IND vs ENG 2021: 3rd Test Match, Leeds
The moving match of the India-England series is finally here after a gap of nine days! India will attempt to go 2-0 up and virtually close the series while England will aim to level the scales when the two sides lock horns in the third Test at the Emerald Headingley in Leeds starting Wednesday (August 25).
The last time India and England played a Test match in Leeds was in 2002 when Rahul Dravid (148), Sachin Tendulkar (193), and skipper Sourav Ganguly (128) powered India to an innings and 46 runs win against Naseer Hussain’s side.
India got off to a terrible start as they lost the key wickets of KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane in the first session of the match after India opted to bat against England in the third Test at Headingley. James Anderson claimed three wickets while Ollie Robinson took one as Rohit Sharma (15 not out) stood strong in the middle with the score at 56/4 after 25.5 overs at Lunch. India went into the game unchanged from their winning combination at Lord's, while England brought in Dawid Malan and Craig Overton for this Test.
India endured a horror start after electing to bat first at Leeds. The team retained their same playing XI, which meant that R. Ashwin had to sit out yet again. The solidity of the openers so far in the series faded away as KL Rahul fished out a delivery far off the stumps to depart without scoring. The opener, who scored a composed ton at Lord's last week, went for a flashy drive instead of leaving the delivery.
This only marked the third instance where Anderson was able to scalp a wicket in the very first over of a Test match at home, and all three occasions have been against India. After removing Pujara for 1 with a gentle outswinger, the veteran pacer faced off against Kohli. The Indian skipper began on a bright note and even played a commanding off-drive off Anderson, but succumbed a few minutes later.
The former India captain and batter Sunil Gavaskar said, “But when you say previous generations were bullied, I don’t think so. I’d be very upset if my generation was being talked about as being bullied. If you have a look at the record, in 1971 we won, that was my first tour in England. 1974, we had internal problems so we lost 3-0. 1979, we lost 1-0, it could have been 1-1 if we chased down 438 at the Oval. 1982 we again lost 1-0. In 1986 we won 2-0, we could have won it 3-0. So, I don’t think my generation were bullied. I don’t think aggression means you have always got to be at the face of the opposition. You can show passion, you can show your commitment towards your team without yelling after each fall of wicket.”
Nasser Hussain acknowledged the change of attitude in the Indian team after Sourav Ganguly took India’s captaincy, while he reckoned that Kohli has taken that mindset a notch higher. Kohli’s India is fearless and into their opponent’s face.
Notably, Indian skipper Virat Kohli on the eve of the Headingley Test lucidly stated how India would not take a backward step if provoked.