IND vs ENG: Virat Kohli and Co can't lose series now to England
Being two-down, England will desperately look to make a contest of the series, but after taking a 2-0 lead against visitors in rubber will not end in dejection like in 2012-13 and 2014
Victorious Indian skipper Virat Kohli (left) and England's spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali exchange pleasantries at the end of the Mohali Test in Chandigarh yesterday. Pic/AFP
The only interest on the fourth day of the third Test at Mohali was whether England would show enough fight to take the match into the fifth and final day. After they had lost the top four batsmen on the third evening itself, there was very little to look forward to. India would have wrapped up the game before tea had it not been for a spirited display by injured Haseeb Hameed. He ensured the home win came at the fag end of the day.
The good thing about India's eight-wicket win is that it was achieved with consummate ease despite losing the toss. The teams now will lock horns in Mumbai on December 8. England have time to lick their wounds and rework their strategy for the final two Tests. Being two-down, they will desperately look to make a contest of the series. But India cannot lose the series now. The hosts have subdued England in three of their four Tests here, thus leaving them wondering how they have failed so often at a venue which offers them the best hope of a win.
Yesterday, there were only pockets of resistance from the English batsmen and the most stubborn one was between Haseeb and Chris Woakes. When the two were going strong, it seemed the match could extend to the fifth day. But Mohd Shami bowled a couple of vicious bouncers to bring about a swift end to the innings.
Shami rattled Woakes with nasty bouncer that hit the earpiece of the helmet. The next delivery was another bouncer which Woakes edged to the 'keeper. Two deliveries later, another bouncer got rid of Adil Rashid. At the other end Haseeb had been batting very well to take the target for India past the 100-run mark. Haseeb remained unbeaten on a valiant 59, despite batting after a nasty blow on the knuckles in the first innings.
Parthiv's fine game
India romped home losing two wickets, with Parthiv Patel playing an unbeaten knock of 67, following his 42 in the first innings. Besides, he picked up a few dismissals behind the stumps to make a memorable one-match comeback due to injury to regular wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. It is sad he will have to make way for Saha in Mumbai after an unexpected appearance in a Test match.
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