England went 423-8, a 345 lead, on the second day of Test 3 against India; Captain Joe Root was the star again when he reached his sixth test century of the year and third in the series; Dawid Malan (70) also made half a century in his return to the side
Joe Root scored his 23rd century of testing as he continued his impressive form in 2021 to help England build on their lead over India in Test 3.
The captain’s sixth round of the year came from 124 balls and even into an inning in which each of England’s top four passed 50 for the first time since 2013, with the return of Dawid Malan (70) adding to the half centuries of Haseeb Hameed. (68) and Rory Burns (61), Root seemed a class apart.
Eventually, Jasprit Bumrah fired him for 121 at the end of the day, but by the time the capacity crowd at Emerald Headingley rose to cheer from home, England’s lead had already passed 300.
The home team finished the day 423-8, a 345 lead, and will hope to add some quicker runs before trying to get stuck in India’s batsmen again on day three with the tourists requiring a monumental effort to avoid defeat. .
England started the day with 120 undefeated, already 42 of India 78’s early innings, but neither Burns nor Hameed were able to kick into fifty on the first day.
Indian bowlers were able to keep things tight despite the few lateral movements, either through the air or out of the seam, but when Mohammed Shami got the ball to cut, he made it count on a beautiful delivery that he sneaked between the bat and Burns pad to hit the top of the off.
Hameed looked confident the first night but got a bit bogged down as the morning progressed and faced 28 point balls in a row before a Ravindra Jadeja ripper threw him out.
That brought Root into the middle to join Malan and as always we quickly went about his business to inject some excitement at the end of an otherwise slow session to take England’s lead past 100 in. the last round before lunch.
Root brought that relentless energy into the afternoon session, not letting Indian bowlers settle for playing shot after shot gloriously and effortlessly the way only a player in the shape of his life can do to run. to 50 in just 57 balls.
Such confidence proved to be contagious as Malan, after a slightly subdued start, became enthusiastic about his task, driving well through offside on several occasions on his way to a fifty-nine ball in his first test in over three. years.
Go back eight years to the last time England’s top four hit 50, and this time in Dunedin the top four included night watchman Steven Finn.
The association of the 100 emerged at the end of it and as the tea approached, India’s attack, usually so disciplined, looked increasingly uneven, the second new ball seemed to serve only to help Root and Malan hit the limit faster and England’s lead was ascending. of 200.
India had the stroke of luck they need with the last ball before tea when Malan tickled Rishabh Pant’s leg and after bowler Mohammed Siraj managed to persuade Virat Kohli to check, UltraEdge confirmed the advantage. to achieve a partnership of 139 races. until the end.
However, the India job was not done yet with Root picking up where he left off after tea and entering the 90s.
His third hundred of the series was raised by his 12th limit, timed through the midwicket against Ishant Sharma, from his 124 ball and was exuberantly celebrated by player and crowd alike.
No player has scored more test centuries in a calendar year for England than Root’s six so far in 2021 and, reaching his 23rd tonne, he is tied at the level of Kevin Pietersen, with only Sir Alastair Cook (33) ahead. of him in terms of the century of England. -matadors.
Jonny Bairstow (29) managed to hit Jadeja for six longer on a 51-run stoppage with Root before he fell to Shami (3-87) and Jos Buttler (7) hit a straight half volley to square his leg. the same bowler.
Root was beginning to show signs of hardening after another long stay in the crease, but he still had time to reverse Jadeja’s sweep by four before Bumrah finished her magnificent entrance; a nip-backer smashing through Root’s defenses to hit in the middle and out.
The cheering was that the crowd was long and loud for his fellow Yorkshireman, who had extinguished any lingering hopes India might have of victory after day one and put England in the most dominant positions as they seek to level the series at 1- 1. .
Moeen Ali (8) and Sam Curran (15) started before the close, but England topped 400 and with Craig Overton (24th) and Ollie Robinson (0th) in the fold, they hope to put a few more runs on the board and overs on the Legs of Indian bowlers before the focus shifts to taking the 10 wickets they will need to win the match.
Watch the third day of the third test between England and India starting at 10.15am on Friday at Sky Sports Cricket and Main Event.