It is often said that it is on Day 3 when one finds out about which team is likely to come out trumps in a Test match. On Friday, under the blazing Rajkot sun, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara made hay as India put forth a strong response to England’s 537 all out, finishing with 319 for 4 to leave the game interestingly placed with two days to go.
Gautam Gambhir fell for 29 in the morning session, but the Vijay-Pujara duo, as they have done on so many occasions in the past few years, steadied the Indian ship to safety once again, putting on 209 runs for the second wicket and ensuring that England did not grab the advantage further.
However, in the dying moments of the day, Adil Rashid grabbed two wickets of Vijay for 126 and nightwatchman Amit Mishra for a duck to level things up and end the day on a bright note.
Here are the numbers from Day 3:
3-Pujara’s century on Friday was his third one against England. He now more centuries against this opposition than any other in the world. His earlier tons came in the 2012 series, when he made a double hundred at Ahmedabad and a century in Mumbai, in the same series.
1-The 209-run stand between Vijay and Pujara on Friday propelled them to the top of the table for the Indian pair with the most number of runs in the last 10 years. The duo have now put on 2081 runs in the 32 innings that they have batted together, with a best stand of 370 runs.
2-The stand of 209 runs between Pujara and Vijay is now the second highest partnership for India against England in Tests. The record is held by Gambhir and Rahul Dravid, who put on 314 runs for the second wicket in Mohali in 2008.
25.51- In his 57 Tests during the course of a 12-year career, Gautam Gambhir has been dismissed leg-before-wicket for 25.51% of the times. The southpaw was dismissed in the same manner during the first innings of the Rajkot Test on Friday off the bowling of Stuart Broad.
16- Number of Test innings after which Murali Vijay got to a Test hundred. The opener’s last ton in whites came against Bangladesh in June last year, when he made a 150.
1-Pujara was unbeaten on 99 at Tea on Day 3 while Moeen Ali too was unbeaten on the same score at the end of Day 1. This is now the first time in Test Cricket that two batsmen have been unbeaten on that score at the end of a session in the same game.
3-With a tally of 2009 runs in 31 innings, Pujara and Vijay are now third on the list for the most number of runs scored by a batting pair since 2013. Misbah Ul-Haq and Younus Khan lead the list with 2093 runs in the same number of innings.
8-The number of hundreds made by Cheteshwar Pujara while batting at Number 3. He is now joint-second on the list with Mohinder Amarnath and Dilip Vengsarkar for Indian batsman with most number of tons at that position.
4-Number of sixes hit by Vijay during his innings on Friday. Each of Kapil Dev, MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh have also hit the number of maximums in a Test innings against England.