England lead India by 345 runs
Images from Day 2 of the third Test between England and India, at Headingley, Leeds, on Thursday.
In-form skipper Joe Root smashed yet another hundred as England gained a stranglehold in the third Test against India by the end of Day 2, at Headingley, Leeds, on Thursday.
At close of play, the hosts were 423 for 8, with a first-innings lead of 345 runs, having dismissed India for a paltry 78 in 40.4 overs on Wednesday.
Root again led from the front, scoring a superb 121 off 165 balls, which was studded with 14 hits to the fence. It was his eighth hundred against India and third on the trot in the ongoing series.
He added 139 runs with Dawid Malan (70) before sharing a 52-run stand with Jonny Bairstow (29) that put England in a commanding position with three days to go in the match.
At the draw of stumps, Craig Overton was unbeaten on 24 with Ollie Robinson (0) at the crease.
Mohammed Shami was India’s most successful bowler with figures of 3 for 87. Ravindra Jadeja (2/88), Mohammed Siraj (2/86) and Jasprit Bumrah (1/58) were the other wicket-takers.
Though India won easily at Lord's, they were not able to trouble Root, who extended his purple patch with his 23rd Test hundred and sixth of the year.
After openers Rory Burns (61 off 153) and Haseeb Hameed (68 off 195) gave England the start they were desperately looking for, Root and Dawid Malan (70 off 128) shared a brisk 139-run stand off 189 balls to pile misery on the Indians.
Root was a delight to watch, scoring runs at will and all around the wicket. His 14 boundaries included his trademark punch through cover, which brought about his 50 before he flicked one between mid-on and midwicket to get to three figures.
Such was the range on offer that he also swept and reverse swept left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. Barring Mohammed Shami, the Indian pacers had another ordinary day and Root made them pay for their erratic line and length.
With his 23rd hundred, Root equalled Kevin Pietersen's record and is now only behind Alastair Cook (33).
Jasprit Bumrah managed to get one past Root's watertight defence late in the final session to end a memorable innings. India went on to pick five wickets in the session but the damage had already been done.
Earlier, India struck twice but it was not enough to put England under pressure as the hosts extended their lead to 104 runs at lunch on Day 2.
England did well to score 62 runs in the session, taking their first innings to score 182 for 2, having started the day on 120 for no loss.
This was after India were bowled out for 78 in the first innings.
Mohammad Shami looked the most threatening among the four Indian fast bowlers, who did not get enough seam or swing movement for the second day running.
Coming round the wicket, Shami dismissed Rory Burns (61 off 153) in the first hour of play with a delivery that nipped back in sharply to hit the top of off-stump.
India got a much-needed second wicket against the run of play when Ravindra Jadeja struck in his first over of the day with a beauty.
The left-arm spinner got one to straighten slightly from middle and off-stump to beat a well-set Haseeb Hameed (68 off 195) and kiss the bails for his first wicket of the series.
Dawid Malan, playing his first Test in three years, looked in good touch and was on 27 off 49 at the break alongside in-form skipper Joe Root (14 off 14).
Despite the twin strikes, it is amply clear that India will need to create something special to come back in the match.
Ishant Sharma opened the bowling for India and, like on Wednesday, did not look at his best as he struggled to find the right line and length on the surface. England fast bowlers, in comparison, had bowled much fuller on Day 1.
The Indian attack, which relies on seam more than swing, hasn’t been able to get much movement off the surface. The accuracy, which England pacers displayed, was missing from the visitors.
Mohammad Siraj bowled a couple of looseners in his first over, which Malan duly cut to the deep backward point and third man respectively. The southpaw began with an elegant cover drive off Jasprit Bumrah before growing in confidence.
His second cover drive came off Siraj towards the end of the session.
Skipper Joe Root produced top-class batting and Dawid Malan scored a sublime fifty in his comeback game as England toyed with India’s bowling to reach 298 for 3 at the tea break on Day 2 of the third Test, at Headingley, Leeds, on Thursday.
Runs came thick and fast for England in the afternoon session as India’s bowlers appeared toothless, both with the old and new ball. The hosts added 116 runs in the session to extend their lead to 220 runs.
Root was unbeaten on 80 off 94 balls at the break. He and Malan (70 off 128 balls) shared a 139-run stand off 189 balls before the southpaw got a faint edge while trying to flick Mohammad Siraj and was caught behind at the stroke of tea.
The Indian pacers, who scripted a memorable win at Lord's, bowled too many boundary balls and the England duo was quick to put them away.
The pitch seems to have eased out considerably for the batsman after India collapsed to 78 all out on Day 1.
Root, who had singlehandedly carried the batting responsibilities, got much-needed support from Malan, who made an instant impact in his first Test in three years.
The Indian bowlers have not been able to trouble Root so far in the series and the skipper scored runs at will on Thursday. He seems to be in the form of his life and reached his 51st fifty off just 57 balls with a gorgeous backfoot punch through the covers.
Malan too played some delightful strokes and was brutal as well as elegant on the off-side. Besides the cover drives and rasping cut shots, he also effectively used the glide to third-man region.
With England looking good to bat India out of the game, the visitors will need to produce something special to bounce back.