Anderson and Broad come good at Rose Bowl

England

Maligned for waning stretches of form prior to this third Test, fast bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad answered critics with three crucial wickets each, as England maintained command on day three at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Tuesday.

Maligned for waning stretches of form prior to this third Test, fast bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad answered critics with three crucial wickets each, as England maintained command on day three at the Rose Bowl.

Eight of India's top nine batsmen reached double figures, but not one was able to graduate further than the fighting 54 orchestrated by the talented Ajinkya Rahane in Southampton on Tuesday. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, however, is still unbeaten amid a combative half-century.

Anderson and Broad, complemented by spinner Moeen Ali's key brace, struck at regular intervals to reduce the Indians to 323 for eight. Having conceded a hefty first-innings total of 569 for seven declared, after big centuries from the left-handed Gary Ballance and right-handed Ian Bell, the tourists are currently the subject of a telling 246-run deficit – and a potential follow-on.

Before play started, Birmingham-born Ali, a practising Muslim, was warned by the International Cricket Council not to repeat his political protest that saw him wearing wristbands bearing the words 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' while batting on Monday.

Ali only managed 12 in an England total built on Bell's 167, Ballance's Test-best 156, captain Alastair Cook's morale-boosting 95 and debutant Jos Buttler's quickfire 85.

Broad, one of several home bowlers appreciably quicker than those playing for India in the absence of the injured Ishant Sharma, whose seven for 74 at Lord's sealed the tourists' victory in the second Test, got England going with two wickets in quick succession.

The struggling Cheteshwar Pujara did not get out of the way of a short ball in time and gave Buttler a simple catch for his first Test dismissal. Broad struck again when opener Murali Vijay, also attempting to withdraw his bat, deflected the ball onto his stumps. After lunch, the out-of-form Virat Kohli saw a leaping Cook at first slip drop a catch above his head following a loose cut off seamer Chris Jordan that went for four to take him to 38.

However, Kohli had added just one run to his score when he edged Anderson and Cook made no mistake at slip. The recalled Rohit Sharma, brought back after India dropped all-rounder Stuart Binny, had offered solid support in a fifth-wicket stand of 74. But on 28 he sliced a drive off Ali, with Broad holding a fumbling catch at mid-off.

India's 214 for five at tea soon became 217 for six when the burgeoning Ajinkya Rahane, who had made a superb hundred at Lord's, toe-ended an intended pull off an Ali long-hop and substitute fielder Sean Terry, on for the injured Bell, held the gentle catch at midwicket All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who had turned the tide at Lord's with a dashing 68, again opted to counter-attack.

But Anderson, who could be banned by the ICC from the final two Tests of the series because of his confrontation with Jadeja in the drawn opener at Trent Bridge, struck with the new ball to have the left-hander lbw with an inswinger for 31. All-rounder Bhuvneshwar Kumar, a thorn in England's side with the bat, struck three fours in four Broad balls.

But Broad had his man when Kumar inside edged the ball onto his pad and was caught by Ballance, diving forward from third slip. Dhoni, however, smashed Ali for six and cover-drove Broad for four to complete a 103-ball half-ton.

Latest