VISAKHAPATNAM: India were not completely out of the jail when they started the third day of the second Test against England. Just 171 runs in front, they needed someone to put their hand up at the ACA-VDCA Stadium if they were to set England a stiff target on the third day.
Shubman Gill answered the call for the hosts with his third Test century, a classy 104 (147b, 192min, 11×4, 2×6) that spared India the blushes. James Anderson was at the top of his game and the cheap dismissals of skipper Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal when play resumed on Sunday set India back considerably.


Gill survived some anxious moments in the first hour but to his credit did not throw it away. “A lot was happening,” Gill said. “Me and Shreyas had a partnership and we tried to rotate the strike.”
The India No. 3 looked good in his 34 in the first innings and was in the thick of the action during England’s first stint that saw him take four catches as Jasprit Bumrah ran riot on Saturday. Gill said scoring runs at his position was more satisfying. “It was very important and satisfying to score runs at No. 3. Especially after we lost Yashasvi and Rohit bhai. It was important to get as many runs as possible and take a big lead,” he said.
In putting a price on his wicket, Gill not only upset England’s calculations but also scored runs at nearly 3.55 an over. “It is very important to stay true to who you are and not be over defensive. I am going to play how I play.”


Criticism, Gill reckoned, is part of the game. Gill’s last century was in Ahmedabad in March 2023 and pundits opined that he has not made it count. “It is very important to know what you are going to do. See the situation and play percentage cricket. Rohit bhai, Rahul sir and Vikram sir kept me motivated and always believed in me,” he said.
England, he said, cannot be discounted but added that the pitch with its variable bounce will not be easy to score on the morrow. “As the game goes on, this pitch will have variable bounce. It is not turning as much but it is not easy to score runs (tomorrow). First hour will be crucial.”


Hopefully Root will turn up, Anderson on injured batter
Star English pacer James Anderson gave a major update on Joe Root’s injury on Sunday and hoped that the batter would turn up on the field and hold the bat on the fourth day of the second Test. Root sustained an external blow on his right finger while attempting to take a catch at slip Day 3.
Anderson said that Root’s “finger is not great”. He added that the medical team is making sure that he can bat for the English side on Day 4.

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