India vs England: Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah star as Team India wrap up Trent Bridge Test
It took a maverick and the commander to lead the way at Trent Bridge for the world’s top Test playing nation to get back to winning ways on English soil. Hardik Pandya’s maiden five-wicket haul and Virat Kohli’s gritty 23rd Test century laid the foundation of a 203-run win over England in the third Test in Nottingham.
The victory sets up the series perfectly with India reducing the deficit to 2-1. The legendary Donald Bradman’s Australia are the only team to have come back from two Tests down to win a series and Kohli’s men have begun chasing that dream.
Victory came in the first session of the fifth day as the Indian bowlers took all ten English wickets and bundled the hosts out for 317. England were 23 for no loss at the end of the third day but the writing was on the wall for Joe Root and his men after India declared their second innings on 352/7, setting England an almost improbable target of 521 runs to win the match and wrap up the series.
India’s batsmen were under scrutiny after the abject surrender at Lord’s and once Joe Root decided to field first after winning the toss under cloudy conditions in Nottingham, it seemed like another meek Indian surrender was to follow. But the opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan (35) and KL Rahul (23) showed character and put on 60 runs for the first wicket.
India were in a spot of bother when Cheteshwar Pujara was dismissed at the stroke of lunch on the first day, but skipper Virat Kohli (97) and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (81) decided to take the bull by the horn. The duo added 159 runs for the fourth wicket to put India in control.
While Kohli played the watchful game, Rahane, who has been woefully short of runs in the longest format , decided to play his strokes freely. The duo dominated the English bowlers and India’s batting looked in control for the first time in the series. The visitors folded for 329 early on the second day.
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England needed a good start from their shaky openers and the pair of Alastair Cook (29) and Keaton Jennings (20) showed promise by adding 54 for the first wicket. But Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah accounted for the two openers and it all started going downhill thereafter for the hosts. India’s seamers were making the cherry talk and it was Hardik Pandya who broke the back of England’s batting with a maiden five-wicket haul.
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Pandya, who had faced a lot of criticism for his performance with the ball in the first two Tests, made good use of the conditions and picked up the key wickets of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow. He later came back to finish off the tail as England were bowled out for 161. India taking a 168-run lead.
England needed its bowlers to strike early in the second innings but the duo of Dhawan (44) and Rahul (36) thwarted their attempts by putting up a 60-run opening stand. India needed its top order to consolidate the lead and Cheteshwar Pujara finally put his hand up. Pujara’s dogged defence combined with Virat Kohli’s strokeful elegance set the platform for a big lead for the tourists on the third day. By the time England broke the 113-run stand with Pujara being dismissed for 72, India’s lead was nearing 400.
Kohli made the most of his purple patch to register his 23rd Test ton, and in the process also broke Mohammed Azharuddin’s record for the most runs scored by an Indian captain in a Test series in England. Hardik Pandya piled further misery on the English bowlers by scoring an unbeaten half-century as India set England a mammoth target of 521 runs to win the match.
ALSO READ: India vs England, 3rd Test Day 5 Highlights
Ishant Sharma gave India the perfect start on the fourth morning by sending back the English openers in quick succession. England skipper Joe Root and newcomer Ollie Pope tried to repair the damage but couldn’t do much. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami accounting for the duo respectively.
England needed to put up some resistance and came from the pair Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. The two attacking batsmen went about their business without sweating much about the match situation and put the Indian bowlers under pressure for the first time in the match. Buttler and Stokes put on 169 runs for the fifth wicket as England continued to believe. The fightback was ended by an inspired spell of bowling by Jasprit Bumrah. The speedster, making a comeback in this match after being on the sidelines due to injury, picked up four wickets to take India on the brink of victory but the last pair of Adil Rashid and James Anderson denied India victory on the fourth day.
Ravichandran Ashwin sent back James Anderson in the third over of the fifth day to complete the formalities. The two teams will lock horns in the fourth Test at Southampton from August 30.
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