A win at Lord’s should have bought a lot of confidence, but that wasn’t the case for India heading into the third Test at Headingley, Leeds. Virat Kohli for the first time on English soil won the toss and confidently went ahead to bat first and that seemed like the right decision as well. But, the turn of events later is what hurt them. The centurion at Lord’s, KL Rahul was dismissed for a duck in the first over and Cheteshwar Pujara’s misery continued as he nicked one back to Jos Buttler off James Anderson. The skipper as well didn’t add too much to the cause. By the end of the first session, India were four down for 56. Soon after the resumption, India were put to rest and out of their misery as they were bundled out for 78.
The batting wounds were all visible in the bowling. Ishant Sharma started off with two no-balls, a wide and four. Jasprit Bumrah also was haphazard in his first spell. To their agony, the pitch as well didn’t offer much. Hence, the England openers feasted on a deflated bowling line-up. At the end of day's play, not only did they cut the deficit without being separated, a humiliating performance of the Indian batters was exposed. England are definitely in the driver’s seat with 42 runs lead and all 10 wickets in hand. Here are a few notable stats from the first day of the third Test:
Pujara, the bunny among Indians
In his 629 wickets, there have been a lot of batsmen who have been his bunnies. Among those, Pujara is the most frequent one amongst Indians. Today’s instance was the 10th time Anderson had dismissed the Indian number three. No other Indian batsman has been a prey to Anderson as many times as Pujara. The little master Sachin Tendulkar was tied with nine alongside prior to today. Overall, Anderson has dismissed Peter Siddle 11 times, the most. The Indian skipper is also in that list of bunnies. In the first innings he was dismissed for the seventh time, which is the Joint most dismissals for Kohli against a bowler.
All of first five wickets involving keeper
A five-fer for the wicket-keeper and that too all in succession, how rare is that? A certain rarity. Buttler was involved in all the first five wickets. This is only the second instance of a wicket-keeper being involved in all the first five dismissals. Brad Haddin in 2014 against India at Gabba was the other. In addition, this was also the joint most dismissals made at Headingley. Jonny Bairstow in 2016 against Sri Lanka also had five.
India hit another low
After strong performances with the bat throughout the series, India in the third Test have suffered an all-time low. An on-slaughter in the first spell by the most experienced fast bowler, saw India tumbling to a score of 78, their third lowest in the first innings of a Test. Interestingly, in the first two instances, against West Indies in 1987 and against South Africa in 2008, they had opted to bat just like the third Test.
An early advantage
With the whole of third session and half of the second session, India losing the deficit was inevitable. However, England’s performance was so authoritative on day one that they cut it down without the openers being separated. Not only did they cut the deficit, England openers batted throughout the day and became the third team to feat a unique record. Them alongside New Zealand in 2001 in Hamilton against Pakistan and Australia against England in Melbourne on boxing day Test in 2010 are the three teams that took lead and openers remained unseparated till the end of day's play.
Finally, a century Partnership
Since Sir Alastair Cook’s retirement in September 2018, none of the other opening pairs have averaged more than 30. A constant search for a good opening pair has been the primary goal of England. Rory Burns and Dom Sibley had a few good runs but weren't the perfect combination. Haseeb Hameed and Burns pair in the third Test has shown some promise. Nearly six years after Cook and Adam Lyth in 2015 against New Zealand at the same venue, they had a 100-run opening stand in the first innings of a home Test. This was only the third century opening stand at home in the first innings in the last 10 years.