With the series tied at 1-1 after England got demolished by India in the second test, they would have been hoping for some sort of redemption going into this pivotal third test. However, a terrible batting display saw England get, once again, torn apart by India’s spin bowlers (Axar 6-38, Ashwin 3-26) going all out for just 112 in 48.4 overs. India, on the other hand, are already within just 13 runs of England’s pathetic first innings total after 33 overs.
Disappointing batting from England
After winning the toss and choosing to bat first in already tough conditions, England got off to a terrible start, losing Dom Sibley for 0 in just 2.3 overs thanks to a catch at second slip by Rohit Sharma from an Ishant Sharma delivery. Despite this, England battled on and got it back to a decent 74-2, before captain Joe Root was dismissed at 21.5 overs by lbw from spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin.
Zak Crawley, on his return after missing the first two tests, managed a respectable 53 off 84, including 10 4s, before he went out on 24.4 overs from a lbw from Axar Patel. Crawley’s total for the innings equalled the rest of his team’s output combined, as his dismissal started an awful run in which England’s last 8 batters fell for a total of just 38 runs.
Rohit Sharma shows England how it’s done
When India came out to bat, despite taking two wickets in quick succession in the 14th and 15th over to put India at 34/2, England couldn’t handle Rohit Sharma, who led the way for the hosts. The 33-year-old finished the day on 57 off 82 with 9 4s and still has a chance to add to this tally as he has yet to have been dismissed.
The only positive that England can take away from today was Jack Leach bowling out India captain Virat Kohli on 27 off 58 in the 32nd over, after the ball hit the bottom edge of Kohli’s bat before firing into the stumps. Nonetheless, India are in full control of this test already, trailing by just 13 runs going into day 2 that commences at 9AM Thursday morning.
— The Cricketer (@TheCricketerMag) February 24, 2021
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A neat summary of England's day so far.
— Test Match Special (@bbctms) February 24, 2021