India vs England 2nd Test Day 3 Report: Shubman Gill will hold on to his place in the Indian Test XI for now, courtesy of a century that would not have been, if not for plenty of luck early in his innings. He survived thrice before he had scored even 20 runs, but he grabbed his opportunity to end a struggle-filled drought to get back his form and confidence.
Gill’s 104 in India’s innings of 255 helped the hosts extend their lead from 171 at the start of the day to 398, setting England a record target to chase.
India vs England 2nd Test Day 3 Report: Shubman Gill fights for his century after tricky start in the morning
India had a terrible start to the day as both openers, Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal, fell to the mastery of James Anderson. The 41-year-old pacer knocked over Rohit’s off-stump before baiting Jaiswal into a drive and getting his outside edge.
It was the worst period for Gill to arrive – already struggling for runs and now he had to face Anderson, who has dismissed him five times. Gill, though, enjoyed a great slice of luck. He was given out LBW off Tom Hartley, but a review showed he had managed a small inside edge that even Gill didn’t know about. He then survived another LBW call, off Anderson; an umpire’s call of not out coming to his rescue. He then nicked Hartley, but Root couldn’t move fast to his left for the grab.
After that, however, Shubman Gill showed his sublimeness and cautiousness. Knowing that he could very well be dropped should he fail now, Gill milked singles and doubles off the England spinners. The rotation of strikes became imperative for India as boundaries dried up. Gill’s innings included 29 singles and 5 twos off spinners. Gill, and Iyer along with him, were sharp enough to send the bad balls to boundaries with cuts, drives, and pulls.
The pair added 81 runs before Iyer played an unnecessary slog off Hartley and was superbly caught by a back-running Ben Stokes. Rajat Patidar followed Iyer to the dressing room.
The most assured-looking of the Indian batsmen was Axar Patel, who scored 45 runs with the help of six fours but got a difficult ball from Hartley that remained low and rapped on his pads. Before this, Gill had taken off and scampered to his third Test century. The right-hander creamed 11 fours and 2 sixes in his innings, which was brought to an end by an ill-attempted reverse sweep off Bashir. R. Ashwin’s 29 crucial runs took India’s lead to 398, which should be enough on a pitch that is breaking down and staying low, though you never know with Bazball.
Undaunted by the prospect of a big chase, England openers Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett marked Mukesh Kumar as their man to attack and took him for 19 runs in 2 overs while being careful against Jasprit Bumrah, who conceded only 9 runs in 5 overs. Crawley slogged Kuldeep Yadav for a six, but R. Ashwin showed his experience and trickery to once again dismiss Duckett. Rehan Ahmed is the nightwatchman.
At stumps, England are 67/1 and scored at a run rate of 4.78. They need 332 more runs with nine wickets in hand. A thrilling day of Test cricket awaits on Monday.