Pujara leads India resistance at Headingley

By Sports Desk August 27, 2021

Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma made half-centuries as India showed resistance to hold up England on day three of the third Test at Headingley.

England held a mammoth first-innings lead of 354 after being bowled out for 432 early in the morning session.

India, leading the five-match series 1-0, had been humiliatingly skittled out for 78 on day one, but closed on 215-2 after England were only able to remove KL Rahul (eight) Rohit (59) on Friday.

Pujara returned to form with an unbeaten 91 and Virat Kohli was 45 not out at stumps, with the tourists trailing by 139.

England added only nine runs to their overnight total after resuming on 423-8, Mohammed Shami (4-95) dismissing Craig Overton leg before wicket for 32 and Ollie Robinson cleaned up by Jasprit Bumrah without scoring.

The India openers showed great application as the England seamers probed with the new ball and it took a moment of brilliance from Jonny Bairstow on the stroke of lunch to end a stand of 34.

KL Rahul walked off shaking his head after he edged an excellent delivery from Overton and second-slip Bairstow dived to his left to claim a stunning one-handed catch.

Rohit and Pujara played with a mixture of patience and positivity in a wicket-less afternoon session, with the opener appearing to have a stroke of luck on 39 when Joe Root failed to signal for a review in time after Robinson struck him on the pad.

He brought up his half-century from 125 balls before Robinson snared him lbw.

Pujara was untroubled as he serenely eased to a half-century and Kohli also looked very much at home on a good pitch under gloomy skies as England were unable to make further inroads, with the new ball due early on day four.

 

PUJARA SHOWS HIS CLASS

Pujara's place has been called into question as he has looked totally out of sorts, but he showed his class in Leeds on the third day.

The 33-year-old had failed to make it to 50 in his previous 13 innings before demonstrating what he is capable of with his side on the ropes.

Pujara scored far more freely, driving with finesse and even ramping Robinson for four in a first half-century since making 73 against England in Chennai in February.

KOHLI LOOKING OMINOUS

Captain Kohli has also been short of runs, but that was no evidence of that on a frustrating day for England.

The skipper struck two boundaries in the first over from James Anderson, who dismissed him for the seventh time in the longest format in the first innings.

Kohli, without a Test century since November 2019, ticked along as India put such a dismal display with the bat on the opening day behind them.

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