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"If India see out the first hour of play, then the game is on" - Danish Kaneria notes the importance of the opening hour of Day 4

Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli have a huge challenge ahead of them
Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli have a huge challenge ahead of them
Gokul Nair
ANALYST

Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria firmly believes India can still stake their claim in the ongoing third Test match at Headingley, Leeds. The visitors still have work to do as they are 139 runs behind England's first-innings total of 432.

India played out the majority of Day 3 after skittling out the remaining England wickets early on. They faced a setback when KL Rahul fell right before lunch. Much like the Lord's Test, Pujara was part of a session where no wickets fell and that garnered serious momentum.

He and Rohit Sharma set up an excellent platform before the latter was dismissed by Ollie Robinson for 59. Pujara then joined hands with Virat Kohli and stitched an unbeaten 99-run stand to take India to 215/2 at Stumps on Day 3.

Kaneria noted that the pair of Pujara and Kohli will have to start from scratch and will face a tough opening hour since the bowlers will also be fresh. Speaking on his YouTube channel, Kaneria said:

"If India see out the first hour of play, then the game is on, seriously. India trail by only 139 runs. Kohli and Pujara will have to come out again on Day 4 and rebuild their innings. They will have to work hard to stay at the wicket, bowlers will be fresh. Key is to stick over there, things will happen."

Expecting centuries from Pujara and Kohli: Danish Kaneria

Cheteshwar Pujara (91*) is inching towards a century while Virat Kohli (45*) has also made his mark in his time at the crease so far. Kaneria claimed he expects centuries from both players on Day 4. He added that England will be the side under pressure if these two batsmen manage to add 100 more runs to their ongoing partnership. Kaneria said:

"If Kohli and Pujara stitch 100 runs more together, things will change around completely. Indian team can come back. Players will have to play knocks like Laxman's 281 to become world-class. I'm looking forward Pujara getting 150 and Virat to score a hundred. India will come back, nothing is impossible."

India will seek inspiration from miraculous comebacks like the iconic Eden Gardens Test from 2001 or even the last Test match played at Leeds. The onus will also be on the remainder of the Indian batting unit if they have any hopes of deriving a positive outcome from this match.


Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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