LEEDS: Ollie Robinson completed a five-wicket haul as England thrashed India by an innings and 76 runs to win the third Test at Headingley on Saturday with more than a day to spare. The hosts levelled the five-match series at 1-1 after India’s 151-run win in the second Test at Lord’s. The tourists, 215-2 overnight, collapsed against the new ball as they lost eight wickets for 63 runs in 19.3 overs on Saturday, with Robinson taking 5-65 for a match haul of 7-81.
India’s 278 all out, however, was 200 runs more than their woeful first innings of 78 — made after captain Virat Kohli won the toss — which saw England great James Anderson rip through the top order with 3-6. Robinson, who has now played four Tests, has become an increasingly important figure in a pace attack missing the injured Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes and Olly Stone, with all-rounder Ben Stokes out of action due to mental health issues.
Yet his international career came to a shuddering halt with the re-emergence of historic racist tweets during his debut against New Zealand earlier this season that saw the Sussex seamer hit with an eight-game ban, albeit five were suspended. The visitors resumed on Saturday on 215-2 but, with 80 overs bowled, England took the new ball straight from the start of Saturday’s play. From the moment Cheteshwar Pujara was lbw to Robinson without adding to his overnight 91, lbw playing no shot to Robinson, England were in complete command Saturday, with Kohli falling soon afterwards for 55 — his first fifty of the series.
England started the day with three maidens India before Pujara — without a Test hundred since a superb 193 against Australia at Sydney in January 2019 — inexplicably played no shot to Robinson as he pushed forward outside off stump. He was initially ruled not out but Robinson had little trouble in convincing England captain Joe Root to call for a review that duly led to the end of Pujara’s 189-ball innings. England great Anderson had ripped through India’s top order with 3-6 in eight overs during the first innings.
Anderson thought he had Kohli, 45 not out overnight, caught behind on Saturday for 46 off the last ball of a superb over to the star batsman. But vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane urged his skipper, who was walking off the field, to review the decision, with replays revealing Kohli’s bat had hit his pad, not the ball. But there was no doubt soon afterwards when Kohli edged a good length ball from Robinson to Root at first slip.
Rahane (10) fell in similar fashion, edging Anderson to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler before Rishabh Pant (one), reaching for a wide delivery, nicked Robinson to Craig Overton at third slip. Now the only question was whether India could keep the match going beyond the lunch interval. They could not, the tail managing little better than the top order, for all Ravindra Jadeja made a quickfire 30.
All-rounder Jadeja fell to Craig Overton and the paceman (3-47) ended the match by having Mohammed Siraj caught in the slips for a duck. This Test was a personal triumph for Root, who top-scored with 121 in a total of 432 on his Yorkshire home ground. It was Root’s third century of the series and sixth in Tests this year. Meanwhile, the rest of England’s often fallible top order all posted fifties, with Dawid Malan compiling 70 on his Test recall after Dom Sibley was dropped from the team. The fourth Test at the Oval starts on Thursday. – AFP