London, August 12: England ended Day 3 with a massive 250 run lead over India. At stumps, England had already scored 357 and still had 4 wickets in hand. India put up a relatively insipid bowling performance and could take only 6 wickets over the entire day’s play.
Chris Woakes (120 not out) and Jonny Bairstow (93) led the England reply and easily overhauled India’s modest first innings total.
Earlier, India’s pacers combined to reduce England to 89 for 4 and then, 131 for 5 before the fightback by Woakes and Bairstow. Mohammed Shami, who took the wickets of Keaton Jennings, Joe Root, and Jos Buttler, led the Indian attack with 3 wickets while Hardik Pandya (2 wickets – Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow) and Ishant Sharma (1 wicket – Alastair Cook) were also among the wickets.
Later, Hardik Pandya said that the lack of assistance for bowlers during the sessions after lunch was the main cause of England’s fine batting display.
“Today the conditions were different. When we bowled today, there was proper sunlight. The wicket was the ideal one, which we would have expected on the first day. But because of the conditions, the pitch started doing a lot.”
“Nothing happened (after lunch) today. That was the problem. As a bowling unit, we tried but all of a sudden the ball stopped swinging and they Woakes and (Jonny) Bairstow took the game away,” Pandya explained at the end of the day’s play.
“It happens; I’ve seen in Tests. You get four or five wickets quickly and then you get one partnership. Even with our batting line-up, it has happened many times. It’s just a part of the game,” Pandya said.