India takes control after Pandya's fifer

Hardik Pandya picked up his career-best Test figures as India ended day two being in the driver's seat.

This was Hardik Pandya's maiden five-wicket haul in Tests.   -  AFP

Hardik Pandya is yet to convince the world that he is a true all-rounder but he does not really care. The comparisons, the labels, the criticism -- they do not seem to dull his enjoyment. Pandya instead plays his cricket -- however well (or poorly) -- with a blithe cockiness. On Sunday, he was having fun again, and he swung the third Test firmly in India's favour.

Pandya took five for 28 as England was bowled out for 161 on the second day at Trent Bridge. That spell came during an afternoon of complete Indian superiority as all of 10 English wickets fell in the second session. Having been off target in the morning, the touring seamers were a transformed bunch after lunch, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah claiming two wickets each while Mohammed Shami finished with one.

3rd Test, Day 2: Key highlights

Then out came India's openers who, having stitched together a half-century stand in the first innings, proceeded to do so again. When stumps were drawn, the visitor was 124 for two, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara at the crease. India's lead is now 292; the highest successful fourth-innings chase at Trent Bridge is 284.

The drama began third over after lunch. Ishant squared Alastair Cook up and had the left-hander edge behind -- his tenth success against the batsman. The very next ball -- the first of a new over -- Bumrah struck at the other end, as Keaton Jennings hung his bat out and paid the price. Ollie Pope essayed one confident cover drive for four but he was soon gone for 10, tickling Ishant down the leg-side as Pant claimed a good diving catch. The wicket-keeper had begun nervously but he quickly settled down, and would finish with five dismissals on the day, including an acrobatic, one-handed grab to send Chris Woakes back.

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Pandya came on after drinks and struck first ball, drawing an edge from Joe Root. There was a hint of controversy here as K.L. Rahul plucked a low catch at second slip. Root held his ground, not convinced that the effort had been a clean one, while Marais Erasmus referred the matter upstairs. His 'soft signal' was 'out' and replays suggested that the ball had bounced only after Rahul had got his fingers underneath it. Root was rightly declared out, but he walked off shaking his head while boos rang out. Rahul was in the thick of things again a little later as Ben Stokes prodded at Shami and the edge flew to second slip. The Karnataka man grabbed the chance and cupped his ear - there was no questioning this catch.

The dismissal of Stokes triggered a collapse - five wickets falling for 20 runs in a span of 22 balls. Four of these wickets went to Pandya, the Baroda man bowling full and getting the ball to move just enough. A beauty of a late, swinging delivery accounted for Jonny Bairstow; the ball that got Stuart Broad was a fine one too. Jos Buttler threw his bat around late on, scoring a 32-ball-39 to eat into the lead. But India still went into tea firmly in control of the Test match.

In the morning, after a light drizzle had delayed the start of play, India's last four first-innings wickets tumbled for 22 runs inside eight overs. Shami and Bumrah then shared the new ball, with Ishant surprisingly held back. India ought to have made life miserable for England's openers, both of whom had been struggling for confidence. Instead, Bumrah and Shami were either short or strayed down the pads, as Cook and Jennings got away, finding the boundary six times in total. The home side made swift progress, scoring at more than five an over to get to 46 without loss at lunch. The rest of the day, though, would belong to India.