India see off openers as England remain in charge of third Test

Leeds (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


India at last dismissed openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed but England remained well-placed in the third Test at Headingley on Thursday.

England were 182-2 at lunch on the second day, a lead of 104 runs, having bowled the tourists out for just 78 following India captain Virat Kohli's decision to bat first on Wednesday.

Yorkshire batsmen Dawid Malan (27 not out) and England captain Joe Root (14 not out) were both unbeaten on their home ground.

But one regret for England, looking to level this five-match series at 1-1 after a 151-run defeat in the second Test at Lord's, was that neither Burns nor Hameed really pressed on after dominating India's attack on Wednesday.

England resumed on a commanding 120-0, after veteran spearhead James Anderson, with a return of 3-6 in eight overs, had ripped through India's top order to spark a dramatic collapse.

This was only the fifth time England's first wicket partnership had surpassed the all-out total of the team batting first, with Burns 52 not out overnight and Hameed 60 not out.

England's 22nd opening partnership since Andrew Strauss retired in 2012, posted only England's second century first-wicket stand in the past five years of Test cricket.

Left-hander Burns, however, had added just nine runs to his total when he was bowled playing down the wrong line to Mohammed Shami, with England now 135-1.

New batsman Malan, recalled following a three-year absence from Test cricket after England dropped the struggling Dom Sibley, got off the mark with a cover-driven boundary off Jasprit Bumrah and followed that shot up with two more fours off Mohammed Siraj.

Hameed, promoted to open in place of Burns after his five-year exile from Test cricket ended with him managed just nine runs in total at Lord's, had looked in excellent touch on Wednesday.

But he added just eight runs to his overnight score and had spent 28 deliveries on 68 when he was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja, who produced a classic left-arm spinner's delivery that turned away from the right-hander's forward defensive shot to leave England 159-2.

In a spin - England's Haseeb Hameed (R) is bowled by India's Ravindra Jadeja for 68 in the third Test at Headingley on Friday
In a spin - England's Haseeb Hameed (R) is bowled by India's Ravindra Jadeja for 68 in the third Test at Headingley on Friday Lindsey Parnaby AFP

It was a sign of the increasing effectiveness of India's quicks that this was the first wicket taken by an India spinner this series, with off-break bowler Ravichandran Ashwin yet to feature during the current campaign.

Root, having made 109 in the rain-marred drawn first Test at Trent Bridge and a brilliant 180 not out at Lord's, looked in excellent touch again as he twice had Shami behind square on the offside for two fours in three balls.

England's players and the umpires all wore black armbands in memory of Ted Dexter after it was announced earlier Thursday that the former England captain had died aged 86.