RIGHT FROM DAY 1 IT WAS AND REMAINS ENGLAND.

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After an emphatic India win at Lord’s focus moved to Leeds where the third test of the series was scheduled. India made no changes to their XI and a couple of changes for hosts as Craig Overton was in for injured Mark Wood and David Malan was in for Dominic Sibley, toss went India’s way who opt to bat.

India electing to bat didn’t have the start they would have wished for as James Anderson striked a big wicket on the 5th ball as man-in-form KL Rahul walked back on a duck edging to Buttler and wasn’t too late that Anderson struck again and was a big fish as Cheteshwar Pujara walked back scoring a run. Virat Kohli was in early, joined Rohit Sharma who on the other end was going good in his new defensive approach. Anderson again and this time it was Virat Kohli the man to depart on 7 edging to Jos Buttler and India were in all sorts of trouble. Ajinkya Rahane spends time with Rohit Sharma as a few odd boundaries were scored before Robinson brushed the outside edge of Ajinkya Rahane on 18(54). Rishabh Pant was next to depart on 2(9) and it was Robinson this time who brushed the edge of Pant handing England a key wicket. Wasn’t too late that Craig Overton got in action and after many half chances he finally had a reward as he picked up a set Rohit Sharma pulling one on 19(105), very next delivery striked Shami handing him a golden duck, Ishant denies a hat-trick to Overton. Very next over Sam Curran got his reward as he picked up Jadeja on 4(29) and on the next ball handed Bumrah a golden duck and again a hat-trick was denied to England as Siraj survives. Craig Overton got England the last wicket as Siraj walked back on 3(10). A no show from India as England’s controlled and aggresive bowling see’s great reward as India were all out for 78. It was James Anderson’s spell of 8-5-6-3 that set England’s tone early, three wicket each to James Anderson and Craig Overton and a couple each to Sam Curran and Ollie Robinson. A complete different story unfolds as England made their way out, Rory Burns had a new partner in Haseeb Hameed at the top and both gave England a great start, denying a single wicket to India on the opening day where England first wipe off India’s lead and then get England a lead of 42 runs where both openers scored half centuries as England day end day 1 on 120/0. A contrast of play on the opening day from both sides, English bowlers got Indian batters dancing on their toes and English batters comfortably got the runs.

English openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed got England too a unbeaten century run stand after a memorable bowling unit outing.

Day 2 was no different for England as runs kept flowing for England at quick pace but India did finally have a wicket as Rory Burns walked back scoring a brilliant 61, Shami with the breakthrough for India on 135. David Malan was in with Haseeb Hameed who was next to depart as Jadeja got one through Haseeb’s defences on 68, brilliant innings that from Haseeb Hameed. Two wickets in short span for India but don’t capitalise enough as England put up another big stand of 139 runs where Joe Root got to his quick half century continuing his dream run and Malan too following the footprints of his skipper got to his half century. Malan departed on 70 that saw curtains on England’s 139 run stand as Siraj got India a much wanted breakthrough. Bairstow too managed a few runs and Joe Root on the other end scored yet another test ton and this is best of the lot as it’s come in real quick time and the 52 run stand came to close as Shami found the outside of Bairstow on 29 and was a great grab by skipper Kohli in the slips to complete the wicket. Jos Buttler departed for 7, poor patch continues for Jos Buttler. Couple more wickets in quick succession for India as Moeen on 8 and Root’s steller 121 saw curtains. Sam Curran and Criag Overton score handy runs extending England’s lead on day 2.

Joe Root’s dream run continues as he put up yet another steller 121 in England’s only innings.

With two tailenders wickets in hand England start day 3 and score of a few boundaries and end on 432. Shami the pick of the bowlers for India as he topped the list with 4 wickets and a couple each to Jadeja, Ishant and Bumrah. India out to bat on day 3, Rohit and Rahul this time manage well to hang in, there was a lot of moment and swing for the English pacers unlike Indian and there were many appeals, play and misses. The wicket took a while to come and it had come of Overton who got a key wicket of KL Rahul on 8(54) nicking one to Bairstow who grabbed an stunning catch to complete the wicket. Pujara was in nect and was in a different zone as he had an aggresive start against the English seamers who bowled a lot in his zone and he didn’t fail to score off them and paced his innings well. Rohit soon got to his excellent 50* and walked back on 59(156), a top show again from Rohit Sharma and does what India would have asked for. Virat Kohli too gets going in this innings much like Pujara and soon Pujara put up a good looking half century, towards the end of day England only bowl spin due to bad light and were aiming to finish their remaining overs of old ball to start with a new ball on day 4. India finish on 215-2, Pujara and Virat remain unbeaten on 91 and 45 respectively.

Rohit Sharma with a brilliant 59(156) set foundation for the Indian middle order.

Virat and Pujara in the middle begin proceedings for India, England take the new ball straightaway and Anderson, Robinson share the new ball. Robinson strikes in the 4th over of play as Pujara departs for an excellent 91(189) and India’s 99 run partnership saw curtains. Rahane joins Virat Kohli and soon Virat has his test 50* a shot more before Ollie Robinson found the outside edge as Virat nicks one to Joe Root at first slip on 55(125). James Anderson credited with a wicket as he finds the outside edge of Rahane on 10(25), Rishabh Pant was in and out as it was a run stay that saw Robinson with his 4th. A collapse that saw main men return, Shami next to depart as Moeen Ali gets one through the gate, Ishant next to depart handing a five-fer to Ollie Robinson and Craig Overton struck Jadeja on 30 and Siraj to end India’s horror test match.215-3 to 278-1, these numbers speak volumes. England win by an innings and 76 runs, with a five wicket haul Robinson tops the wicket tally, three for Overton and a wicket each to Anderson and Moeen Ali.

Ollie Robinson (top) and Craig Overton shine with the ball for England.

A lot to reflect for India and a lot that will be addressed. England have had a great win and a perfect match despite losing the toss. Next test is at Oval on 2nd of September.

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