NOTTINGHAM: Ishant Sharma-led pace attack blew away the English top order as India inched closer towards a comprehensive victory in the third Test, here today.
Ishant (2/24), Mohammed Shami (1/28) and Jasprit Bumrah (1/26) reduced England to 84 for 4 at lunch chasing an improbable victory target of 521.
At lunch, Jos Buttler (19 batting) and Ben Stokes (3 batting) were the unbeaten batsmen. England need another 437 runs for an improbable victory.
Starting from overnight 23 for no loss, the English openers didn’t stay for long, as they had no answer to Ishant’s probing line and length.
Keaton Jennings (13) was out off the fifth ball of the day, caught behind. Ishant then made it two in seven balls as he also accounted for former skipper Alastair Cook (17), caught by KL Rahul at second slip.
From 32-2, Joe Root (13) and Olliver Pope (16) put on 30 runs for the third wicket. England crossed 50 in the 19th over.
However the duo were never really comfortable at the crease. Root was having trouble comprehending Bumrah’s angular delivery while Pope was playing flashy drives at every possible opportunity.
It led to their eventual downfall, and they departed within five balls over the 25th and 26th overs.
Root was first to go, just hanging his bat out to a wide delivery as Rahul caught another one at second slip. Then, Pope was out caught off Shami, with Virat Kohli leaping in front of Rahul to finish a fabulous diving catch.
Things could have been worse for England with young Rishabh Pant dropping Jos Buttler on 1 off Bumrah in the 27th over.
Thereafter, Buttler tightened up and along with Stokes denied India until lunch, albeit a herculean task lies ahead of them. *(AGENCIES)