Southampton, July 29 IANS | 4 months ago

England made further inroads into the Indian batting line-up reducing the visitors, who are still 355 runs behind, to 214 for five in the first innings at tea on day three of the third cricket Test at The Rose Bowl here Tuesday.

India, who were 108 for three at lunch, looked to be clawing their way back into the match but two timely wickets of Virat Kohli (39) and Rohit Sharma (28) once again put the hosts in total control.

Kohli and Rohit Sharma's innings were emblematic of the Indian batsmen's inability to make their good start count.

India were also unable to replicate England, who had a string of big partnerships, and gave their wickets away too cheaply.

Ajinkya Rahane's unbeaten 52 still kept India in with a shout but England slowly but surely gnawed away at the Indian batting.

Kohli, who has had a forgetful series, looked to be getting back to form but a loose shot outside off-stump saw him edge an Anderson out-swinger to Alastair Cook in the slips.

Rohit Sharma, who strung a 74-run stand with Rahane for the fifth wicket, also looked good before throwing his wicket away with a very poor shot just before tea.

Earlier, India, who started the day at 25 for one and 569 runs behind, lost both overnight batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara (24) and Murali Vijay (34) rather cheaply before lunch.

The visitors scored 83 runs in 26 overs in the morning session, losing two wickets in the process.

Virat Kohli (18) and Ajinkya Rahane (11) played well without many faults to remain unbeaten at the crease.

For England, James Anderson bustled in, Stuart Broad was very clever with his length and Chris Woakes too was impressive. The pace trio gave the talented Indian batting line-up hardly any leeway.

While Anderson, England's top wicket-taker, gave the hosts the breakthrough Monday, it was his pace partner Broad who did all the damage this morning.

The decision not to give Broad the new ball seemed to spur the pacer on and he bowled with great aggression.

A Broad bouncer caused Pujara all sorts of problems and caught the glove of the Indian batsman.

The ball came back at Pujara off the pitch as he took evasive action, brushed the gloves and went straight into Jos Buttler's for the first time in Test cricket.

It was payback time for the English pacers as they peppered the Indian batsman with the short ball, a ploy Indian pacer Ishant Sharma adopted at Lord's to devastating effect.

Vijay had himself to blame as he chopped a Broad good length back into his stumps. It was a very indecisive shot from a man who has built his reputation in the series for being disciplined and decisive outside the off-stump.

(Posted on 29-07-2014)

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