India or England - who are the favorites at the end of Day 3 in the Hyderabad Test?

India  v England - 1st Test Match: Day Three
Jasprit Bumrah got the better of Joe Root on Day 3

An enthralling day of Test cricket played out in Hyderabad on Saturday, January 27 as India and England traded blows throughout the three sessions.

England were the first to throw a punch as they removed the three remaining Indian wickets for just 15 runs, ensuring that the hosts were bowled out for just 436. At one point, it seemed like India's first-innings lead would stretch well beyond 200, and the visitors did well to pull things back.

Then, after a couple of enterprising top-order cameos, it seemed like Ben Stokes and Co. were fighting their way back into the contest. However, Jasprit Bumrah wasn't going to be kept out of the game for too long, and his two-wicket burst gave his team a firm grip over the Test.

The best performance of the day came from Ollie Pope, who essayed a masterful unbeaten century to take England to a lead of 126 runs at the end of Day 3. Stokes and Co. have four wickets to spare, and they are still very much in the game after Pope's sensational effort.

So at the end of Day 3, which team is in pole position to kickstart the series with a win?

IND vs ENG 2024, 1st Test: India still ahead after Day 3, but not by much

Jasprit Bumrah talks to Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin during Day 3
Jasprit Bumrah talks to Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin during Day 3

As mentioned earlier, England have a lead of 126 runs, and while they've given themselves a chance of pulling off a miraculous win, they still have quite a bit of work to do.

After Pope and Rehan Ahmed, who are currently at the crease, only Mark Wood, Tom Hartley and Jack Leach are to come. The former two have proven themselves to be capable of wielding the willow, while Leach even has a Player of the Match award to his name for his batting in Test cricket.

However, on a track like the one in Hyderabad, England's tail isn't expected to wag too much against India's world-class spinners. Rohit Sharma and Co. will know that if they can dismiss Pope early on Day 4, they will be in an excellent position to keep their fourth-innings target under 150.

The hosts might have a bit more breathing room, too. They bat deep, with Axar Patel slotted at No. 9, and most of their batters are in excellent form right now. Even if they have to chase upwards of 200, they would probably start the fourth innings as the favorites.

The pitch will undoubtedly play a big role on Day 4. On Day 3, it offered slow turn throughout the three sessions, and while the odd ball kept low, England's batters were able to negate that brilliantly with an array of sweeps and reverse-sweeps.

The wicket is expected to deteriorate, and India's batters are far more conventional than their English counterparts. That could mean that if a few cracks start to open up and the rough gets more pronounced, run-scoring will become supremely difficult on the last two days of the Test.

Despite that, though, England's spinners haven't been consistent enough to suggest that they will be able to pick up all 10 Indian wickets without a sizeable target to back them. Boundary balls were delivered in almost every over in the first innings, and that is something that a 250-odd chase can ill-afford for the visitors.

England are a bold side with plenty of fight, and on paper, they have the resources to challenge the two-time World Test Championship finalists. However, as things currently stand, India are in a better position after Day 3 - arguably by a deceptively narrrow margin.

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Poll : Which team is in a better position after Day 3?



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Edited by Sai Krishna