Nottingham: Indian seamers led by Ishant Sharma pegged England back with some incisive seam and swing bowling reducing the hosts to 352 for nine at stumps to gain upperhand on the third day of the first cricket Test, here today.
England currently are 105 runs behind India’s first innings score of 457 with two days of play remaining.
At stumps, Joe Root (78 batting) is battling it out in company of last man Jimmy Anderson (23 batting) having added 54 runs for the unbroken stand.
England were in a comfortable position at 131 for one with the young duo of Gary Ballance (71) and Sam Robson (59) helping themselves to well-made half-centuries but things took a different turn in the post-lunch session, when they lost six wickets for 74 runs.
While it was Ishant (3/109), who rocked the top-order with three quick dismissal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s (4/61) controlled swing bowling decimated the lower-middle order although a couple of debatable decisions went in home team’s favour. The third pacer of the troika, Mohammed Shami (2/98) added a scalp to his yesterday’s wicket of Alastair Cook.
England however redeemed themselves in the final session from a precarious 205 for seven mainly due to Root’s (78 batting) responsible effort with the tailenders that got them 147 runs in the final session with the loss of two wickets.
Apart from his stand with Anderson, Root also shared a 78-run eighth wicket partnership with all-rounder Stuart Broad who smashed 47 off 42 balls with nine fours.
While England scored 309 runs in the 89 overs of play possible on the day, credit must be given to the Indian seamers for the manner they made the most on a lifeless track where the ball didn’t do much for the better part.
The spell by Ishant in the post-lunch session was one of the best he had bowled in recent times where he was nippy as well as getting movement off the pitch on both sides. While Robson may feel hard done as there was an inside edge to the incoming delivery, the ones he bowled to get left-hander Ballance and seasoned Ian Bell (25) reminded one and all of his time in Australia during the 2007-08 series.