IND vs ENG: 1st Test, Day 3 Talking Points – Pope’s ton lights up England’s day in Hyderabad

After being pegged back for the first couple of days in the first Test in Hyderabad, England showed their resolve on Day 3. India added just 15 runs to their overnight score of 421/7, before losing the last three wickets at the score of 436 and in the space of 10 balls. Ravindra Jadeja was the top-scorer in the Indian innings, as he made 87, before being adjudged LBW.

After wrapping up the Indian innings in a hurry, England openers Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett got their team off to a flying start and chipped away at the 190-run deficit. They added 45 runs inside the first 10 overs. Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Crawley for a 33-ball 31 as India got the much-needed breakthrough. However, this wicket didn’t stop England’s momentum. Ben Duckett played a fine knock of 47 off 52 balls before being dismissed by a peach of a delivery from Jasprit Bumrah.

Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, and Ben Stokes perished in quick succession but Ben Foakes joined Ollie Pope and they formed a sensational 112-run partnership. The latter brought up a fine century and finished the day unbeaten on 148. Foakes battled hard for his 81-ball 34 before Axar Patel got the better of him with a ball that stayed low and crept under the England wicketkeeper’s bat. Rehan Ahmed played some good shots and remained unbeaten on 16. England finished on 316/6, with a lead of 126 runs. Some balls are keeping alarmingly low, while some are turning decently. A target of over 200 won’t be easy to chase in the last innings.

Talking Points from Day 3:

3. India meet ‘Bazball’

Heading into the series, one of the major talking points was the potential effectiveness of Bazball in Indian conditions. The first innings didn’t go as planned for England as they were bowled out for 246. However, in the second innings, they brought Bazball to the fore. England scored 316 runs in 77 overs at a run-rate of 4.10. Irrespective of the eventual result of this match, England’s performance in the second innings will surely give them a lot of confidence.

2. Axar Patel drops Ollie Pope

Ollie Pope attempted a reverse sweep in the 64th over of England’s innings off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja and gave English fans a scare. The former was batting on 110 at the moment and England were placed at 257/5, having a lead of just 71 runs. He rarely erred while playing the unconventional stroke but he hit the fourth ball of the over to Axar Patel at backward point. The all-rounder couldn’t hold on to the catch, which was a regulation one by his standards. Pope has gone on to add 38 runs since that drop catch, while England have stretched their lead to 126. Things could have been very different had Axar taken that chance.

1. Ollie Pope steals the show

The openers set things up at the top before Pope stole the show in the latter half of England’s second innings. The Chelsea-born scored his 148 runs off just 208 balls, hitting 17 fours with a strike rate of 71.15. He used conventional sweeps and reverse sweeps to great effect and didn’t allow the Indian bowlers to settle.