Riding on the partnership of Bairstow and Woakes, England punctured India to reach 230/5 at tea on the third day of the Test match.
Rain, Rain go away, Come again another day! The snippets of this popular old nursery rhyme must have been playing in the minds of Indians like an earbug post their loss in the widely anticipated first Test. It was perhaps written in the stars as the Indian batsmen floundered, dancing to the tunes of Anderson’s swing bowling on the second day and England storming back after losing their top five wickets till lunch Saturday.
Even as Lord’s suffered its first washout in 17 years on the first day, the same old story continued and the result again seems imminent now. India might be staring at their second consecutive loss in England, although it’s still long way to go in the match. Till tea, England’s run machine Jonny Bairstow (62) and Chis Woakes (55) were at the crease cruising their team to a match winning lead of 123 runs. England were 230/5. The hosts had a decent start as they progressed to 28 without losing a wicket with Alastair Cook looking fluent at the crease. But Jennings missed a full-pitched straight delivery by Mohammad Shami and the ball went on to hit his pad only to be given LBW by the umpire.
Following this, Cook (21) was dismissed by Ishant after he edged a swinging delivery. Cook (21), Keaton Jennings (11), debutant Ollie Pope (28), Joe Root (19) and Buttler (24) were the batsmen to have been dismissed by the Indian bowlers.
Pope looked positive throughout his innings and threatened Indians with a partnership with skipper Root before he was give leg before by the umpire. Hardik Pandya took his wicket. Root scored 19 off 53 balls.
England made a strong comeback post lunch as Baistwo and Buttler stitched a crucial 42-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Buttler scored a quickfire 22 ball 24, laced with four hits to the fence. Buttler, however soon perished to Mohammed Shami, giving the pacer his third wicket of the day.
Thereafter, Woakes joined Bairstow in the middle and the duo kept frustrating the Indian bowlers with some risk-free batting, that saw them reach to their respective half centuries in no time. It would be unfair to say that the Indian bowlers were not good enough on the field as dominated the opening session of the day by reducing England to 89/4 at lunch.
They toiled hard and bowled well in patches but needed something more to get past the English batsman who have the greater ability to acclimatizing in such conditions. The bowling line also seemed hampered owing to the lack of third fast bowler.
Although winning the game might look beyond the reach now, the Indians would heave a sigh of relief as pitch has gotten easier to bat on. But if the form of the batsmen is anything to go by, winning the game still looks a tall order for the team.