India v England, Day 3 at Vizag: Ashwin and Kohli Power Forward

Here is our wrap-up of the third day of the India v England Vizag test.

A successful English morning with the bat

England’s lower order batsmen have had an outstanding year; Bairstow & Stokes currently have the most runs by a test pair in 2016, with 772 together in just 7 innings at an average of over 110. The Indian bowlers’ hope was to wrap up the tail quickly after getting England to 103/5 at Stumps on Day 2, but the lunch session piled on 88 English runs for just 1 wicket.

The Ashwin Factor .. Continued

Right after lunch, Ashwin decided to come to the party, picking up Stokes with a perfect leg-before, Broad and Anderson perished in quick succession. In the process Ashwin racked up his 22nd five-wicket haul, his first against England. We at 1Tip1Hand have covered Ashwin’s stats in depth before, but he just continues to have a sublime understanding of his opponent and control over his variations with the ball. He will return in the 2nd innings on a hat-trick.

India’s Opening Woes Remain

Kohli had exactly enough runs on the board (200) to enforce a follow-on, but chose not to, presumably to apply a day of pressure with the bat and give his bowlers a break. However, another test innings, another opening partnership failure; Rahul scored a cumulative 10 in this test, and Vijay has struggled since his century in the first innings at Rajkot. From ’04 to ’12, Sehwag and Gambhir together racked up 4,412 runs for the first wicket, and Kumble will be hoping he can find the next quality opening pair fast.

Does Kohli bat on a different pitch?

India’s Captain supreme, Kohli averaged over 50 in the New Zealand series, and has scores of 40, 49*, 167 and 56* so far this series. 44 more runs on the morning of Day 4, and Kohli will pick up his 15th century in 50 tests, an astonishing record by modern-day standards; only Steve Smith has done so faster in the last 50 years (and Smith’s ODI record is is not even close to Virat’s). Vijay, Rahul and Pujara all perished early, but Kohli pressed on to rack up 56 off just 70 balls, unfazed.

4 Reviews by England in 23 overs

From just before the Tea break to just after, England used 4 reviews in the span of just 23 overs; the first 2 by their batsmen were unsuccessful, but 2 reviews in just 5 balls bty
Over 90.4: Review by England (Batting), Batsman – BA Stokes (Struck down)
Over 95.1: Review by England (Batting), Batsman – ZS Ansari (Struck down)
Over 8.3: Review by England (Bowling), Batsman – M Vijay (Upheld)
Over 10.1: Review by England (Bowling), Batsman – KL Rahul (Upheld)

Verdict

At the end of the third day the India v England test at Vizag, India remains in the driver’s seat thanks to brilliance from both Ashwin and Kohli. Barring a miracle, India should take this game home early on Day 5.

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