On an engaging third day in Hyderabad, Ollie Pope played a pivotal role in steering England ahead by 126 runs, securing a gritty fifth Test hundred. Partnering with Ben Foakes, Pope’s 148* became the highest score by a visiting batter in the second innings against India in India since 2012. Joe Root, showcasing his prowess as the best spinner, claimed a four-wicket haul, accelerating the end of India’s innings. England, starting their innings aggressively, reached 89/1 by the first intermission, wiping out nearly half the deficit.
Jasprit Bumrah’s stirring spell in the second session altered the flow, dismissing Ben Duckett twice and putting pressure on England. Despite challenges, Ollie Pope and Foakes resiliently batted together for 30.1 overs, leading England to a respectable lead before Foakes fell to Axar Patel. Pope continued his innings with Rehan Ahmed, who displayed grit in the partnership.
Root praised Pope’s masterful innings, describing it as an absolute standout performance in challenging overseas conditions. Despite Root’s struggles in the match, he emphasized Pope’s knock as a benchmark for application in Indian conditions. While acknowledging the long-term development of the team, Root highlighted the significance of laying down markers for the series, indicating England’s ability to compete in challenging conditions.
With England on 316/6 at stumps on Day 3 and a 126-run lead, the possibility of offering India a respectable target looms, setting the stage for an intriguing continuation of the five-match series.