Riding on Chris Woakes (120 not out) and Jonny Bairstow’s (93) exceptional performance, Joe Root-led England cricket team took full command of the game on the third day of the second Test match.

At the end of the third day’s game, England have reached 357 for six wickets taking a lead of 250 runs over India. Wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow and all-rounder Chris Woakes stabilised English innings after four of their upper order failed to perform at the Lord’s. The duo added 189-run partnership before all-rounder Hardik Pandya removed Bairstow from the attack.

And following Bairstow’s departure, young all-rounder Sam Curran joined Woakes at the crease and continued his golden run by scoring 22 runs off 24 balls.

Here are the five talking points from third day’s game at the Lord’s :

1- Chris Woakes the new Lord of the Lord’s?

It seems the ‘home of cricket’ Lord’s stadium has found its new Lord in the form of all-rounder Chris Woakes. Making his comeback in place of Ben Stokes, Woakes impressed the spectators first with his bowling on the second day and now with his batting.

Chris Woakes
England’s batsman Chris Woakes (L) turns to his batting partner Jonny Bairstow (R) (Photo: AFP)

 

Woakes had played a very important role in dismissing the visitors at the score of 107 runs along with James Anderson. Woakes had also tamed Indian skipper Virat Kohli in the first innings of the match.

On Saturday, Woakes showed his batting skills as he scored his maiden Test century, and he rose to the occasion when his side needed him the most. Woakes scored 120 runs not out at the of the day.

2- Mohammed Shami excels again

Star Indian pacer Mohammed Shami once again excelled with the bowl in the absence of prime seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. After getting bowled out at the below par score of 107, India needed an excellent bowling performance and Shami was brilliant with the bowl. Though Shami did not get enough help from other bowlers, he alone dismantled the upper batting order of England.

Mohammed Shami
India’s Mohammed Shami. (Photo: AFP)

 

Shami gave India its first breakthrough by removing Keaton Jennings with the new bowl and soon he sent English skipper Joe Root and Jos Buttler back to the pavilion.

3- Jonny Bairstow’s missed century

Though wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow deserves all the praise for his batting performance at the Lord’s after England’s upper order collapsed, he must be sad with himself for missing out on a Test century that too at the ‘home of cricket’.

Jonny Bairstow
England’s Jonny Bairstow (R) (Photo: AFP)

 

Jonny Bairstow along with Chris Woakes build the hosts’ batting and stitched 189 runs together. Bairstow scored 93 runs before getting dismissed by Hardik Pandya.

4- Virat Kohli’s spin gamble backfired?

When the playing XI of both the teams (India and England) were announced, it was clear that both Virat Kohli and Joe Root had read the condition at Lord’s differently.

Virat Kohli
India’s captain Virat Kohli reacts on the field (Photo: AFP)

 

While English skipper went with four prime pacers, Virat Kohli went with two spinners. And just after the first ball of the match had been bowled by James Anderson, it was clear whose decision was right as the 36-year-old pacer was swinging the ball like he had a chip on it and could control via a remote.

5- Alastair Cook fails again

Star English batters Alastair Cook failed again with the bat. In the first Test match against India, it was spin wizard R Ashwin who troubled him with his bowling and now in the first innings of the second Test he again failed to score big and was dismissed by Ishant Sharma.

2, 5, 14, 2, 1, 70, 46, 0, 13 and 21: These are the runs scored by Cook in last ten Test innings. Alastair Cook had been struggling with the bat for quite some time now and barring the double hundred he scored at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in last summer’s Ashes, he has not done much for England with the bat.

Alastair Cook
England’s Alastair Cook. (Photo: AFP)

 

Though it may not be a major headache for English selectors and Joe Root for now, to reduce the pressure on the likes of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, it is imperative that Cook pulls up his socks in the remaining matches.