India vs England, 3rd Test: Day of finger, spinners in Mohali

Cricket - India v England - Third Test cricket match - Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali, India - 28/11/16. India's Virat Kohli celebrates the dismissal of England's Ben Stokes. REUTERS/Adnan AbidiCricket - India v England - Third Test cricket match - Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali, India - 28/11/16. India's Virat Kohli celebrates the dismissal of England's Ben Stokes. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

For 139 balls, Jayant Yadav afforded England bowlers or fielders not even the remotest semblance of hope that they could dislodge him. He had an answer to anything that the England bowlers hurled at him. They changed ploys, lines, lengths and fields, but Yadav stood his ground, unflustered. He was making the best use of an unprecedented induction in international cricket, and he knew his utility with bat will count as much as the efficacy with the ball.
When Ravichandran Ashwin’s edge was finally procured, with India just 18 runs ahead, England would have sensed to wrap the India’s innings, the farthest by lunch. Sure, they had a hang of Yadav’s batting prowess, he had calmly defied them in Visakhapatnam, but they didn’t have a measure of it. First, they tried all those tricks the bowlers normally attempt against lower-order batsmen – the yorker, slower balls and the bouncers. Then they began treating him like a proper top-order batsman, setting in-out fields, adopting defensive lengths or tempting him with wide balls outside the off-stump.
But Yadav didn’t succumb to either as he swelled his reputation as a handy batsman with a trenchant 55, another vital chapter in India’s comeback script. To call him a lower-order would be ridiculing his batsmanship, for in his three international knocks thus far, he has the adequate requisites to blossom into a trusted batsman down the order. It’s just that he comes at No 9, not that he bats like one.

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