England harvests a massive lead as Woakes scores an unanticipated ton. A collective show of brilliance and steadiness from the English middle order secured them a lead of 250 runs at the end of Day 3 of the 2nd Test match, at Lord’s. The teams finally had an uninterrupted day’s play as rains faded away from the scene. Although, in the end, the day’s play was cut short by 9 overs due to bad light.

The performance of the Indian team and the decisions made by captain Virat Kohli in this Test has raised many eyebrows. One of the major blunders was the selection of a 2nd spinner, Kuldeep Yadav, in conditions that do not support spin. The oversight became more apparent when the efforts of spinners were rendered futile as they remained wicketless as England were 6 down for 357 at Stumps. Shami bagged three wickets- two in the first session and one just after Lunch, with aid of his fuller and straight deliveries and crafty yorkers, the batsmen dominated innings. India might’ve seemed to have found their way to a comeback only initially as the first-second and third-fourth wickets fell in quick succession. Things seemed to be under control at lunch when England’s top order looked not quite strong and they were 4 down for 89. England had lost two reviews- debutant Ollie Pope and Keaton Jennings, unsuccessful, at that point.

India could’ve utilized their bowlers and exploited the situation to their benefit but soon England were on top again. And now India had lost a review on Bairstow who soon went on to make a fifty followed by England reaching the 200 mark. The 6th wicket partnership between Bairstow and Woakes put England way too ahead of India; Woakes got his fifty too. England were 230 for 5 at Tea. The new highlight of the match was obtained in Chris Woakes’ unprecedented ton- his first and at LORD’s! He has now got something two of the greatest batsmen ever- Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara don’t have. To look at his wizard-like statistics at Lord ’s: batting average of 122 and a bowling average of 10 and a dual entry to the honor boards. Only Stuart Broad from the current squad has the same and an added 10WM. England lost it’s 6th wicket when Pandya dismissed Bairstow who was on 93; 320 for 6. The new ball was taken by India in the 80th over but play stopped due to bad light in the next over and England were standing strong with a 357 for the loss of 6 wickets.

What Day 4 has in store can be very well determined and sectioned into – England’s declaration to win the match, and India’s efforts to save the same. Is an innings defeat for India in store?

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