Edgbaston: Day three of any Test match sets the tempo of the game. The advantage is with India at stumps against England at Edgbaston at the end of the third day’s play. India got a sizeable lead of 132 after restricting the hosts to 284.
In the second innings, India scored 125 for 3, a lead of 257 with seven wickets in hand. Pujara and Pant are occupying the crease. The visitors have a tremendous opportunity to dictate from here.
On the third day, proceedings got underway with the attacking batting of the man in form, Bairstow. He scored another hundred, but during the period, India sent Stokes and Billings back into the hut, which swung the pendulum of the match in favour of India. Bairstow had to do all the work alone because wickets were falling at the other end.
All four pacers demonstrated skill on the easy-paced Edgbaston pitch. They kept maintaining their line and length. Apart from Baristow, other English batters failed to go ahead against the clever Indian speesters. Restricting England to less than 300 on this pitch is an achievement by the bowling side.
India’s batters were shaky at the beginning of the second innings, losing three wickets for just 75 on the board. But Pujara and Pant steadied the ship with a 50-run unbeaten stand.
In the recently concluded Test series, England comfortably chased 275+ against New Zealand. The hosts are not out of the match, but it will be a daunting task for them to return to this Test and series.
The Indian bowlers should be given credit for their accurate line and length and never allowed the English bowlers to settle down and knit a big partnership. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Shardul Thakur, never allowed the in-form English batters to open their arms freely.
The heated argument between Kohli and Bairstom raised the temperature on the field. “Shutup, just stand and bat,” Kohli said when Bairstow asked him to calm down. Everything settled down after the intervention of the umpires.
The fourth day is a do-or-die affair for both the teams. If India manages to score 350 to 375 runs in the second innings, then it is likely to be one-way traffic, which means India’s victory. But cricket is replete with uncertainty, and nothing can be said before the final result. India is in the driving seat at the moment.