Virat Kohli stands in the way of an English victory

If England can dismiss Virat Kohli early on Day 4, they can begin the series on a high. Otherwise, India have a genuine chance of accumulating the remaining 84 runs and bagging a historic victory.

England 287 and 180; need 5 wickets to win

India 274 and 110-5 (Virat Kohli 43*; Stuart Broad 2/29); need 84 runs to win

Ravichandran Ashwin continued his feast on the English left handers on Day 3. After bamboozling Cook at the close of Day 2, he increased his wickets tally by dismissing Keaton Jennings and Joe Root in a matter of few balls.

David Malan and Jonny Bairstow then showed some character and offered resistance against the Indian bowling pair of Ishant Sharma and Ravi Ashwin. Ishant Sharma (13-51-5) gradually hit his straps with his characteristic hooping in swingers to right handers. However, the same deliveries proved way too dangerous to the left handers as they came in with an angle in the air but reversed their direction after pitching.

This helped him nick off David Malan, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler. Jonny Bairstow lost his wicket to the one that held its line after moving towards him in the air.

It was then time for England's newfound all-rounder Sam Curran to leave his mark in the Test match yet again. He showed tremendous grit and took the attack back to the Indian bowlers. With a strike rate of almost 100, Curran clubbed the Indian bowlers to score a 63-run knock which can prove to be match-defining.

By virtue of this innings, England who at one point seemed to set India a target of hundred or thereabout, ended up with a lead of 193.

As has been the case throughout the match, the new ball did not swing drastically for England and the Indian opening pair of Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan was able to see off the first five overs.

However, on the last ball of the sixth over, Murali Vijay was wrapped on the pads by Stuart Broad. Soon after, Shikhar Dhawan played another loose shot outside the off stump, trying to play an expansive drive off Broad, as the ball took an edge and Jonny Bairstow didn't make any mistake behind the stumps.

KL Rahul then paired up with Virat Kohli in a bid to do some repair work. However, Rahul did not look assured and it was only a matter of time before he was dismissed by Stokes. Ajinkya Rahane too continued his poor run of form.

Ravi Ashwin was then promoted up the order and came out to bat at six. He tried to play positive shots and succeeded with a couple of cover drives going for fours. However, in an attempt to repeat the same off James Anderson, he nicked it to the keeper.

Ashwin was followed by Dinesh Karthik (18*) who played and missed a few but got into his groove after the initial few deliveries. Karthik did not allow England to cause any further damage and remained unbeaten along with Virat Kohli.

Kohli continued from where he had left in the first innings to remain unbeaten on a fighting 43. Although he was beaten by a few deliveries, he took it in his stride and looked very committed and positive, be it while leaving or while attempting a shot.

Kohli remains the key to India's success. If England can dismiss him early on the morning of Day 4, they can begin the series on a high. Otherwise, India have a genuine chance of accumulating the remaining 84 runs and bagging a historic victory.

© Cricket World

 


Player Profiles