India’s tail wagged finally as Jasprit Bumrah (28) and Mohammed Siraj (7) added 33 runs for the last wicket to take India to 278 for a first innings lead of 95 runs, on the third day of the first Test against England here on Friday.
K.L. Rahul (84) and Ravindra Jadeja (56) were the main contributors to the visitor’s first innings total.
England had wiped off 25 runs of the lead at the draw of stumps which was hastened due to rain. This is the second successive day when rain played spoilsport in the final session. India now have 196 overs to force a result over the last two days.
Opener Rahul’s gritty 84 off 214 deliveries and his 60-run partnership with Jadeja had taken India past England’s 183 on a day when England pace bowler James Anderson went past former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble’s Test tally of 619 wickets to become the third highest wicket-taker ever.
Rahul, who was drafted into the playing XI as a replacement opener, played some exquisite drives through the off-side over Thursday and Friday.
More importantly, he handled the tempting deliveries outside the off-stump well. However, one of Anderson’s deliveries eventually caught the edge of his bat and went to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler after he had added 27 to his overnight 57.
Anderson now has 621 wickets and his scalp of Rahul that saw him reach the milestone was the one that ended the partnership which had threatened to take the game away from England. Anderson soon gobbled up Shardul Thakur to keep England in.
However, Jadeja played some good shots to take India’s lead to 49 before Shami (13) and the Bumrah-Siraj duo took over.
The tail’s resistance came as a welcome change for India from the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in June. Back then, India had lost the last four wickets for 12 and 14 in the two innings. On Friday, the last three wickets added 73 to extend India’s lead.
Pace bowler Ollie Robinson took five wickets for 85 runs while Anderson finished with four for 54. Stuart Broad, playing at his home venue, went wicketless.
England: 183 all out in 65.4 overs & 25/0 in 11.1 overs vs India: 278 all out in 84.5 overs (KL Rahul 84, R Jadeja 56, R Pant 25, J Bumrah 28, R Sharma 36, J Anderson 4/54, O Robinson 5/85).