14 wicket day sets up tantalising climax

Author : Salman Khan 4 Aug, 2018

Big Picture

(England 287 and 180, India 274 and 110 for 5; India need 84 runs to win)

India's fortunes rest on the shoulders Virat Kohli (43 not out) again after a staggering 14 wickets fell on Day 3 of the first Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham. The visitors finished the day on 110 for 5, still needing another 84 runs to go 1-0 up in the five-match series. On the flip side, a side from the subcontinent has never won a test at Edgbaston. 

England's wobbly batting crumbled against some quality bowling by the Indians in the first session. Playing in his only second Test, young Sam Curran fought hard and saved the blushes for his side with a counterattacking 63, helping England to finish with 180 in their second innings recovering from a hopeless 87 for 7. Ishant Sharma was the pick of the bowlers for India on Friday (August 3) returning 5 for 51 and received excellent support from Ravichandran Ashwin (3 for 59) and Umesh Yadav (2 for 20).

Plays of the Day

Having scored more runs and faced more deliveries than the 2014 series in this game alone, Kohli was equally brilliant while rotating his bowlers. Ishant bowled with venom and, for a change, the Indians held on to some fine grabs in the slips. It was Kohli, however, who hung on to the best of the lot when Ishant got one to angle across Ben Stokes (6) at the cusp of lunch. Kohli dived to his left and got both hands to it, ballyhooing how to take 'em in the slips in a game where more catches have gone down than the number of grabs. Is there anything this man can't do?

Performer of the Day

Just two months post his 20th birthday, Curran found himself taking guard with the scoreboard reading a horrible 86 for 6. It was easy to succumb to the situation but the young allrounder rallied to gather crucial runs with the tail. England managed to score 93 runs from their last three wickets and Curran made 67% of them. His modus operandi was simple - keep the good ones out and slash hard at anything wide outside the off stump. His 65-ball 63 included nine hits to the fence and two towering sixes. He came back to remove a shoddy looking Ajinkya Rahane (2) to increase his tally of wickets to five in this Test match.

Next up

This game has swung like a pendulum throughout. The fate of this game rests squarely on Kohli who is batting like a monk. He has someone as experienced as Dinesh Karthik (18 not out) at the other end. Both will be wary of James Anderson's burst first thing in the morning. Whichever team wins the first half an hour tomorrow morning will take the game. This game has served as a perfect advertisement for the various intricacies of Test cricket and the finish will keep everyone at the edge of the seat. Just as well that the venue is Edgbaston which attracted a terrific crowd today and will likely see a good turnout tomorrow as well. 

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