Cheteshwar Pujara leads India’s comeback to frustrate England on day three | England v India 2021

Cheteshwar Pujara leads India’s comeback to frustrate England on day three |  England v India 2021

Cheteshwar Pujara has been feeling unappreciated of late, but when he left the field at 6.14pm on the third day at Headingley, bad light forced an early finish, Virat Kohli was right behind offering a resounding applause to the rear that his number 3 had just finished. organize.

A 78 blowout in the first inning had left India, so dominant at the end of the Trial of the Lord, tortured by the prospect of England leveling the series with two to play. And those thoughts only increased as Joe Root honed his masterful final century and the hosts amassed 432 in response.

But Pujara complied with Kohli’s orders not to step back before this third test, his 91 undefeated, allied by the captain himself moving to 45 not off and a stylish 58 from Rohit Sharma, means that tourists are heading at last. a week at 215 times two. . They still have 139 races behind, but England will now have to seriously push themselves to achieve parity.

It was always going to be tougher for Root’s impromptu attack a second time, even if Ollie Robinson continued his promising start in test cricket with misleading one-for-40 figures. The prospect of Pujara returning to form was always possible as well. That Kohli and Ravi Shastri, India’s head coach sergeant major, kept the faith.

The 33-year-old is now nine runs away from a 19th-century event and, after 180 balls of firm defense marked by cuts and clips on the wrist, a sleeping giant has awakened. Whatever the end result, India will depart Leeds driven by the prospect of Pujara adding more scoops of Saurashtra cement in the commercial finale of the series.

Headingley, a terrain that Pujara knows well from his time in Yorkshire, seems to also enjoy shifting expectations on his head. A blanket of bruised clouds sat aloft all day, White Rose’s floodlights were in full light and, with India starting their second inning 354 races behind, after England were finally eliminated within 15 minutes of the proceedings. , things seemed ripe for a cascade of grounds. .

However, even though Robinson in particular got the new ball going off and saw an lbw decision overturned by KL Rahul at the height early on, England had an early taste of the challenge that lay ahead. That was until what became the last ball before lunch when Craig Overton, fresh off 32 runs with the bat, found the edge of Rahul’s bat and Jonny Bairstow caught a one-handed surprise on the second slip.

Bairstow was excited, as were the Headingley faithful and a beaming Root on the first slip as he was better positioned to get the ball safely. Don’t worry, this intervention represented a second champagne moment for the two Yorkshire men who shared such a warm hug when Root raised his bat 24 hours earlier.

But at 34 for one, Sharma and newcomer Pujara kicked off a 78-race no-wicket afternoon session in which the crowd of 16,991 turned up the volume to take a big step and Robinson was left wondering how he had failed. The 27-year-old is learning a lot about test cricket this summer, not least because the wicket column doesn’t always tell the full story.

Credit must go to the Indian couple, even if Jimmy Anderson seemed upset about a problem all day and Sam Curran released the pressure with a bit of floating inswing. The news that Chris Woakes might finally be fit for Test 4 will create a debate about the 8th position unless the left arm figures of nine overs improve, none for 40.

Sharma’s bat was thick on defense and punishing on attack (an uppercut six before lunch was the Hit Man at his boldest) while Pujara, so grumpy thus far despite a steep but crucial 45 at Lord’s, made the feet move. England looked for their pads early and as a result they looked for leather. That said, his 82-race vigil might have ended at 57 if Root hadn’t run out of time to consider a review against Sharma.

Robinson’s angle and ability to move the ball both ways presented problems for right-handers, while the rebound he was generating did the same for referee Richard Kettleborough. As it stood, when it hit Sharma’s forehead pad, the resulting Hawkeye projection showed three reds, but a bat or pad murmur at Snicko, most likely the latter, meant there were no iron guarantees that the decision would be made. will override if Root previously. Fast hands beat the clock.

There was a case to say that it seemed like a louder scream than the window that finally rewarded Robinson’s excellence after tea, with Sharma again attacked in front and this time telling him to leave. He checked and Hawkeye suggested only the slightest tingling in the leg stump, so Kettleborough seemed a bit upset confirming this borderline decision.

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Kohli’s arrival would normally lead Anderson on the attack, but the time spent off the field for the 39-year-old meant this meeting was delayed. When it happened, 30 minutes into the final session, Anderson’s two overs leaked 20 runs in the latest reminder, first, that he is still human, and second, that the series of injuries that have plagued him. England this summer have put a heavy load on their shoulders. .

Kohli grew in confidence and, like his teammate, pushed forward in defense on purpose while being quick on the fumble. After finding himself at ease during a late period in twilight that forced Root to do half a twist pairing with Moeen Ali, the captain of India will resume in the morning looking for not one, but two centuries.

Do that and India will begin to believe that a Headingley miracle is possible.

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