Indian bowlers worked really hard and asked a lot of questions but didn’t get much help from the wicket, which has changed massively since the opening day of the third Test, said England batsman Dawid Malan on Thursday (August 26). Malan, playing his first Test in three years, hit a splendid 70 and added 139 runs for the third wicket with skipper Joe Root as England reached 423 for 8 at stumps on day two to take a massive lead of 345.
Indians were blown away for a paltry 78 in their first innings on day 1 but it looked like a different pitch when England came out to bat as they piled the misery on the opposition bowlers.
“The wicket changed massively from the first day the first hour when they were batting,” the 33-year-old Malan said in a virtual press conference after the end of second day’s play.
“I would not say they were flat with their bowling. They absolutely ran in and tried their socks off. They asked a lot of questions probably didn’t get that much help from the wicket,” the left-hander said.
Senior most Indian pacer Ishant Sharma looked lacklustre and returned wicketless after bowling 22 overs as the four-pronged pace attack struggled to make early inroads. India failed to trouble Root, who led from the front with a hattrick of centuries in three Tests to put England in total control of the third Test.
Another wonderful innings from the skipper comes to an end.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 26, 2021
Playing in front of his family at home, Root played an effortless innings of 121 – his sixth century of the calendar year. “He scores runs all the time, and with the ease and the speed with which he does it is quite fantastic. He has led from the front again as he has done in the Test series so far, all credit goes to him,” Malan said showering praise on his skipper.
“He moves his feet so well, the ball position where he hits the ball is so good. He hits the ball so much late than most people, he always looks to score,” he added.
Calling him one of the greats of the game, Malan said: “If you bowl a bad ball, he just puts you away. If you look at all the greats who played, if you miss your length they hurt you and Joe is one of those. It’s great to watch from the other end.”
(with PTI inputs)