My day didn’t start too well, I travelled into Nottingham Station by tram again, chatting to a couple as I went, I got off and felt bit light as I walked along the platform, I’d left a bag on the tram, with everything I needed to protect me from the elements, umbrella, Kahoolawe, hat, sunglasses, oh, and lunch! Luckily I tweeted the tram company and was reunited with said bag after play had finished.
I felt that I’d need a hat so treated myself to a new England floppy hat, my delay in getting to my seat meant I bumped into David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd, he very kindly agreed to a selfie, that cheered me up!
On to the cricket – Day 3 of this third test at Trent Bridge shall be known as batting practice for India henceforth. That means there shouldn’t be too many words from me! India started the day on 124 for 2 with both openers having achieved a good score based on their previous outings.
Cheteshwar Pujara had joined Yorkshire to play in the County Championship and hadn’t had a very good summer, he’d averaged around 14. But, this was to be an innings when another batsman played himself back into some form.
He looked very assured, but I do have a moan, within 19 minutes of play starting he had the 12th man, or similar (not Jadeja) coming into the middle. I have no idea why the umpires can’t say no on occasion when we lose so many overs as a rule!
For some strange reason Jimmy Anderson bowled from the Pavilion end of the ground, strange when he’s had success from the opposite end. He was to be frustrated during the day when at least 2 catches were put down, something that’s been happening far too often in this England slip cordon. Jimmy had a bad day, but not as bad as Jonny, a ball came flying towards him and seemed to hit the tip of his finger, he went down in agony.
Jonny left the field and the news came later that he’s fractured a finger. As far as the keeping duties were concerned England had another 2 keepers on the field, Jos Buttler, who took the gloves and young Ollie Pope. However he’s currently England’s next batsman for me and his loss will be a huge blow presuming he can’t bat and won’t play for a few weeks.
Jonny leaving gave a couple of young Notts players a turn at being the substitute fielder, a day to remember for them.
Pujara and Virat Kohli reached their half centuries close to each other as Kohli accelerated to catch Pujara up.
England were in desperate need of a wicket and Pujara bit at a ball from Ben Stokes, he was caught by Alastair Cook and heading back to the pavilion with a very useful 72 runs to his name. India were on 224 for 3, a lead of 392.
Ajinkya Rahane joined his captain as India looked to put a gap between themselves and England. Heads were drooping in the field as India relentlessly built their innings. I’m going to admit I was really hoping Virat Kohli would reach his century. He had a close call when he was in his nervous 90’s but today he did it! before the series I said to several people that I’d happily see him score a century in every test as long as England then won. I can’t see that being the case here, they’d need a miracle. But I feel privileged to be seeing this man in action.
Chris Woakes had been toiling from the pavilion end he caught Kohli LBW on 103 and his very fine innings was over. It had been a form of torture all day for England and it wasn’t over yet. India were on 281 for 4 a lead of 449, but they had all the time in the world.
Rishabh Pant at least didn’t last long, he faced 6 balls and was caught by Cook from the bowling of Anderson for 1.
But that just brought Hardik Pandya in to join Rahane. Pandya scored 52 in 52 balls, playing some entertaining cricket, he hit 7 Fours and a Six. While Rahane played a steady innings making 29 from 94 balls, he was bowled by Adil Rashid. With the lead now at 497 I felt that the declaration would come at any moment to give India at least 10 overs to bowl at England.
There was literally no celebration when Rahane’s wicket fell, Shami joined Pandya and the pair added a further 20 runs, India declared at last just after Shami was out, they were on 352 for 7 a huge lead of 520! That’s an incredible score to set a team batting first. With 2 days of this game to go I wasn’t surprised at all that India batted on. You can now understand my description of the day I’m sure. I do believe this was as much about the next match as this one.
Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings had 9 overs to get through, and get through them they did. England ended the day on 23 for no wicket – just the 498 runs needed to win!