England toiled in the field for 80 overs as India reached 215-2 by stumps, with Cheteshwar Pujara’s 91 not out leading knocks of 59 from Rohit Sharma and an unbeaten 45 from captain Virat Kohli.

After two days of outright domination, England has finally encountered some resistance from India in the third Test at Headingley.

The English will have sniffed an outside chance of a three-day victory when they were bowled out for 432 about 15 minutes into the first session on Friday, taking a 354-run first-innings lead.

Joe Root’s team had needed less than 41 overs to skittle the tourists for 78 inside two sessions on Day 1, but scoreboard pressure and gloomy overhead conditions were not enough to undermine India this time around.

Instead, England toiled in the field for 80 overs as India reached 215-2 by stumps, with Cheteshwar Pujara’s 91 not out leading knocks of 59 from Rohit Sharma and an unbeaten 45 from captain Virat Kohli.

With a lead of 139, England still has a huge advantage, though.

From 34-1 at lunch, Rohit and Pujara added another 78 in the middle session as England’s energy sagged. Pujara, lacking in timing and confidence in recent months, was given a handful of cheap runs to get going and accepted every invitation.

When asked about Pujara’s innings, Rohit Sharma said that his teammate wanted to score runs from the first ball.

“You are talking about a guy who has played 80-odd Test matches. I don’t think anything needs to be shown (old videos of his batting) before the game. Of course, there is a time to do all of that. But once you are playing a Test, you don’t want to get too much into details about what you are doing and what you want to. Talking about his batting, yes he definitely came with an intent to score runs. This innings of ours was never about survival. We had the intent to score runs and Pujara clearly showed that.”

“The way he got off the mark and then carried on from there, anything loose, he was ready to pounce on it. It shows that he had intent in his batting and that really helps. When you have that sort of intent, any loose deliveries will not be spared. With Pujara, we have seen it over the years, he is a very disciplined batsman. Yes, of late the runs haven’t come. But that doesn’t mean that the quality of Pujara has gone missing. The quality has always been there and you must have seen it today,” Rohit added.

“The way he batted, it was not the easiest of situations to go in and bat when you are 300 runs behind. To bat the way he batted shows the character of the individual. Somebody who has gone everywhere and scored runs. From his perspective, he batted really well. But again, the team’s job is not done yet. We have got a crucial couple of days coming up. Hopefully, he can put his head down and keep batting as he does.”

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