Battle for survival

India fight to avoid follow on against Eng on Day 3 of 3rd Test

Southampton

India still needed 47 runs to avoid the embarrassment of a follow-on after pathetic shot selection by some of the top-order batsmen, which allowed England to tighten their grip on the third Test on Tuesday.

At stumps, India were precariously placed at 323 for eight, with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni waging a lone battle with a gritty half-century. Almost all the Indian batsmen got starts but failed to convert into a big score which is required while chasing a mammoth first innings score.

India are still 246 runs behind England’s first innings score of 569 for seven. At stumps Dhoni (50 not out) and Mohammed Shami (4 not out) were at the crease battling to keep India in this Test match with two full days to go.

James Anderson (3/52) and Stuart Broad (3/65) hunted in pair while Moeen Ali (2/62) was a beneficiary of poor shot-making by a couple of Indian players. It was terrible shot selection that brought about the downfall of Rohit Sharma (28) and Ajinkya Rahane (54), both of whom looked set for long haul.

Rohit after a 74-run stand with Rahane was guilty of charging down to part-time off-spinner Ali failing to clear Stuart Broad at mid-off.

Rahane, who scored a gutsy half-century after a fine spell from Broad in the pre-lunch session, mishit a half-tracker from Ali to be caught by substitute fielder Sean Terry at mid-on.

Rahane hit five boundaries in his 113 ball knock and his dismissal proved costly in the broader context of the Indian innings.

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ICC warn Ali over Gaza protest

Southampton: England’s Moeen Ali has been warned by world cricket chiefs not to wear wristbands declaring his support for the people of Gaza again during international matches. But ICC said Ali would face no disciplinary action on this occasion after being warned about his future conduct by match referee David Boon. Ali wore wristbands during the third Test match against India on Monday that read ‘Save Gaza’ and ‘Free Palestine’.

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Even Virat Kohli (39) looked like hitting some form before he nibbled at an awaygoing delivery from his nemesis Jimmy Anderson to be caught by Alastair Cook at first slip.

Skipper Dhoni curbed his natural instincts to play a subdued game and added 58 runs for the seventh wicket with Ravindra Jadeja (31), who was the dominant partner.

Jadeja, as usual, batted in his flowing self, hitting six boundaries in the process before the second new ball did the trick. Anderson got one to swing back into the left-hander trapping him plumb in-front.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (19) got his first below-20 score in the tournament and it was left to Dhoni to carry on the battle of avoiding follow-on. The post-lunch session started with Kohli and Rahane looking to build a partnership.

But they could only go as far as 48 runs before India lost another wicket. This time it was the big one of Kohli, who had until then, fought hard with patience and determination before Anderson accounted for Kohli.

Eng 1st innings

  • 569/7 decl

India 1st innings

  • M Vijay b Broad………………………..35
  • S Dhawan c Cook b Anderson………6
  • C Pujara c Butler b Broad…………..24
  • V Kohli c Cook b Anderson…………39
  • A Rahane c Terry b Ali……………….54
  • Rohit c Broad b Ali……………………28
  • MS Dhoni not out…………………….50
  • R Jadeja lbw b Anderson…………..31
  • Bhuvneshwar c Ballance b Broad..19
  • M Shami not out………………………..4

Extras: (b12, lb13, w7)…………….32

Total: (For 8 wkts in 102 ovrs)…323

FoW: 1-17, 2-56, 3-88, 4-136,

5-210, 6-217, 7-275, 8-313.

Bowling: Anderson 24-9-52-3, Broad 23-6-65-3, Jordan 17-4-59-0, Woakes 20-8-60-0, Ali 18-0-62-2.

—PTI

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