While debutant Hanuma Vihari’s well-calculated fifty on debut helped him enter a bijou list. Ravindra Jadeja’s unbeaten 86 helped India put up a total of 292 on board. Alastair Cook stayed on the crease and survived the last session of day 3.
It was England’s game at end of Day 2 with India not quite struggling but on 174/6 in 51.0 overs. Debutant Vihari was on 25* and Ravindra Jadeja on 8*. But going by the record of the last-four positions’ batting performances in the tour it was not so certain that India could manage what they actually went on to do. India was 40 runs behind England at the end of their innings.
Hanuma Vihari has 15 centuries to his name in the 5,142 first-class runs that he has scored. His selection over Karun Nair was highly criticised. Although nothing was directed towards him, it was Vihari’s chance to justify his position in the team. With his 104-ball 50, Vihari became the 26th Indian player to record a fifty-plus score on debut. Furthermore, he became only the 4th Indian to record a fifty-plus score on Test debut in England.
The bijou list:
Rusi Modi (57* in 1946)
Sourav Ganguly (131 in 1996)
Rahul Dravid (95 in 1996)
Hanuma Vihari(56 in 2018)
It took a tossed up delivery from the bowler that spun back into Vihari and made him tread forward in defense. The ball took a muffled edge as Jonny Bairstow took a good catch behind the stumps. That’s how Moeen Ali got his breakthrough for England. He produced a partnership of 77 runs with Ravindra Jadeja and India was on 240 for 7 at Lunch.
Man of the hour Ravindra Jadeja
When Ravindra Jadeja reached his half-century, he dusted off his bat – a celebration England was aware of. After all, the England team got a show of it at The Oval, way back in 2014. India’s penultimate wicket fell with Shami’s dismissal and the Scorecard displayed- 260/9 in 85.5 overs. Jadeja fought on with Jasprit Bumrah the last man in for the next 8 overs. Bumrah’s defense against James Anderson was well applauded by the crowd. But the Indian innings came to an end when Broad/Bairstow ran Bumrah out and Jadeja remained stranded at an unbeaten 86.
Alastair Cook attracted all the tension and excitement on coming down to bat in his 291st and final Test innings. England were 20 for no loss at Tea. Every fan of Cook out there breathed out a sigh of relief when the man managed to survive the last session. At Stumps Day 3, England stood 114/2 in 43.0 overs (AN Cook 46, JE Root 29). England now have a lead of 154 runs over India.