At the close of play on Day 3, India found themselves in a prime position to wipe the gigantic first-innings deficit, at 215/2, with Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli unbeaten on 91 and 45 respectively. For England, the morning session was always going to be a determining factor of the Test’s result, with the new ball.
As expected, the duo of James Anderson and Ollie Robinson not only posed serious questions but dealt equally threatening damage, to reduce India to 239/6, in the span of an hour. From there on, it was always a matter of minutes before the result for India, as they folded out for just 278 runs. In the post-match presentation, England skipper Joe Root stated that the second new ball was crucial for the hosts’ chances.
“Brilliant with the ball but the opening partnership with the bat was fantastic. And yesterday, to hold the rate and build pressure, when it wasn't going for us - we knew with the second new ball we always had an opportunity today. [Anderson] What he does, why he's the GOAT of Tests. He sets a wonderful tone for the bowling group. At his age, to be as fit as he is, it's wonderful for the others to learn from,” Root stated in the presentation.
"It was fantastic, clinical performance, the two big lads were exceptional, built pressure early on. Three maidens this morning, and we felt we were in a good place to take wickets. When chances came we took them. [Come back after Lord's] Look at the talent in the dressing room we know we're capable, just have to be more consistent,” he added.
In the first innings, with the bat, Dawid Malan made a successful return to the Test arena, with a well-constructed 70 that had plenty of exciting shots. Root credited the southpaw’s efforts in such a high-octane encounter. Root also hoped for the entire team to build on from the foundation set post the win in Edgbaston.
[Malan] Played beautifully, started cautiously, got himself in and looked very fluent. His international experience came to the fore and nice to put in a performance like that. [Another ton] Always have to perform, plenty of times I've missed out.
“Good to have foundations and hopefully carry that one. Nice to score one on your home ground the crowd were great, felt in good rhythm and trying to carry that forward,” he added.
For the hosts, it was a thorough bowling performance from Ollie Robinson, who finished the Test with figures of 7/81. Root credited the all-rounder for his performance throughout the English summer.
[Robinson] Been exceptional throughout summer and ask good questions. Fantastic to watch and long may that continue. [Curran] Sam's very talented, he might not have perform at his best so far but he'll do special things sooner or later. He impacts the game with bat and ball.”