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Ind vs Eng, Vizag: Stokes brilliance in the field & Gill’s freezing century spice up moving Day 3

A moving Day 3 in India vs England

At the end of the third day’s play at Vizag between India and England, none is ahead or convinced of having a victory, but with the kind of way England have made their way back in the game, thanks to their captain Ben Stokes’s brilliance, while India backed it up with Shubman Gil’s freezing hundred, the Test stands at equator.

The way England and Jimmy Anderson started the session, it felt like they decided to name the third day of the Tests in the tour by their name. And when they started to go down because of the partnership between Gill and Axar Patel, it was Stokes’s fabulous recipe in the field placement.

Ind vs Eng, Vizag: Stand up on your feet and applaud Jasprit Bumrah

The most important single? Gill says tickle on the square leg

The talk of the town since the start of the series was Shubman Gill, and how India has been carrying him for such a long time even after consistent failures. When one opens up the social media, the scrutiny are unbelievable from the Bradmans of their own backyard. Everyone knows batting, except Shubman.

He was due, and he was due for a longgggg time. When he was waiting for his chance this morning, he probably thought of going out in the middle when one of the openers- Yashasvi Jaiswal or Rohit Sharma would get out to a spinner or perhaps become the trap of an aggressive shot. Barely he expected to see an Anderson delivery skidded and cartwheel Rohit’s poles.

When he was five minutes old, from the 22-yards of distance, he saw Jaiswal, 209 besides his name in the first innings, going for a flashing drive was caught at slips. And the he was batting, not against a single England bowler at a time, but against the whole India.

Trapped on the front foot, and as the umpire raised his dead finger, he was almost looked towards the dressing room, before showing the ‘T’ sign towards the end of the review timer. Oh, there was an edge, and it won’t be wrong to say that the spike in the ultra-edge was the heart beat of Gill, it gets active. Another five minutes, another respite, this time an umpire’s call. Another 10 minutes, another save, and this time, he got the boundary as the ball went like a bullet besides first slip of Joe Root.

Gill gets to a hundred in style
©- Cricbuzz/ Twitter

He looked in a supreme touch from that time, as every single shot came from the middle of his willow. He stood tall, punched on the backfoot, swung his bat for the big shots and never allowed the spinners to settle down against him. When Stokes brought the field up, he sensed the big shots and went for it straightaway.

And then there comes the most important single, a tickle on the square leg to reach his century. But with no such extra-ordinary celebration, he showed his pure maturity. He is there before everyone, and he is their to score those runs.

Stokes and his Bazball field placement moves the game rapidly

Whenever there is a dull moment goes on the cricket field, you want someone to take a step, and move the game forward, and for every single moment in England cricket for the last 10 years, it’s the same man doing the job, Ben Stokes.

The way he ran backwards and leaped to grab Shreyas Iyer’s catch raised the eyebrows of how the same man who was struggling to even stand a few months ago, did the same job, and made it look like a Tom, Dick and Harry job.

Then there was a moment when Gill and Axar was dealing in boundaries and milking those singles, and India was way ahead of England, who was just looking for a inspiration and here came Stokes with his field placements.

There was almost 10 different fields in two over for Gill, who b then had already reached his century. He kept a man behind the bowler in the straight line just before the rope, to which Gill cracked a boundary in the square. He moved the man and brought the covers up. A ball later, covers went down, and mid-on came up. Two balls later, mid-on went back and mid-off came up. It was so puzzling that Gill had to think continuously and he finally kept his feet on the pigeon net.

Stokes did a Stokes
©- TOI Sports/ Twitter

He, out of nowhere, went for a reverse-sweep, and was caught brilliantly by Ben Foakes. It’s quite common that when MS Dhoni used to do the same and made the opponents pay for it, the whole group of Indians used to clap for it, and now, just because it’s Stokes, the kind of think twice in doing so.

If someone thinks that Bazball is all about hitting those funky boundaries, then surely the person hasn’t seen enough of England games in the last two to three years. It’s more than blind hitting, Have you heard of an Umbrella field?

India’s slow progress since Tea makes the world puzzled

They were ahead even after so many events, but it will keep on puzzling them how they went from a moving car to tortoise speed since the Tea break.

One of the reasons, it’s best to stay away from records is that no one could be sure of the score when it’s yet to be ended. Like at 380/3, they could’ve easily reached to 550/5 or may be 600/8 and chase anything whatever the goal is. Now, as no 400 has been achieved by any side in Asia, there is no guarantee that it wouldn’t be.

England trust in Baz-Ben
©- Cricbuzz/ Twitter

Very surprising, but India and specially Ravichandran Ashwin went too slow after the break, even after having a chance to go big and set a target of 450, rather than 399, that they actually set.

The intent and formula England showed in the small period of 14 overs at the end of the day, displayed no sign of blocking or fearing of a defeat. They may get bundled out for 200 or win by two or three wickets. But whatever happens from here, The third day has got spiced up in Vizag and will keep on increasing.

Subhradeep
Author: Subhradeep

Someone who loves how Steve Smith from being Australia's future Shane Warne has become present Don Bradman, gets inspired by Anderson's longevity, gets awed with Kohli's drive and Southee's bowling action. Never gets excited with stats and records, and believes in instincts, and always questions spinners bowling with the new ball.

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