England all-rounder Stuart Broad was relieved that finally the senior players of his side succeeded in rising up to the challenge in the third Test
India were placed 323 for 8 in reply to their hosts’ first innings’ total of 569 for 7 declared, needing another 47 runs to save the follow-on with two days to play.
“Before this match, through the summer, there was a lot of talk about new players coming in and the responsibility of the senior players. I think we took too much pressure on ourselves and stopped enjoying our game. It has been a tough summer for us and we were defensive and a bit under the pump.
So we just needed to go out play and it shone through today (Tuesday). We were enjoying ourselves in the field today (Tuesday),” said Broad.
“Alastair Cook got runs and so did Ian Bell. Jimmy (Anderson) and I did well with the ball and it is a great position for our team to be in. Hopefully the wicket will deteriorate over the next two days and become the perfect Test wicket for us then,” Broad added.
Anderson and Broad shared six wickets between them to destroy the Indian top order, but it were the two wickets taken by Moeen Ali that did most damage. He broke the 74 run stand between Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma, scalping both batsmen on either side of the tea break.
“It was day three and it is still a very good batting wicket. So we decided to bowl full but carefully as Virat Kohli showed that the batsmen could get aggressive. We concentrated on hitting a back of length and creating pressure by cutting off run scoring chances, maybe throw in the
aggressive bouncer and it worked,” said Broad.
“The pressure showed in the way the Indian batsmen tried to target Moeen Ali. He got two free wickets really but they were richly deserved because he has been bowling very well.
“He has also helped develop the pressure, defending and attacking with his bowling as well. It just goes to show how much we missed having Grame Swann around because he used to bowl like that, taking wickets and not giving away any runs. Hopefully Moeen will ample spin in the last innings and can be a handful,” Broad said.
It brings the question of the follow-on on the fourth morning into play. Broad for one knows where his priorities are.
“Dhoni can be a bit dangerous batting with the tail and we need to pick their two wickets early. Even if we are in a position to enforce the follow-on, it becomes very difficult for the bowlers. A 30-40 over rest will be very important for us and in the meantime the wicket will also deteriorate a
little more. continued…