On the third day India were bowled out on what appeared to be batting track, after the performance of English batsmen on Day 2. India conceded a huge lead of 188 runs, and England were 5 without loss in the 5 overs they faced before stumps on Day 3, with almost in complete control of the game.
Three Sessions of the Day
India batted almost all the sessions of the day, barring the last five overs where England scored 5 without loss. Indian innings looked set for a good score as the openers reached 63. Youngster Mukund showed class and determination but shaky Gambhir did not have the patience to judge Broad and let the ball pass through his gate. With that India’s downfall started. Dravid came and stood like a wall scoring his first century at Lord’s and saw remaining 9 wickets tumble in hurry. Onle relief was that his stay helped India avoid follow-on.
India’s batting was again an example of reckless shots and nervousness. Barring Tendulkar all the batsmen went to reckless shots. Mukund missed his maiden half-century by a run, what could have been his memorable maiden major score in Test. He would blame himself for pulling the wide ball onto his stumps. Laxman, Raina, Harbhajan rest of the tall just probably thought that Wall would score remaining runs and gifted their wicket.
English bowlers bowled to the plan and did not let India score freely. Broad was the most successful with 4 wickets while Tremlett grabbed 3. Anderson got 2 wickets and Swann got Raina.
Dravid- The Wall
His scoring speed often lets people claim that he is responsible for India’s slow run rate, and often lost chances. But what if none other batsmen manage to score on more than once occasion. This was another such day where he took his time to score runs and waited patiently while others just wanted to hit quick runs and perished putting India in the danger of facing unwarranted follow-on. With his 33rd century, he succeeded in avoiding the follow-on, helping India to score 12 runs more than what was required to be on the safe end, at least for the time being.
Stuart Broad Seizes Oportunity
Before the series he has lost his permanent place in the team to other bowlers. Today when Indian openers looked like taking the game away he struck twice before lunch. Later he returned to snatch the most important wicket of the Indian inning, Sachin Tendulkar and with the wicket of Praveen Kumar he grabbed 4 wickets in the match. He could not complete a 5-wicket haul but even his critiques would argue that his bowling helped England push India against the Wall, and if it was not for Dravid, India would have batted their second innings too after following-on due to the exceptional bowling of Broad.
Fate of Match
Match completely lies in England’s hand now. They already have a lead of 193 runs with 10 wickets and 2 days of the test remaining. If remaining two days see complete game, England may like to play an ODI inning till tea tomorrow and declare when they have a lead of 350 runs or more. Scoring will not be difficult as in the absence of Zaheer, except Praveen Kumar they would not be bothered about hitting others for boundaries. And 4 sessions, as they experienced in first innings of India would be more than enough to bowl out India to take the lead.