Ind vs Eng 1st Test Day 3 Highlights : India fancied their chances of drawing the first test at Rajkot by batting solidly on the crucial third day’s play to take their score to 319 for 4 in reply to England’s 537.
Owing to centuries from opener Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara, India now are only 218 runs behind the visitors’ first innings total.
However, it was a good comeback from England, taking two wickets just before the close to lift their spirits.
At stumps on Friday evening, India have Skipper Virat Kohli on 26 not out, waiting for a new batsman to join him the next day morning.
Resuming the third day’s play at 63 for 0, the hosts lost their first wicket in the second over of the day as Stuart Broad with his very first ball had Gautam Gambhir lbw for 29 with a full delivery that swung in. Gambhir with an open stance got into a real tangle, falling across and missing a ball that stayed low to give Broad his first wicket of his 100th test.
Check out the Ind vs Eng 1st Test Day 3 Highlights here.
Above: Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay photo
India recovered after that early blow even though Cheteshwar Pujara had his troubles, getting hit thrice by Chris Woakes bouncers around middle, twice on the helmet and once on the shoulder.
By lunch, India was safely through at 162 for 1 in 50 overs with both Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara scoring half centuries.
In the afternoon session, England missed out on a big moment when a diving Haseeb Hameed dropped a catch to his left at short extra covers off an uppish drive from Murali Vijay in Stuart Broad’s bowling.
India eased to tea at 228 for 1 in 79 overs with both the batsmen moving towards their centuries.
On either side of the tea break, both Pujara and Vijay survived lbw scares thanks to the extra bounce in the pitch. First was Pujara to an armer from Zafar Ansari that got an lbw from Umpire Chris Gaffaney but only to be upheld because of the height.
Later, Murali Vijay got away when a googly from Adil Rashid was also bouncing over the top of the stumps.
The 28-year-old Pujara was the first to get to his century, his ninth hundred in 39 Tests while Murali Vijay followed him with his seventh test century in 43 matches.
Their partnership was finally broken when England Skipper Alastair Cook held on to a sharp catch at slip when Pujara edged a cut shot off Ben Stokes. Pujara finished with 124 from 206 balls with 17 fours in a second wicket stand of 209.
By the end of the day’s play, England struck twice in the space of four deliveries. Murali Vijay failed to pick an Adil Rashid googly which spun in sharply with bounce to force a glove to shortleg.
Vijay walked off with a score of 126 from 301 balls with 9 fours and four beautiful lofted shots off the spinners for maximum. It was Murali Vijay’s seventh test century in 43 matches.
In the last over of the day’s play, three balls after his exit, night watchman Amit Mishra was caught at shortleg again by debutant Haseeb Hameed, this time off an arm ball from left-armer Zafar Ansari.