Southampton: England have left India with a daunting task of scoring 445 run to win the third cricket Test after declaring their second innings at 205 for four at tea on the fourth day, here today.
At the time of declaration, skipper Alastair Cook was unbeaten on 70, his second fifty in the match. An early tea-break was taken as Joe Root (56) was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja (3/52) just before the break.
The Indians have a minimum of 132 overs to bat out and save the Test.
Earlier, India were all-out for 330 with an addition of only seven runs to their overnight score of 323 for eight with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (50) failing to add anything to his overnight score.
James Anderson (5/53) took his 16th five-wicket haul in Test cricket as Cook didn’t enforce follow-on and decided to give his bowlers a break.
Cook and his opening partner Sam Robson (13) looked steady and not a team in pursuit of a specific target to present the opposition. Bhuvneshwar Kumar took advantage of this as he had Robson caught at first slip by Dhawan in the 7th over of the innings.
First-innings’ centurion Gary Ballance (38) arrived at the crease and he played with a little more urgency than his skipper.
He built a good stand with Cook but was unlucky to be given out caught at short leg by umpire Marais Erasmus off Jadeja’s bowling.
After lunch, Cook and Ian Bell (23) started off in the pursuit of some quick runs. And they were successful in their bid because the Indian team simply looked like they were awaiting the declaration. It allowed the batsmen to plunder runs with consummate ease, as Bell launched an offensive.
But he could not go on, bowled by Jadeja around his legs in the 27th over, just after the 100-run mark came up an over earlier. It was Root then who provided the real impetus to the innings, as he stroked his way to a quick-fire half-century.
He smacked 50 off just 38 balls, with 8 fours, and his 50-run partnership with Cook came in only 49 balls. It didn’t appear as if England would declare before the break, but then Root’s wicket changed that.
Indian bowlers looked like playing the waiting game, knowing full well that they will have to atleast bat four sessions to save this match from here onwards. P