Despite Pant-Pujara Heroics, England Remain in Control of 1st Test

England remained on the top at the end of the third day of the first Test against India.

2 min read
Rishabh Pant celebrates his half century on Day 3 of the Chennai Test. He went onto score 91 in the match.

England remained on the top at the end of the third day of the first Test against India after Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara led the hosts' fightback to reduce their first innings deficit to 321 runs.

India ended Day 3 on 257 runs for six wickets in reply to England's 578 at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium in Chennai.

Despite Pant-Pujara Heroics, England Remain in Control of 1st Test
(Photo: BCCI)

England reduced India to 73/4 earlier in the day with captain Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill being dismissed cheaply.

Rohit was the first to go as he got out caught behind on a peach of a delivery bowled by Jofra Archer in the fourth over of the innings. The 32-year-old scored just six runs off the nine deliveries he faced.

Cheteshwar Pujara, who came in next, then tried to steady the Indian ship with Gill as they both played cautiously against both Archer and James Anderson.

Gill, in particular, looked in great control and played some lovely shots before he was caught at mid-on by Anderson at his individual score of 29. He scored five boundaries in the 28 balls he faced during the course of his innings which was brought to an end by Archer.

Kohli, playing his first Test after the paternity leave, was the first wicket to fall in the post-lunch session as he got caught at short-leg by Ollie Pope against Dominic Bess. He batted for 48 deliveries in which he scored 11 runs.

India's number four Rahane didn't stay long at the crease as he was caught brilliantly by England skipper Joe Root against Bess. The 32-year-old, who led India to a memorable Test series win last month in Australia, scored just one run off the six balls he faced, leaving the hosts in trouble at 73/4.

Pujara and Pant then put up a 119-run stand for the fifth wicket with the latter going after England spinner Jack Leach. Pant put up a measured counter-attack, targeting Leach and refraining himself from going after Bess. He smashed nine fours and five sixes and was dismissed when he finally mistimed a lofted shot off Bess. Leach completed the catch at deep cover to leave Pant nine runs short of his third Test century.

Pujara was dismissed by Bess in a rather bizarre fashion. The Indian batsman attempted a pull shot. The ball rebound off Pope's shoulder at short leg before looping to Burns at short midwicket.

Washington Sundar, batting on 33, was in the middle with Ravichandran Ashwin on eight off 54 balls at stumps.

Brief scores: England 578 all out (Joe Root 218, Dom Sibley 87; Jasprit Bumrah 3/84) vs India 257/6 (Rishabh Pant 91, Cheteshwar Pujara 73; Dom Bess 4/55)

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