A gutsy Cheteshwar Pujara composed a brilliant fifty, his first of the Test match, providing the bedrock for India’s domination over England on day three of the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston on Sunday. India reached 125 for 3 at the close of play on Day 3 for an overall lead of 257 with Cheteshwar Pujara (50*) and Rishabh Pant (30*) batting in the middle.
England hit back early in India’s second innings as James Anderson struck in the very first over to remove Shubman Gill (4) before Pujara combined with Hanuma Vihari (11) to stitch up a 39-run stand for the second wicket. Vihari was the next Indian batter to fall as Stuart Broad got him caught at third slip to take his 2nd wicket of the match.
Pujara then joined hands with Virat Kohli who looked confident in his short stay at the crease before an unplayable Ben Stokes delivery prized him out for 20. The dismissal, once again, proved that Kohli may have run out of luck. Stokes delivered a bouncer and Kohli, who had played with incredible discipline up until that point, could only edge the ball to the wicketkeeper behind the stumps. While Sam Billings could not hold onto the catch, Joe Root stood towards his right, and he flung out a hand, and the ball just stuck in it.
India etched out a 132-run first-innings lead against England, despite Jonny Bairstow’s third successive hundred on Day 3 in the series-deciding fifth Test on Sunday. Siraj finished with a superb spell of 4 for 66 while Jasprit Bumrah registered a three-wicket haul to bowl out England for 284 midway into the second session on Day 3, with Bairstow scoring a brilliant 106 off 140 balls.
Bumrah had a dream Test captaincy debut as he followed his unbeaten 31 off 16 balls in India’s 416 with 3/68 and a superb catch to remove his counterpart Ben Stokes in the second innings.
Earlier, an on-field altercation with Kohli fired up Bairstow, who defied pressure and played a counter-attacking knock to rescue England. Bairstow and Stokes had survived a tricky first half-hour against Bumrah and Mohammed Shami after England resumed the day on 84/5. Both bowlers beat the outside edges of the batters multiple times before Bairstow launched the counterattack to perfection.
However, Stokes fell after Bumrah held onto a difficult catch in the same position in Shardul Thakur’s over. Bairstow was adjudged lbw to Thakur on 81 but the batsman reviewed the decision and replays confirmed an edge before the ball hit his pad.
Bairstow didn’t take much time after the break to complete his hundred when he clipped Thakur onside for a boundary off the first ball after lunch. He then punched Thakur off the backfoot to the square boundary to raise his hundred on the offside as Ravindra Jadeja overran the ball and the ball rolled over the boundary skirting.
But Bumrah clipped the fast scoring rate of Bairstow after lunch before Siraj got the vital breakthrough when he had the batter caught at slip off a thick outside edge. Bairstow’s blistering knock included 14 fours and two sixes.
India lead the five-match series 2-1.