England vs India, 5th Test: Visitors build a crucial lead
India (125/3) have gained a 257-run lead against England on Day 3 of the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston. England resumed the day on 84/5 after India's 416 in the first innings. Jonny Bairstow's superb century guided the hosts to 284/10. Cheteshwar Pujara has shown craft in India's second innings. India have lost three wickets, including that of Virat Kohli.
England were 84/5 and needed something substantial on Day 3. Bairstow and Stokes compiled fifty-plus stand before the latter was dismissed by Shardul Thakur. England added another valuable stand with Bairstow and Sam Billings putting up 92 runs. Mohammed Siraj ended strongly to finish with four scalps. In response, India lost Shubman Gill early on before Hanuma Vihari perished as well.
Stokes played an important role, scoring 25 from 36 balls, He smashed four fours. He was given a life on two occasions before perishing. But the vital fifty-plus stand handed England the momentum. Thereafter, Bairstow's magic was on display as he found able company in Billings. The two dictated the show well before Bairstow was removed. Billings ended up with a 57-ball 36.
Bairstow shifted gears and was in a rampant mode, hammering the Indian bowlers. He ended up with a fine 106 from just 140 balls. The Englishman smashed 14 fours and two sixes. Bairstow has raced to 5,301 runs at 36.55. He surpassed Ian Botham's tally of 5,200 runs in Tests. He registered his 11th Test century and a maiden one versus India.
As per Cricibuzz, Bairstow is the second player to score five or more hundreds in a calendar year batting at five or below after Michael Clarke, who hit five hundreds in 2012. Bairstow is the 15th Engllishman to hit hundreds in three successive Tests. His scores read: 8 & 136 vs NZ, Trent Bridge, 162 & 71* vs NZ, Headingly, 100* vs India, Edgbaston.
Mohammed Shami teased Bairstow with a delivery outside the off-stump and the Englishman got an edge. Siraj's well directed short ball had Stuart Broad soon thereafter. Another ball that moved back in saw Billings misread the line as his stumps were crashed. Siraj completed his four-fer by dismissing Matthew Potts. It was a good phase for the Indians after Bairstow's dismissal.
India weren't quite up to the mark. Shardul and Bumrah dropped Stokes once each. Shardul was lackluster and bowled plenty of no-balls. India leaked runs with some ordinary balls on offer. The bowlers tried too many things and paid the price. With the bat, Shubman was once again guilty of playing away from his body. Vihari too succumbed to a loose stroke.