London: As the mercury rose above 30 degrees on Day Three of the second Test at Lord's, the 22-yard strip started to showed signs of misbehaving.
Through the mid-afternoon session, it felt like Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara were on the verge of grinding the English bowlers into submission. But two wickets — Pujara and Virat Kohli — in two balls jagged the Indian defiance.
While the first was the result of a poor shot, Kohli's dismissal was an indication that batting will only get tougher as the ball jagged back sharply up the notorious Lord's slope.
The pitch had small indentations, bit of cracking and the rough patches were getting more prominent.
While England didn't make a conscious effort to exploit the rough, Ravindra Jadeja will certainly be encouraged by the dryness of the patches if the Indians conjure up a lead of over 200 runs.
But as Vijay showcased in his gritty innings, one of the batsmen needs to play a resolute innings to ensure India can post a victorious target.
One thing is for sure, no batsmen will find themselves totally at ease on this pitch.
In for a great finish
With the weather expected to remain warm, the Test is no doubt heading for a result. Apart from the pitch, the captaincy of two skippers will also be vital.
India will need some resilience from the tail once again to unsettle Alastair Cook, not only in the field but when he dons the pads in the second innings.
The pitch has played its part and by today evening the Test could be in for a thrilling finish.
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