IND vs ENG, 1st Test, Day 3: India in trouble, Pujara holds fort, Pant counterattacks

Last Updated: Sunday, 7 February 2021 (15:07 IST)
Chennai: Contrasting unbeaten half centuries by stubborn and counter-attacking innings by left hander helped India reach 154 for four at tea on the third day of the first cricket test match against England here on Sunday.

While a dogged Pujara remained unbeaten on 53 (111 balls, 7x4), Pant was on 54 with four sixers and four fours in 40 balls.
 
The duo have added 81 in 14.3 over for the unbroken fifth wicket and India still 225 runs behind, to make England bat again.
 
After the loss of openers in the previous session, India lost two more quick wickets as the pitch showed signs of wearing, with the ball stopping, drifting and bouncing, giving good purchase for spinners, especially off spinner Dom Bess, who accounted for both skipper (11, 48 balls) and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane (1, 6 balls) in a span of ten deliveries.
 
Kohli was drawn forward to a flighted delivery from Bess which bounced and the inside edge was held by Ollie Pope at forward short lead and Rahane was undone by a superb catch by England skipper Joe Root, who dived full stretch to his left to take an one handed catch at covers as India were in deep trouble at 73 for four.
 
However, Pant, undeterred by the situation, counter attacked and targeted the spinners, especially left armer Jack Leach, hoisting him for four sixers, with Pujara too taking on him scoring 23 off 20 balls in his 53.
 
It was an entertaining session as both Pant and Pujara went hard at the spinners in their own different ways, to out some pressure on the bowlers, with Root using his spearheads James Anderson and Jofra Archer in short spells.
 
 
Following is the scoreboard:
 
England (first innings): 578.
India (first innings):
 
Rohit Sharma c Butler b Jofra Archer 6
Shubman Gill c James Anderson b Jofra Archer 29
Cheteswar Pujara (batting) 53 
Virat Kohli c Pope b 11
Ajinkya Rahane c Root b Dom Bess 1
Rishab Pant (batting) 54
 
Total: 154 for four in 41 overs.
 
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-44, 3-71, 4-73,
 
Bowling:
James Anderson 9-3-21-0
Jofra Archer 10-2-37-2
Ben Stokes 3-1-9-0
6-0-59-0
Dom Bess 13-1-28-2 (UNI)