England won the toss made a bold move to bat first reached a commanding position scoring 186 for one at Tea on day one of the third Test against India at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Sunday evening.
Star of the show for hosts were Captain Alastair Cook (82), who is closing in on a much needed century, and young Zimbabwe turned England batsman Gary Ballance who is on 72 runs.
The duo has put on 131 run partnership for the second wicket, as Indian bowlers were made to toil on a pitch which provided decent movement for seamers. India toiled hard throughout the day with only a wicket of Sam Robson, who made a solid 26 run, to show for their efforts. Shami induced an edge from Robson which was thankfully taken by Ravindra Jadeja who earlier had dropped Alastair Cook on a personal score of 10 runs. That drop could prove costly for the visitors as England skipper is on the verge of a hundred and is set to score a big one which could put India on the defensive in this Test match.
Now on to the changes that both side made heading in to third Test match. The English XI had as many as three changes, as youngster Jos Buttler made his Test debut in place of Matt Prior who had a miserable series. The other two changes were all-rounder Chris Jordan and seamer Chris Woakes came in place of Ben Stokes and fast bowler Liam Plunkett respectively.
The visitors Indian, on the other hand, brought back talented batsman Rohit Sharma in place of all-rounder Stuart Binny who frankly did not look like a Test player in previous two matches. The other change was inclusion of Pankaj Singh as Ishant Sharma was rested due to a slight niggler. Skipper, Dhoni, said at the toss that Ishant might have played if it was an ODI, but he could not risk his premier bowler over a five-day period.
India lead the five Test series one-nil thanks to a 95-run win at Lord’s in London.