensured that England doesn’t put many more runs by getting the last two wickets in quick succession. Overton(32) was lbw to Shami and Robinson bowled by Bumrah as England ended at 432 all out. A huge first-innings lead of 354.
India started steadily but at 34 /0, Rahul just before lunch nicked Overton to slips to be out for an uncomfortable 8 runs after scratching around for 54 balls.
However, Rohit looked in sublime touch playing everything to its merits. Added 82 priceless runs with Pujara who stepped out with an unnaturally attacking mindset. Both the batters handled the swing very well in overcast conditions. In that partnership, it was Pujara who was playing aggressively and played several good backfoot shots on the offside in particular. Rohit too played some sparkling shots from time to time including an uppercut for 6. A sublime straight drive but finally, after tea, he was lbw to Overton for 59. Rohit went for DRS but the verdict was umpires call and so since he was given originally out by the on-field umpire he had to go. Ind v Eng 3rd Test: Pujara & Rohit leads India fightback as Eng face strong resistance .
Virat Kohli came in and looked in good touch. Played a few trademark cover drives but was leaving well outside off as the England bowlers were probing him outside off line . Pujara kept on scoring. This was a type of innings he should be playing more often whereby he was scoring more freely. Rotating the strike and hitting boundaries off loose balls. Together Kohli (45*)and Pujara(91*) added an unbeaten 99 for the 2nd wicket. When play was called off for bad light as Root decided to bring his fast bowlers. After bowling several overs of spin in dim light. India at close on day 2 was 215/2, still 139 behind. But the belief has come back into the team to salvage something positive out of this test.
Pujara was the hero of the day. Several “gun barrels” of the critics were pointed at him today as he came out to bat. Those guns should be giving him 21 “gun salutes” as he returned unconquered on 91.
For England Anderson was subdued today. Overton and Robinson bowled several good spells.
India will have to face the challenge of 2nd new ball right at the start of the 4th day. If they are able to counter it well, England will be worried. Thus this test is poised interestingly as we approach the 4th day.
India 78 & 215/2 Pujara 91* , Rohit 59, Kohli 45*
England 431 Root 121 , Malan 70 , Shami 4/95