|Second Specsavers Test, Lord’s (day three of five)|
|India 107: Anderson 5-20, Woakes 2-19|
|England 357-6: Woakes 120*, Bairstow 93, Shami 3-74|
|England lead by 250 runs|
Chris Woakes’ maiden Test century put England in total control on the third day of the second Test against India.
The all-rounder’s unbeaten 120, coupled with 93 from Jonny Bairstow, took the hosts to 357-6, a lead of 250.
England slipped to 89-4 before Bairstow and Woakes shared a sixth-wicket stand of 179 at Lord’s.
Heavy rain is expected for much of Sunday, but England have put themselves in an ideal position to win this Test and take a 2-0 lead in the series.
Although bad light ended play early and spared India further punishment, they will need a much-improved batting performance after their first-innings 107 if they are to save the match.
Woakes repays England’s faith
It was not certain that Woakes, recently recovered from injury, would play in this Test. England decided on the second morning to select him over off-spinner Moeen Ali, with Ben Stokes on trial for affray.
Woakes had already impressed with the ball, dismissing India captain Virat Kohli in taking 2-19 on Friday, but was arguably even more impressive with the bat from number seven.
He immediately looked composed and his assured play calmed down Bairstow, who frequently played and missed early in his innings.
Bairstow reached his half-century first, cover driving left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav for four, before Woakes outpaced him.
He targeted Ravichandran Ashwin, scooping him over the wicketkeeper’s head and flogging him over cow corner for four as he neared three figures.
The shot that brought up his century – a pull over mid-wicket for three – was a rare mistimed stroke.
Bairstow looked set to follow Woakes to his hundred before he edged a flat-footed drive at Hardik Pandya behind.
Woakes became only the second player after Sir Ian Botham to take five wickets in an innings, 10 wickets in a match and score a century in Tests at Lord’s.
England top-order problems continue
India, bowled out in 35.2 overs on the second day of a rain-affected game, began the third day strongly with the ball.
Keaton Jennings was lbw playing around a full ball from Mohammed Shami – he wasted one of England’s reviews by challenging the decision – before Shami drew Alastair Cook forward with a wonderful awayswinger to take the outside edge.
Ollie Pope made a breezy start on his Test debut, flicking Ishant Sharma off his pads to get under way with a boundary, before he too was lbw playing across the line to Pandya.
Joe Root looked scratchy and, when he was caught on the crease by Shami on the stroke of lunch, England appeared in trouble.
Jos Buttler made 24 before he became another Shami lbw victim, but Woakes and Bairstow’s partnership, which spanned 43 overs, ensured England ended the day well on top.
India face uphill battle
India might be left to rue their team selection for this match.
They dropped seamer Umesh Yadav for Kuldeep, but he was untidy and proved expensive, with his nine overs costing 44.
The three seamers had the most impact on a pitch that still offered some movement and showed signs of low bounce, with four of the England top six dismissed lbw.
As the day progressed, India became flatter in the field, and they were worked around with ease by Woakes and Sam Curran, who finished unbeaten on 22, in the evening.
It is a tough ask for them to get something out of this Test.
England want ‘a few more’ runs
England’s Chris Woakes on Sky Sports: “It’s hard to put into words. It wasn’t on my radar at the start of the day.
“But it’s an incredible feeling to raise your bat at Lord’s and put the team into a good position.
“We do need to take into consideration the forecast but that isn’t always accurate. So I think we will want a few more and then if the conditions are right for us, happy days.”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan on BBC Test Match Special: “I don’t think anything has gone India’s way with conditions and the toss.
“India are the number one team and within three innings we are watching a talented group of batsmen look very average because the ball is moving. You can question the preparation of India but also the mentality.”
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew: “The lead already feels enough and it will be for Joe Root to decide when he unleashes his pace attack under cloudy skies. India’s batsmen won’t be relishing the prospect one bit.”
- Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes’ 179-run stand is England’s highest sixth-wicket partnership against India in Tests
- Alastair Cook has been dismissed nine times in Tests by Ishant Sharma; he averages 18.56 against him
- Debutant Ollie Pope had never batted inside the first 10 overs of a first-class match before this match