England vs India, 3rd Test: What did India improve to take a lead in the 3rd Test?
Down with 2-0 in the 5-match Test series against England, India bounced back beautifully in the third Test at Trent Bridge. The visitors took 168 runs lead in the first innings.
Kohli and Co. faced a lot of criticism over their poor show in the first two Tests, but they surely are making a mark in the 3rd match.
There are some things which India did differently from the first two matches. Here we bring you three of them:
#1. Middle Order clicks
India struggled with their batting especially with the middle order in the first two Tests. None of the batsmen except Virat Kohli had scored runs.
In the third Test, in the first innings, the middle order showed some application and scored runs. Particularly, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane helped India cross the 300-run mark in the tough batting conditions at Nottingham.
Rahane was going through a lean run in Test matches, but he played a fine knock of 81 runs in the first innings. He was well accompanied by Virat Kohli who missed a well deserved ton by three runs. Apart from them, young Pant, who was playing his first match, played a cameo of 24 runs.
#2. Pandya's Contribution with the ball
Hardik Pandya claimed a five-wicket haul at Trent Bridge. His spell helped India get a mammoth lead of 168 runs.
Before the Test match, Pandya's selection was criticised by many. Although he was trying to apply himself with the bat, he was not penetrative enough with the ball. Michael Holding even deemed him unfit for Test cricket.
He silenced his critics by dismantling the English middle order in their first innings. He took those five wickets in less than 5 overs.
His spell helped India finish in a strong position on day 2.
#3. Better Fielding
Unlike previous two Tests, India looked very attacking on the field. They took as many as nine catches in the field. The slip catching was excellent and the debutante wicket-keeper, Rishabh Pant took five catches behind the stumps. The stunner to dismiss Woakes was the highlight of his wicket-keeping. With that, he became the first Indian to take five catches on debut.
Apart from a missed chance by Rahane in the 3rd slip, India fielded extremely well at Trent Bridge.