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IND vs ENG 2021: 3 mistakes India made on Day 1 of the 3rd Test against England



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Day 1 of the 3rd Test between India and England couldn’t have gone any better for the hosts.

After being morale-sappingly thrashed at the Home of Cricket, Joe Root’s men recovered brilliantly to skittle India for just 78 at Headingley. To sweeten the pot for England, Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns put on an unbroken 120-run opening partnership to hand their team a 42-run lead at Stumps.

India are all but out of the Test match, which is something few anticipated after the events that unfolded at Lord’s a week ago. Here are three major mistakes the visitors made on Day 1 of the 3rd Test.

#3 India introduced Mohammed Siraj late in the piece

India Nets Session
India Nets Session

The star of India’s show in the 2nd Test at Lord’s, Mohammed Siraj was unlucky not to clinch the Player of the Match award for his eight-wicket haul. England’s tormentor-in-chief was expected to play another big role on Day 1 of the 3rd Test, but he was brought into the attack only in the 18th over.

Siraj is predominantly a new-ball exponent, and while it may not be realistic to expect him to leapfrog the likes of Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah in the pecking order, he surely should’ve been introduced earlier. Ishant was struggling majorly, but the veteran pacer was even brought on for a second spell before Siraj got his first taste of action on Day 1.

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The ball was relatively old by the time Siraj came on, and the England batters were set as well. Although the 27-year-old bowled with passion as he always does, he wasn’t put in a position to succeed by his captain. It was a strange decision, especially after how well Siraj bowled at Lord’s.

#2 India’s pacers failed to hit the right lines and lengths

England v India - Third LV= Insurance Test Match: Day One
England v India – Third LV= Insurance Test Match: Day One

As England’s swing bowlers reaped the benefits of full lengths, their Indian counterparts were found wanting in that regard. Earlier in the day, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli were dismissed after being coaxed into rash drives, while good lengths claimed Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant.

But India failed to execute the strategies that succeeded in the early part of Day 1. Bumrah was economical with the new ball as he bowled a tight spell, but wicket-taking opportunities were hard to come by. At the other end, Ishant was horribly wayward and dished out loose deliveries by a handful. Mohammed Shami was a touch unlucky, as he almost always is, but even he couldn’t get the ball to talk as often as he usually does.

India often bowled short and wide balls that were cut away for four by Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed. Both batsmen feasted on the plethora of non-threatening balls on display to ensure that England didn’t lose a wicket on Day 1.

#1 Shot selection let India down big-time

England v India - Third LV= Insurance Test Match: Day One
England v India – Third LV= Insurance Test Match: Day One

To state the obvious, India’s shot selection let them down majorly on Day 1 of the 3rd Test against England.

KL Rahul was dismissed playing an astonishingly loose drive against Jimmy Anderson, who sent down a brilliant concoction of inswingers and sucker balls. Cheteshwar Pujara came, nicked one and went, as has been the norm over the last two years.

Virat Kohli failed to learn from Rahul’s mistakes, or his own extremely frequent mistakes for that matter. He played an expansive drive against his nemesis Anderson to put his team in all sorts of trouble.

Although Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane steadied the ship for a while, the latter was sent back to the pavilion on the stroke of Lunch to severely dent India’s hopes of a renaissance. After surviving a run-out chance, Rishabh Pant wafted at one outside off to hand Jos Buttler his fifth catch of the innings.

Rohit fell victim to another short ball, this time in extremely tame fashion at mid-on. And just like that, India had been rolled over for just 78. It was a shocking batting performance, especially considering how much application and poise the batsmen showed over the first two Tests.