After three days of hard-fought cricket, India see themselves 84 runs away from registering a memorable win and take the lead in the series. Virat Kohli who scored 149 in the first innings holds the key for India as he is batting on 43 in the second innings.
After India's early top-order failure Kohli and Karthik have held India's chase. The duo have added an unbeaten 32 till the end of the third days play, after England bowlers made early inroads in the Indian innings. Vijay (6), Dhawan (13), Rahul (13), Rahane (2) and Ashwin (13) fell in the quest of taking India closer to the target before Karthik and Kohli brought some semblance to the chase.
Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly who is a part of the commentary team for the series has said that Virat Kohli needs support from the rest of the Indian batsmen if India are to win the Test.
“Kohli’s innings of 149 has kept India in the hunt in Birmingham. He not only scored a ton but also helped India reduce the deficit to just 13 runs. Virat has kept India alive in the game. Lot of responsibility will again be there on Virat but other batsmen too need to make runs,” Ganguly, who is IndiaTV’s Cricket Expert, said during ‘Aaj Ki Baat’ show.
The second innings also saw an identical situation with Kohli standing tall among the ruins as none of the other top-order batsmen succeeded to deliver and it was again on Kohli and the lower order to do the job for India.
Gauguly also hailed the Indian bowlers for their outstanding work on Day 3. “Indian bowlers also played a major role on day three and took the team to a good position where they can now win the match,” Ganguly said.
“There are seven left-handers in the England team and that is why R Ashwin and Ishant Sharma has caused problems for them. When Ishant bowls over the wicket, he creates problems for left-handers,” he added. He also lauded Ashwin saying it was probably the first time that he saw the off-spinner bowling well in England.
The game is expected to reach a conclusion today itself and India would be hoping that Kohli's makes it India's game.