After the batting debacle in the first two Tests of the ongoing five-match series between India and England, visitors put up their best batting performance on Saturday by reaching 307 for 6 on the first day of the third Test.
Earlier on the Day One of the third Test, Joe Root invited India to bat first after winning the toss, hoping to strike early but his plans went out of the window as Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Kl Rahul gave visitors a decent start by putting up the 60-run partnership.
The good work of Rahul and Dhawan was taken forward by Indian skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane. The duo together added 159 runs for the fourth wicket
English all-rounder Chris Woakes brought England back into the game by taking three wickets (KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara).
Here are the five talking points from Day 1 of the third Test:
Chris Woakes denied India a good start
In the third Test for a change, Indian openers were looking comfortable while facing England’s pace attack. Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul opened Indian innings and gave visitors a decent start by adding the 60-runs stand for the opening wickets.
However, English all-rounder Chris Woakes spoiled India’s start by taking three wickets to leave them reeling at 82/3 at lunch on Day 1. Woakes rattled India’s upper batting order by removing Shikhar Dhawan (35), Lokesh Rahul (23) and Cheteshwar Pujara (14) in a brilliant spell of seam-up pace bowling.
Adil Rashid denied Virat Kohli Test century
Indian skipper Virat Kohli once again guided his side from the front as visitors put up 307 runs for the loss of six wickets till stumps on the first day of the third Test match.
However, Virat Kohli on Saturday missed out on a well-deserved Test century by a whisker as his 97 came off 152 balls. England spinner Adil Rashid’s selection in English Test side had drawn flak from former players. However, it seems he did what he was selected for by removing Indian captain from the crease.
Virat Kohli’s dismissal can be the key moment in the third Test. Rashid has quite a record against Indian captain, it was the sixth stance when English spinner had removed the 29-year-old captain in international cricket.
Ajinkya Rahane back in action
India’s vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is back in action. On Saturday, Rahane decided to ditch the drive and was prepared to look ugly to make a stance.
Rahane came to bat at number five after Chris Woakes had sent three Indian batsmen back to the pavilion at the score of 83. After joining his captain at the crease, Rahane first got into the damage-control mode and then took charge of Indian innings.
After four back-to-back failures in England, Rahane finally looked good with the bat as he scored a fluent 81 runs and added 159 runs stand with Virat Kohli. On Saturday, viewers witnessed shades of old Rahane and his returning back to his form will certainly bring a lot of relief inside the dressing room.
Rishabh Pant make his Test debut
Delhi’s wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant on Saturday (18 August) made his Test debut for India. Rishabh is the 291st Test player, 36th wicket-keeper batsman, 2nd left-handed wicket-keeper batsman and 5th youngest keeper to represent India.
Rishabh Pant created history in his debut match by hitting a six on the second delivery of his Test career. Pant is the first Indian cricketer to achieve this feat and 12th man to get off the mark in Test cricket with a six.
New Zealand’s Mark Craig is the only player in the history of Test cricket to score a six on his first ball.
Virat Kohli altered the team selection again
In the third Test, Virat Kohli once again altered team’s playing XI. Virat did three changes in the Indian squad for the second Test. Young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant was included in place of Dinesh Karthik, Shikhar Dhawan came in place of Murali Vijay and Kuldeep Yadav made way for Jasprit Bumrah.
It was 38th Test match of Virat Kohli as skipper and it was also 38th time in a row when Indian squad was changed. However, it is yet to be seen how long Virat will continue to keep chopping and changing the team.