Virender Sehwag’s words, ‘only God can save us’ was a telling comment on India’s state of affairs on Saturday. Sehwag probably meant the rain Gods, who can save the team from losing the third Test against England at Eden Gardens after India made a mockery of batting by losing nine wickets in two sessions.
India stare at the prospect of trailing the series 1-2. After bowling out England for 523, India started well with both Sehwag (49) and Gautam Gambhir (40) adding 86 runs for the opening wicket. However, wickets fell like nine pins thereafter and India were quickly reduced to 122-6, having lost six wickets for a paltry 36 runs. They now have a slim lead of 32 runs going into Sunday.
India were spared the ignominy of an innings defeat by Ravichandran Ashwin’s gritty knock of 83 not out. Earlier, India’s bowlers showed some signs of a comeback when they crushed the English tail in just 14 runs with Pragyan Ojha finishing with four wickets and Ashwin three.
Save Sehwag and Gambhir, none of the Indian batsmen troubled the English bowlers. Cheteshwar Pujara (8), Sachin Tendulkar (5), Virat Kohli (20), Yuvraj Singh (11), Dhoni (nought) were back in the hut in a blink. At the press briefing, a dejected Sehwag said: “We are very disappointed. The wicket was not bad to lose six wickets in a session. It isn’t turning square. We can just hope that something happens tomorrow and we are able to draw the Test. Only God can help us.”