ENG v IND, 1st Test, Day 3: Rahul, Jadeja give India handy lead

Nottingham Test, Day Three: K. L. Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja and the lower order put up a fight with the bat as India took a handy lead against England at Trent Bridge.

Ravindra Jadeja scored his 16th Test half-century. - GETTY IMAGES

Ravindra Jadeja struck a half-century before a wagging tail ensured a 95-run first-innings lead for India on the third day of the first Test against England at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.

Comeback man Ollie Robinson kept England in the hunt with his maiden five-wicket haul.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball commentary

Thanks to Jadeja's 16th half-century - a chiselled 56 off 87 balls - and a 73-run contribution from the last three partnerships, India managed 278 in its first innings in reply to England's 183.

Robinson, who recently came back from suspension due to racism charges, bowled the hard lengths to pick up 5 for 85 in 26.5 overs, but James Anderson's 4 for 54 was, perhaps, more impactful in the context of the Indian innings.

Anderson became the third-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket when he surpassed Indian legend Anil Kumble. Only Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne remain ahead of Anderson now.

HIGHLIGHTS - ENG v IND, 1ST TEST, DAY 3

By the time rain robbed another full day's play, England openers Rory Burns (11 n.o.) and Dom Sibley (9 n.o.) had erased 25 runs out of the first-innings deficit, but India still has its nose ahead going into the final two days of the game.

Enterprising knock

While opener Rahul laid the foundation for India with a well-made 84, Jadeja snatched the initiative with his characteristic enterprise, hitting eight fours and a six, in his 56 off 86 deliveries. With it, Jadeja has paid in full the faith the team management showed in him after it made the big move of leaving R. Ashwin from the playing XI.

The Indians were up to the task, especially the likes of Rahul and Jadeja, while Jasprit Bumrah (28) and Mohammed Shami (13) contributed useful runs.

Earlier, Rahul continued to defy the England bowlers with dogged determination as India overtook the home team's first-innings score in another rain-hit opening session. During that session, Jadeja's knock included a delectable back-drive off Sam Curran's bowling and an on-drive off Stuart Broad.

 

The Indian lead remained slender at lunch after England scored 183 on the first day, but it still gave India the psychological advantage as it tried to build on it. It was another rain-hit day with the first 95 minutes featuring only 11 deliveries due to a steady drizzle.

Living dangerously

However, Pant (25 off 20 balls) was ready to take off from where he had left off in Southampton, during the World Test Championship final against New Zealand.The flamboyant left-hander charged down the track to hit Anderson for a boundary through cover. The objective was to smother any outswing (Anderson's inswing) and reach out to the pitch of the deliveries.

When Robinson dug one short, he played the hook shot while not being in control but the thick edge had enough power to carry it for a six. Robinson knew Pant was living dangerously and kept a short cover to lay a successful trap.

A length ball stopped on him as Pant committed on the drive without reaching to the pitch of the delivery and the short cover was in business.

Rahul, however, was unfazed as he played close to his body and left most of the deliveries on the fourth and fifth off-stump channel. But he did bring his cover drive out of the closet when he sent a Broad delivery to the boundary.

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