England face a mammoth task to avoid defeat in the second Test after finishing day 3 on 53/3, chasing 482 in the fourth innings.
On a track that has proven unpredictable from the start, Ben Foakes produced a dazzling display behind the stumps but was outshone by a brilliant century from Ravi Ashwin.
He hit 106 on his home ground and helped India reach 286 in their second innings as Joe Root’s side were made to work in the field.
The tourists made a positive start this morning, as Rohit Sharma was stumped off the bowling Jack Leach after a piece of sensational glovework by Foakes.
— Vithushan Ehantharajah (@Vitu_E) February 15, 2021
That was far from the only time England’s keeper dazzled on day 3 and four overs later he stumped Rishabh Pant off the bowling of Leach. At points, he was even standing up to the stumps with Stuart Broad charging in. This was ridiculous, Jack Russell-esque stuff!
Moeen Ali struck twice to reduce India to 106/6 later in the morning, first having Ajinkya Rahane caught by Ollie Pope at short leg and then trapping Axar Patel in front.
But Virat Kohli and Ashwin fought back, batting impressively either side of lunch as they stretched the hosts’ lead.
Mo has had the better of the Indian captain in this series and he got him again today, pinning him in front. Even a review couldn’t save him, though not for the first or last time on day 3 he looked furious.
The Worcestershire County Cricket Club twitter account has come a very long way. https://t.co/2weNiOYjl6
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) February 15, 2021
When the off-spinner took his fourth by removing Kuldeep Yadav not long after it seemed as though India’s innings may be coming to an end but led by Ashwin, the tail wagged hard.
The Indian spinner brought up his fifth Test century after tea but was eventually bowled by Olly Stone.
That left England chasing 482 in the fourth innings, a task made all the more difficult by the conditions.
Rory Burns and Dom Sibley were positive in their approach but the latter was trapped in front by Axar to make it 17/1.
Burns and the nightwatchman Leach were both caught behind the wicket to leave England 53/3 at stumps.
Dan Lawrence and the skipper will be at the crease when play resumes tomorrow.
With two days left to play, this would be some escape if they can find a way to do it! We only wish more Barmy Army members could be there to roar them on.