India vs England: Virat Kohli Hits 23rd Test Century To Stamp India’s Authority
Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara put on a 113-run partnership on the third day
India captain Virat Kohli scored his 23rd century as India continued to dominate England in the third Test at Trent Bridge on Monday. Virat Kohli reached his century in the 92nd over off Chris Woakes’ delivery when India’s score was 279/3. Virat Kohli had missed his century in this match earlier in the first innings. He was dismissed on 97 by England spinner Adil Rashid in the first innings. In the second innings, Virat Kohli along with Cheteshwar Pujara (72) went onto forge a 113-run partnership for the 3rd wicket. India had batted the first session of day three without the fall of a wicket courtesy Kohli and Pujara’s partnership. With India’s showing at Trent Bridge, India remained on course for a win that would cut England’s lead in the five-match series to 2-1.
England now need to surpass their highest fourth-innings total to win a Test — 332 for seven against Australia at Melbourne back in 1928/29 – if they are to achieve an astounding victory.
Earlier on Sunday, Hardik Pandya stole the limelight with his maiden five-wicket haul as India made a strong comeback in the series by taking complete control of the third cricket Test against England. At stumps on day two, India were well placed at 124 for two in 31 overs in their second innings with Cheteshwar Pujara batting on 33 and skipper Virat Kohli unbeaten on 8. India, thus, took an overall lead of 292 runs over England with three full days play remaining in the match. It was Pandya who turned out to be the cynosure of all eyes today, registering career-best figures of 5 for 28 to help India bundle out England for 161 in their first innings and give his side the upper hand for the first time in the series.
Kohli seemed in no mood to drag the innings any further and decided to declare the innings, handing his bowlers nine overs to go full throttle. But Alastair Cook (9 not out) and Keaton Jennings (13 not out) played cautiously to fend off the nine overs with England still needing another 498 runs for a win with two full days play remaining.
It triggered preparations for declaration in the Indian camp as Rishabh Pant (1) walked out to bat at number six. He tried to attack but only edged to give a catch at slip off Anderson. Ajinkya Rahane (29) and Pandya then put on 47 runs for the sixth wicket, before Adil Rashid (3/101) bowled the former. India’s lead crossed 500 with Mohammed Shami (3) being the last man to be dismissed before Kohli declared the innings.After lunch, Kohli continued his sedate partnership with Pujara as the duo went about their business in style. The pair looked in no hurry as they continued grinding the English bowling attack.India crossed 200 in the 63rd over with Kohli and Pujara bringing up their 100-run partnership off 270 balls. Kohli also crossed the 400-run mark in this series, becoming only the second Indian captain after Mohammad Azharuddin (426) to do so against England. Overall, he is the sixth Indian batsman to achieve this feat.
Things were moving along nicely when Pujara edged a Stokes’ delivery to Cook at first slip against the run of play. Pujara faced 208 balls and struck nine fours. Kohli and Rahane then batted with purpose as India’s lead continued to swell with time. England took the second new ball as soon as it became available but to no avail.Earlier, starting at the overnight score of 124 for 2, India had perfect conditions for batting on a humid and warm day and Kohli and Pujara looked to grind and play for time with no hurry whatsoever.It could be seen in the manner Pujara took his sweet time to get going, even as Kohli set off quickly for the day. They scored 70 runs during the wicketless session.Anderson though bowled a superb spell in the morning and didn’t let the batsmen score easily. He bowled seven overs in the first hour of play, including three maidens and gave away only seven runs. Woakes and Stokes kept things tight at the other end, particularly the latter, as the two batsmen were troubled by awkward bounce on a few occasions.