India reach 191/5 at lunch against England on Day 3

India reach 191/5 at lunch against England on Day 3

After starting the day at 125 for four, India ended the session with a lead of eight runs

India's KL Rahul in action. Credit: Reuters Photo

KL Rahul continued to defy the England bowlers with dogged determination as India overtook the home team's first innings score in the first Test, despite losing Rishabh Pant's wicket during another rain-hit opening session.

The visitors were 191 for five at lunch on the third day.

Rahul was batting on 77 off 202 balls, having added 20 runs to his overnight score of 57.

Ravindra Jadeja, picked ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin based on his batting abilities, was unbeaten on 27 at the break. His knock included a delectable back-drive off Sam Curran's (0/36 in 11 overs) bowling and an on-drive off Stuart Broad (16-2-58-0).

The lead remained slender after England scored 183 on the first day but it still gave India the psychological advantage as they tried to build on the lead and take it to at least 100 runs, which would then be considered sizeable.

It was another rain-hit day with the first 95 minutes featuring only 11 deliveries due to a steady drizzle.

However, Pant (25 off 20 balls) was ready to take off from where he had left in Southampton during the World Test Championship against New Zealand.

Just like at the fag end of the second day, the flamboyant left-hander charged down the track to hit James Anderson (18-7-33-2) for a boundary through cover region. The reason was to smother any outswing (Anderson's inswing) and reach to the pitch of the deliveries.

When Ollie Robinson (21-6-55-2) dug one short, he played the hook shot while not being in control but the thick edge had enough power to carry it for a six.

Robinson knew that Pant was living dangerously and kept a short cover to lay a successful trap.

A length ball stopped as Pant committed on the drive without reaching to the pitch of the delivery and the short cover was in business.

Rahul, however, was unfazed as he played close to his body and left most of the deliveries on the fourth and fifth off-stump channel. But he did bring his cover drive out of the closet when he sent a Broad delivery to the boundary.

What helped Rahul play his game was that the scoreboard didn't stop moving as Jadeja's runs came off 53 balls with as many as four fours.