3rd Investec Test: England Gain Strong Foothold against Dhoni’s Men; India 112/4

July 31 11:40 2014

muraliEngland, Thursday, July 31 – After winning the Lord’s Test match by 95 runs, hardly a few would have anticipated such a poor show from Indian team at the Rose Bowl, Southampton. Batting capitulation of Mahendra Singh Dhoni carried on in the second innings as well while chasing the target of 445 runs. If current performance of Indian team is taken into consideration then it is likely to face one of the humiliating defeats against England. Top, middle and lower order failed to create solid partnership and lend a hand to India to be ahead of Alastair Cook’s squad.

On a pitch were Ian Bell and Garry Ballance hit centuries, the guest collapsed in both 1st and 2nd innings. After winning the toss, Cook chose to bat first. His 95-run knock, along with some other outstanding shows, imparted huge role in making England put a humongous 569 runs on the score board. India were all out at 330 runs and trailed by 239 runs. In the 2nd innings, English men declared at 205 runs that made them have a lead of 444 runs.

Sam David Robson lost his wicket early at 17 runs to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Ballance, Bell and the young Joe Root were dismissed at the scores 38, 23 and 56 runs, respectively. The England captain remained unbeaten at 70 runs. Chasing hasn’t been good enough for India in the ongoing contest and same story repeated another time on Wednesday. Murali Vijay, who was expected to spend more than a few hours on the pitch, turned a run out victim and departed after scoring 12 runs.

Stuart Broad hit the stumps when Vijay was a fraction away from the crease. His dismissal made Cheteshwar Pujara (2 runs) to arrive on the pitch and take the charge. However, he was out by Moeen Ali. Before Indian fans would have considered it the last wicket to go down on Day 4, they got to witness dismissals of Shikhar Dhawan (37 runs) and Virat Kohli (28 runs) who were sent back to the pavilion by Root and Ali, respectively.

Both Dhawan and Kohli did not succeed in putting forward splendid game to score huge runs and their average show are considered responsible for India’s poor performance in the 3rd Test match. If truth be told then India’s chances of winning the match aren’t visible at all. If they attain the target, it would be a result of a miraculous innings of the batsmen who are still not out or yet to bat. Ajinkya Rahane is batting at 7 runs, while Rohit Sharma at 3 runs. India keenly needs a partnership of 100 or more runs. There is no room for them to make any mistake. To end the match in a draw, they will have to play safe. Dhoni, Jadeja, Kumar, Pankaj Singh and Mohammed Shami are still to bat. Day 5 turned automatically crucial for both the teams. England would leave no stone unturned to pocket victory in the Third Investec test and level the series by 1-1.