London: India opener Rohit Sharma and No. 3 batsman Cheteshwar Pujara have drived India into a position of strength.
Thanks to Sharma’s eighth Test century — his first overseas — and Pujara’s attacking display at the start, India had already taken a 100-run lead by tea on the third day to overturn a 99-run first innings deficit and move into a place from where they can dictate terms to the tiring England side.
By tea, the two players had put on an unbeaten 116-run partnership for the second wicket.
Before Pujara came in K.L. Rahul’s, in the first session with the score of 83 and raced to 14 off 21 deliveries before lunch took India past the deficit.
He hit fours Ollie Robinson and Craig Overton; on a full and a short delivery; as bowlers found it difficult to find assistance from the pitch.
A twisted ankle didn’t deter him from going after the bowling as hit Overton for two fours off two deliveries. Then he followed it up with an upper cut boundary off Woakes.
Sharma on the other hand reached his half-century in 145 deliveries. But then, with Pujara around, he shifted gears and reached his hundred off the 204th ball he faced, with a six off Moeen Ali. Brief scores (Tea, Day 3): India 191 and 199/1 (Rohit Sharma batting 103, Cheteshwar Pujara batting 48) vs England 290. (IANS)