'England left praying for a miracle'

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 29, 2016 09:31 hrs
india vs england

Ravindra Jadeja led India's strong lower-order batting display with a career-best 90 before spin partner Ravichandran Ashwin wrecked England's top order to put the hosts firmly in charge of the third test on Monday.

Look at how experts penned down their thoughts on England's debacle.


Disastrous day for England hands India the series initiative in third Test

Vic Marks, The Guardian

Another day of drip-drip torment for England in the Punjab and their chief torturer was Ravi Ashwin, India’s prime all-rounder – and in these parts regarded as the world’s best all-rounder. Currently it is hard to argue with that.

Ashwin has been a rock for India when holding a bat in this series, often making amends for the frailties of one or two up the order: 58, 70 and 72 have been his first innings scores, runs always compiled when the home side has been wavering. But currently it is his bowling that is haunting English batsmen from Alastair Cook downwards.

When England finally won the right to start their second innings – they had to wait until after tea to do that – Ashwin was summoned up for the fourth over of the innings. Suddenly the pitch, which had been dozing all day came to life, or maybe it was just Ashwin’s special skills that caused the uncertainty among the batsmen. The ball never seemed to land where anticipated, especially when England’s left-handers were on strike.

Ashwin dismissed both Cook and Moeen Ali in a manner that will gnaw away at the two batsmen before they have another chance to take to the crease in Mumbai in about 10 days’ time. Just before the close he dispatched Ben Stokes as well. As a consequence England finished a difficult day in dire straits on 78 for four.


England take wrong turn against spin

George Dogbell, ESPNCricinfo

This was the day the bailiffs arrived for England. It wasn't that their performance on day three was especially poor. It was more that they were paying for debts incurred earlier in the game.

From the moment they failed to take advantage of winning the toss, from the moment they failed to score 450 in their first innings, from the moment they lost four wickets in the opening session of the match, they have been up against it. The evening session of the third day was the time the pressure told and England snapped. It felt like the tipping point of the game; it may well prove to be the tipping point of the series.

England looked dispirited long before their second innings began. Maybe it was the injury to Haseeb Hameed, who may well be out of the series, maybe it was the way the India tail wagged - at 204 for 6 England were thinking of a first-innings lead; at 400 for 8 that was a painful memory - or maybe it was the realisation that they had squandered a great opportunity in this match, but England looked disappointed before the end of India's innings.

It showed in the fielding first. Alastair Cook, his mind clouded, dropped a relatively straightforward chance at slip - something that is happening too frequently to be dismissed as an aberration - and Jonny Bairstow missed one going to his right. It meant England had dropped four chances in total in India's first innings.


England staring down the barrel as India turn screw on day three of the third Test

Jow Mewis, Mirror

England face a huge battle to save the third Test in Mohali after their top order capitulated at the end of day three.

Ravichandran Ashwin did the damage, striking three times in the final session to leave the tourists at 78-4, still 56 runs behind India's first innings total of 417.

That was after Ravindra Jadeja spearheaded a strong lower-order batting display with a career-best 90, sharing 75-plus partnerships with Ashwin Jayant Yadav.

Joe Root maneuvered his way to 36 not out at the close with nightwatchman Gareth Barry joining him at the crease at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.


Alastair Cook left praying for a miracle as disastrous third day all but guarantees defeat

Chris Stocks, Independent

England will require a miracle to avoid defeat after they suffered a nightmare third day in this third Test.

After conceding a first-innings advantage of 134 to India, Alastair Cook’s side then lost four wickets to limp to the close still 56 runs behind on 78 for four.

To add to the sense of gloom, Haseeb Hameed’s series may well be over too, the teenage opener prevented from batting today because of the injury to his left hand sustained following the blow he took from Umesh Yadav on the first day.

Things had started badly when India added 146 runs to their overnight score of 271 for six to make 417 in their first innings.

England’s second innings then got off to the worst possible start when they lost Cook, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes cheaply.

Hameed’s fitness will be determined by a scan to the little finger on his left hand following this match. By then, though, England will surely be 2-0 down in this series after their loss in Visakhapatnam last week, with defeat here seemingly now a case of when not if.


Ashwin-led spin trio pummels England with bat and ball

R Kaushik, Widen India

Like in all walks of life, intent is a massive commodity in cricket too. Intent, of course, stems from many factors. Confidence. Trust in one’s ability. Self-belief. Security.

Throughout this series, for all their competitiveness, England have steadfastly refused to show intent when it has mattered the most. In the first Test in Rajkot, when with a little more enterprise they could have asked even more serious questions of India, they chose to give their bowlers no more than 50 overs on a wearing fifth-day track, putting safety first in setting and looking at a draw as a moral victory.

In Visakhapatnam, in last week’s second Test defeat after having been set 405 in 150 overs, there was again a safety-first approach as Alastair Cook and Haseeb Hameed adopted a stonewalling policy that was admirable while it lasted, but that was always fraught with danger once one wicket led to two.

In keeping with their diffidence at the crunch, England were once again found out on the purpose front on day three of the third Test at the PCA Stadium. India began Monday (November 28) 12 runs in arrears with four wickets in hand, on 271 for 6 in reply to England’s 283. After a few early attempts at trying to separate the overnight pair of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja (90), England were happy to slip back into a defensive mode, getting as little out of the surface as they put into it.

India gleefully accepted the opportunity to build a lead, riding on half-centuries for the first time in a Test innings from their Nos. 7 (Ashwin), 8 (Jadeja) and 9 (Jayant Yadav) to amass 417, an advantage of 134. For three and a half hours when England plugged away with five-wicket man Ben Stokes leading the way, waiting for the batsmen to commit mistakes, it appeared as if the surface was a batting paradise. How else could India’s bottom-five have outscored the top-five 261 runs to 156? By the time India returned to attack England with a big lead behind their back and an attitude to match, it appeared as the track had dramatically changed character.


These passages are taken from the above mentioned websites and SIFY.COM has not carried any editorial correction / addition to what the authors have narrated.

More from Sify: