Joe Root put on a masterclass of how to construct chanceless Test innings and scored a daddy hundred to help England boss the game on the third day of the second Test at Lord’s.
The hosts were also helped by good fortunes and timing as the pitch was its best for batting and an in-form Root did not allow any Indian bowler chance to get him and put England under the pressure. For his good, he finally found support from all England batsmen for some period of time and England went past India’s 364 in the first innings.
Mohammed Shami castled James Anderson, who was subjected to thunderbolts from Jasprit Bumrah, on the last ball of the day to set up things nicely poised for the last two days.
Records tumbling for ‘run machine’ Root
Joe Root has been the lone man standing for England in the year so far. The journey that started at Gall where he single-handily battled against Sri Lankan spinners on spinning pitches and the first Test against India in Chennai, came with the same intensity at Lord’s.
He was just a few runs away from Graham Gooch’s tally of runs as the second-highest run-getters for England and he went past him in the easiest of easy manner. He bridged that gap between him and Gooch at Trent Bridge with a half-century and century in consecutive innings.
He also had to fight his own form on home soil coming into the series against India and if the first three innings of the series are any hint of what he has become, the remaining three and a half Test matches are going to be one hell of toil for Indian bowlers.
He played with such control and precision that none of the four pacers Kohli unleashed against him could make him feel hurried. He was so decisive on what he had to play at and what to leave that frustrated Indian had to finally accept that opportunities would be coming from the other end only.
After coming into bat when England when two down fairly early in reply to India’s 364, Root carried his bat out of the ground at the end of the third day’s play.
He scored his 22nd Test hundred and fourth at the Lord’s in the process of reaching the 9,000 runs landmark in the longest format. He stands behind only Alastair Cook and if he can continue his golden run with the bat, former England skipper’s tall tally will not be insurmountable for the skipper.
Ishant’s toil and rewards
Virat Kohli had handed over the new ball to Ishant Sharma in the afternoon session of the Test in a surprising move. The pacer was playing his first game after the World Test Championship against New Zealand and the first spell has had enough sample of rustiness in his rhythm.
He was guilty of allowing England openers with deliveries they could easily leave and lacked penetration off the surface that appeared flat on the face of it.
He was not at his best but slowly and steadily picked up his rhythm and line of attack. He has been very successful in the recent past for the more and more deliveries he has bowled in the fuller areas and Jos Buttler tasted the foul taste of the first such delivery.
The wicketkeeper is going through a bad patch in the longest format and Ishant was keen to ask Buttler if he was willing to come forward to smother any sort of movement. Turned out the batsman was lacking in confidence and decisiveness to come forward and the ball moved enough to disturb his stump.
His credentials against left-handers have also been exemplary and Kohli banked on him to break the dangerous-looking partnership between Moeen Ali and Root. He did not deliver immediately but eventually found a perfect delivery from round the wicket to lure Moeen into playing and Kohli himself took a low catch to keep India in the game.
He brought India right back in the game after sending India’s perpetual nemesis with the bat—Sam Curran on the very first ball he faced. The length of the ball did not allow the left-hander to come fully forward while the line did not allow him to leave the ball and Rohit Sharma was delighted to see his back.
It would be argued if India made a mistake by playing Ishant Sharma over Ravichandran Ashwin who could have brought more tricks on what was a flat surface at Lord’s but the pacer did all he was asked to deliver albeit after an initial struggle of finding a perfect rhythm.
Looking ahead to the fourth day
England have a lead of 27 runs and they would be looking to bundle India out cheaply and chase down runs to go 1-0 up in the five-match series. On the other hand, Virat Kohli-led Indian batting will be looking to make amends to their brittle batting in the middle order to set up a challenging total for the hosts.
If the pitch remains as batting-friendly as it was on the third day, the Indian batting order, especially the beleaguered middle order of Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane should be willing to put their heads down and search for some vital runs for themselves and the team.
The game is wide open with two innings remaining to be played on the last day, but with a lead of 27 runs, a brittle Indian batting lineup and a longer tail, England would be thinking they are in with a massive opportunity.
Ruby Trichy Warriors will be up against the Chepauk Super Gillies in Chennai on Sunday (August 15, 2021) in the final of the Tamil Nadu Premier league (TNPL). The Warriors side had been in some good form especially against the Chepauk team in the recent encounters. The two sides met in the last group stage match and then in the Qualifier 1 where Ruby Trichy Warriors etched victory at both the occasions. With the win in the Qualifier match, Trichy Warriors registered a berth for themselves in the final while Chepauk defeated Dindigul Dragons in the second qualifier to move ahead. Chepauk did scalp some early wickets in the Qualifier 1 but Nidhish Rajagopal and Adithya Ganesh held the innings together and the two batsmen notched up individual half-centuries to anchor their side to a win. The Super Gillies batting order would need to fire and put up a big total if they bat first. Match Details Match: Ruby Trichy Warriors vs Chepauk Super Gillies, TNPL 2021. Date and Time: August 15, Sunday, 07:30 PM IST Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai TV: Star Sports Network Live Streaming: Disney+Hotstar Pitch Report The pitch in Chennai might have something on offer for the bowlers, especially spinners. The batsmen can find it difficult to get runs in the early stage of the match. On the other hand, the dew can also play an important factor especially in the later half of the match. So, if you win the toss, elect to field. Probable XI Ruby Trichy Warriors: Santosh Shiv, Amit Sathvik, Nidhish Rajagopal, Adithya Ganesh (w), Muhammed Adnan Khan, Antony Dhas, M Mathivannan, Rahil Shah (c), Saravan Kumar, M Poiyamozhi, Sunil Sam Chepauk Super Gillies: Kaushik Gandhi (c), N Jagadeesan (wk), Jaganath Sinivas, S Radhakrishnan, Uthirasamy Sasidev, Rajagopal Sathish, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Harish Kumar, Sonu Yadav, Manimaran Siddharth, Dev Rahul Fantasy XI N Jagdeesan (C), A Ganesh, K Gandhi, M Adnan-Khan, N Rajagopal, R Sathish, S H Kumar, R S Kishore (VC), P Saravana Kumar, M Mathivanan, M Poiyamozhi
India batsman Prithvi Shaw and new Test recruit Suryakumar Yadav have completed their quarantine in the UK and have joined the team at Lord’s. The visitors had faced some injury issues ahead of the five-match series with opening batsman Shubman Gill, all-rounder Washington Sundar and pacer Avesh Khan getting ruled out. Gill sustained a developing stress reaction on his left lower leg (shin) during the World Test Championship final while Sundar fractured his finger during the warm-up match. Apart from this, Avesh has suffered a blow on his thumb during the practice game. Shaw was then re-called to the Test side while Suryakumar received his maiden call-up in the longer format. The injury concerns haven’t ended for India. Mayank Agarwal had earlier missed the first and the second Test after he was hit on the helmet during a practice session ahead of the first clash while Shardul Thakur was ruled out of the second encounter due to a hamstring injury. The first match between the two sides ended in a draw while India rode on KL Rahul’s ton and some fine batting from Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja to put 364 on the board in the first innings. In reply, England captain Joe Root too notched up a ton. India Squad: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav
There were some unpleasant moments for Indian opener KL Rahul while fielding at the boundary rope on the third day of the second Test against England at Lord’s. He was subjected to unruly behaviours from the section of the crowd who allegedly threw champagne corks at the right-hander. As per the version of people present at the ground, the India team reported the incident to the umpires. However, there has not been any official communication from either the ECB or the MCC that governs the Lord’s ground. Rahul was riled up the response by the crowd at the boundary rope after scoring a marvellous century in the first innings. England needed the pair of Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root to lead their reply to India’s 364 and the duo did their job brilliantly. Root reached his second hundred of the series while Bairstow batted fluently for his 57 to keep England in the game. For India, Mohammed Siraj has been the pick of the bowlers on the third day as he picked up the lone wicket of Bairstow that fell on the third day. India are desperate for wickets and have taken the second new ball as soon as it was available after the end of the 80th over.
Joe Root continued on his brilliant form and scored his 22nd Test century on the third day of the first Test against India at Lord’s. He has been the go-to man for England in batting and has not been disappointed yet in the series so far. It was his fourth hundred at the Home of Cricket and England could have a sigh of relief in reply to India’s 364 on the back of his century. He scored 10 boundaries on his way to the three-figure mark. He had come out to bat after the departure of Haseeb Hameed on the second afternoon of the Test and stitched valuable partnerships with Rory Burns and Jonny Bairstow to bring England back in the game. He has been in top-notch form in the series and the current year. In the three innings so far against India, Root has two hundreds and one fifty against a very strong Indian bowling attack. In the year 2021, Root has piled on double centuries and centuries to steer England out of many troubles across the world. The Lord’s hundred against India is his fifth hundred of the year.