A great day for England, now firmly in the driver's seat. Probably a career best, and definitely a match winning performance from Stuart Broad. He bowled intelligently, with venom, and despite a couple of dropped chances off his bowling, finished with very impressive figures. He was clearly the standout performer for England today.
The standout performer for India was the Wall Rahul Dravid, who played a near perfect knock to hold the Indian innings together. Several of the Indian stars settled down and fell to indifferent strokes or well laid plans. Either way the consistent pressure of four bowlers working in tandem was too relentless to handle. Rahul's poise and control at one end raised questions about the skill of his team mates against top class bowling. Rahul is now the only player in the current Indian side to have scored a century at Lords.
The disappointment of Mukund who missed a well deserved 50 was topped several times during the day. The one that hurt most was Sachin. On arrival the master received a standing ovation all the way to the crease. He settled well, despite being tested by Tremlett, but then broke the collective heart of the Indian fans by edging Broad tamely. Laxman, Dhoni and Gambhir did much the same, looked set but could not carry on.
By the skin of their teeth India avoided the follow on, but conceded a match defining lead. At the end of the day England were about 200 ahead, with all 10 second inning wickets in hand and 2 days of play left. India have effectively surrendered this game.
So the real question, come tea time on day four, can Indian batting survive 4 sessions to save this test?
Lords remains the final frontier for Sachin, with a top score of 37 here. One last go for the master to set the record straight at the spiritual home of cricket and redeem his team?
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