The Lord’s Test between England and India continues to see-saw from one side to the other. How will it swing on the third day? Follow our updates to find out (Please refresh the page for the latest). Also follow our ball-by-ball commentary here and our Hindi coverage here.
Joe Root made his fourth century at Lord’s, and stretched it past 150 like he had the first three times, as a near-perfect display on Day 3 helped England take a slender lead against India. He was left stranded on 180 with England being bowled out off the last ball of the day. The 27-run lead capped off a gradual comeback from England in the match, which had begun by first bowling India out early on Day 2 and then battling through to stumps on a difficult evening. Exactly two days and two innings now remain for the teams to force a result.
Almost as if it were a reward for their work on Friday evening, England came out to the best batting conditions of the match so far on Saturday – bright sunshine and a flat pitch that they put to good use, starting with overnight batters Root and Jonny Bairstow.
Full report to follow
Always a matter of two wickets
At every point in this Test match, the tempo has changed entirely with two quick wickets. Rahul and Rahane yesterday, then Sibley and Hameed. And it’s Ishant Sharma today, picked ahead of Ashwin, who gets the two left-handers in two balls. Root’s now faced a hat-trick ball twice in this innings.
India have dragged it close to parity with those wickets. A big lead now will need a significant effort from England’s tail. Mark Wood likes to throw the bat around and Anderson can stick around. As long as Root is in, England will still think of 450.
Only 50 away now, England. They scrapped and marginally pushed ahead of India through yesterday’s sessions. Today, it’s been complete dominance. Another session scoring at nearly 3.5 an over. They’ve added 98 in this one and lost two wickets and suddenly this game is moving as quickly as it had on the first day. The pitch certainly looks just as good as it had on that day, flat and friendly when movement in the air isn’t a factor.
For India, the second new ball hasn’t proved to be a game-changer. And now they have begun leaking boundaries. Shami is going at over four an over and there is little in terms of clear-cut chances being created by their line-up. England have cashed in big time to seize the advantage – in all but runs – in this Test.
300 in sight
India had to manufacture the Jonny Bairstow wicket and the Jos Buttler wicket was a rare case of them significantly beating an England batter today. It has been cruise control for the most part though as the sun has continued to beat down through the day. The ball isn’t doing a whole lot and they’re having to rely on toil and discipline at the moment. Flambouyant set-ups aren’t on the menu today as England come close to 300 – something both myself and Debayan Sen had said wasn’t likely on the podcast last evening – and even closer to taking a lead well before stumps if things continue to go this way. England’s lower order, starting with Moeen Ali, is a free-flowing, attacking one. It could soon be panic stations for India.
Joe Root gets to five hundreds in 2021
And Sampath from the stats team points out that no one’s done it for England since Ian Bell in 2011. Another terrific knock from their captain.
Where are we headed?
Analysing India’s morning
Here is Nagraj Collapudi from the ground.
Varun Shetty: What have you made of England’s progress this morning?
Nagraj Gollapudi: 97 runs in 28 overs – sums it up, no? Mind you, first time so far this series, England have batted out a session without losing a wicket. It is a statement to India: beware!
Varun Shetty: And it’s looked like it! I thought they were conservative right from the start today – do you agree?
Nagraj Gollapudi: Possibly. But then it has been such lovely, batting conditions this morning. The ball was nearly 50 overs old when play began today on a sunniest batting conditions not just this Test but the series so far. The only bowler who stood out was once again Jasprit Bumrah. Do you agree?
Varun Shetty: Yup. I think this session could have been a lot worse for India, because Bairstow was looking in full control. And we know when he’s in full control, he can score really quickly. Bumrah had him second-guessing a lot, though, and you could see he was making him shuffle a long way across. Should India be slightly disappointed by this after picking their top four pacers?
Nagraj Gollapudi: It is not yet a concern, but the bowling group except for Bumrah, will be disappointed slightly. I mean the pitch is slow, there is no moisture on the pitch and no reverse swing yet so the only thing you can do to create pressure is stay disciplined. That is exactly what Bumrah did: he posed questions by pitching consistently on length and cutting the ball away. He lured Bairstow more than once into playing the shot and beat the outside edge. But the pressure has not been created from both ends. Jadeja has bowled T20 lines and is playing the holding role than the senior spinner. No surprises there. But Ishant and Shami have not bowled to the fields and bowled too straight. But am sure India are looking for the new ball now – what seven more overs?
Varun Shetty: Yes, it does seem like a countdown to the new ball right now. How are the overhead conditions at the moment?
Nagraj Gollapudi: It is warm outside. I was sitting atop the newly launched Edrich stand, which is your long-off if you are batting from the Pavilion End. Right now it is a bit greyish, but dry and expect that to stay like that. The biggest issue for India is Root and Bairstow are fast chipping away at the lead which is now under 150. Would you back England to actually take the lead by eod?
Varun Shetty: I’m skeptical only because the second new ball completely derailed India’s innings as well, but they do look good for the lead if these two bat another hour. Let’s see how it goes, catch you later.
Third hundred stand this year between Root and Bairstow
And yet, only Jonny Bairstow’s first fifty for England since 2019. Mind-boggling, isn’t it, for someone as gifted? It’s the support root needed and on this instance, the partnership has been an even distribution. For context, take a look at this list of England’s top partnerships this year – Root is involved in the top 13 of them.
The English captain will be pleased at the progress this morning. India have been forced to be conservative already and their bowling now seems like a countdown to the second new ball. Bumrah has been quietly chipping away and the only bowler who has consistently troubled England. Otherwise, this has been England’s best session of the match. The lead is under 150 now. They’ve added 97 to their overnight score without losing a wicket.
This has been steady going for England, and a particularly impressive innings from Bairstow so far. It’s been no secret that teams have tried to hit his middle stump, and he’s had to work on his game in the V as a result. Importantly, that doesn’t seem to have affected his judgement outside off stump. You see Pujara lately and you get a contrast – he’s become uncertain on both the outside as well as inside edge, because of the work he had to against the incoming ball. So far, Bairstow looks very organised. The work he’s done hasn’t affected his ability to score quickly either. First hour to England.
Hello, welcome back. For the first time in this Test, we’re going to begin the day in glorious sunshine. Perhaps Joe Root’s decision to bowl isn’t looking so bad in retrospect, at least given that so far they haven’t had to deal with overpowered bowling conditions.
They have had to deal with a pretty powerful bowling line-up though, and they’ve done it alright so far. A lot of it, once again, has revolved around Root, but Burns played a strong hand last evening to make sure there wasn’t a collapse as Siraj powered through his spell after tea. They’re 245 behind and the equation is pretty simple – they’ll have to bat all day to be in a position to control this Test.
Varun Shetty is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo