After a dismal performance by the Indian team in the first innings, Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara’s valiant half-centuries scripted India's fightback as they ended on 215/2, trailing by 139 runs on Day 3 of the third Test match at Headingley in Leeds.
Despite struggling for runs in the series, Pujara crafted his way to a well compiled 91*and forged an unbeaten 99-run partnership with Virat Kohli. The skipper, looked in absolute control en route to his 45* as they blunted the England bowling unit in the final session.
Pujara slams a pull shot to the square leg fence to bring up his first half-century of the series.— Sony Sports (@SonySportsIndia) August 27, 2021
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Coming in at number three, Pujara stitched a valuable 82-run partnership with Rohit for the second wicket after England were dismissed for 432 in the first innings. Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah shrugged off any resistance from the lower order as they wrapped up the innings in the first five overs of the day to restrict the lead to 354 runs.
Shami & Bumrah clean up England's tail, the hosts are all out for 432 🏏— Sony Sports (@SonySportsIndia) August 27, 2021
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With overcast conditions on offer, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma marched out to form a solid foundation for the Indian team to crawl their way back into the game. In the 19 overs bowled before lunch, the skill and technique of both the openers were tested as England bowled a nagging line and length. With the duo looking solid to take the team unscathed to lunch, Jonny Bairstow provided a moment of brilliance as he plucked a one-handed stunner to end Rahul's vigil at the crease at the stroke of lunch.
Despite the early jitter, Pujara held the innings together with Rohit in the second session of the day. En route to their valuable partnership, Rohit notched up a well-compiled half-century (59) to help the team inch closer to safety.
One of the critical moments during the day was a missed DRS call for LBW by Joe Root when Rohit was batting on 39. While the replay suggested the ball crashing into the middle stump, the home team had run out of time for the decision to be reviewed. However, the miss did not prove to be costly, as Rohit went on to add 20 more to that tally before being undone by an incoming delivery from Ollie Robinson.
Rohit falls just after the tea break with Ollie Robinson finally trapping him in front of the stumps.— Sony Sports (@SonySportsIndia) August 27, 2021
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Despite the wicket, Kohli and Pujara staged a fightback and guided the team to 215/2 in the second innings with 139 runs behind. It promises to be a riveting contest on Day 4 as India will aim to overhaul the first innings lead and set up the game.