Updated: Wednesday, 30 July 2014 02:39 | By Agence France-Presse

Broad keeps India on the back foot in third Test

Stuart Broad took wickets at either end of a long, hot day while Moeen Ali turned the focus back on to his cricket as England strengthened their grip on the third Test against India in Southampton.


Broad keeps India on the back foot in third Test

Murali Vijay is bowled by Stuart Broad (not pictured) on the third day of the third Test between England and India in Southampton on July 29, 2014 - by Ian Kington

At the close of Tuesday's third day, India were 323 for eight in reply to England's imposing first innings 569 for seven declared, a deficit of 246 runs and still needing a further 47 to avoid the follow-on. 

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was 50 not out and Mohammed Shami four not out.

Broad, who had looked tired for much of this series while struggling with a knee injury, appeared to have regained his old zest while taking three for 65 in 23 overs.

Meanwhile James Anderson, England's other senior pace bowler, who had taken a wicket late on Monday, finished Tuesday with three for 52 in 24.

Ali may still be categorised as an 'occasional' off-spinner but he too weighed in with valuable wickets either side of tea.

"It was a decent day for batting so to have picked up seven or eight wickets in the day is pretty encouraging," Broad told Sky Sports.

"But it makes it crucial to try to finish India off in the first half-hour (on Wednesday).

"The ball didn't swing a huge amount for us today," he added. 

"We didn't want to give any free drives away, we just wanted to keep the batsmen hanging back a bit."

India's Ajinkya Rahane, who gave his wicket away against Ali having made 54, admitted: "Initially it was quite challenging, they bowled in good areas.

"I'm sure we'll get some runs tomorrow and it's going be a good game."

Before play started, Birmingham-born Ali, a practising Muslim, was warned by the International Cricket Council not to repeat his "political" protest that saw him wearing wristbands bearing the words 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' while batting on Monday.

Ali only managed 12 in an England total built on Ian Bell's 167, Gary Ballance's Test-best 156, captain Alastair Cook's morale-boosting 95 and debutant Jos Buttler's quickfire 85.

India resumed on 25 for one.

Murali Vijay was 11 not out and Cheteshwar Pujara four not out.

England, 1-0 down in the five-match series after India's 95-run win at Lord's and without a victory in their 10 previous Tests, badly needed an early breakthrough.

- Broad's double strike -

Broad, one of several home bowlers appreciably quicker than those playing for India in the absence of the injured Ishant Sharma, whose seven for 74 at Lord's sealed the tourists' victory, got England going with two wickets in quick succession.

Pujara did not get out of the way of a short ball in time and gave Buttler a simple catch for his first Test dismissal.

Broad struck again when Vijay, also attempting to withdraw his bat, deflected the ball onto his stumps.

The struggling Virat Kohli, who gave a tough chance to Cook on 34, fell soon afterwards for 39 when he edged Anderson to the England captain at first slip.

Rohit Sharma, brought back after India dropped all-rounder Stuart Binny, had offered solid support in a fifth-wicket stand of 74.

But on 28 he sliced a drive off Ali, with Broad holding a fumbling catch at mid-off.

India's 214 for five at tea soon became 217 for six when Rahane, who had made a superb hundred at Lord's, toe-ended an intended pull off an Ali long-hop and substitute fielder Sean Terry, on for the injured Bell, held the gentle catch at mid-wicket 

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who had turned the tide at Lord's with a dashing 68, again opted to counter-attack.

But Anderson, who could be banned by the ICC from the final two Tests of the series because of his confrontation with Jadeja in the drawn opener at Trent Bridge, struck with the new ball to have the left-hander lbw with an inswinger for 31.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, a thorn in England's side with the bat, struck three fours in four Broad balls.

But Broad had his man when Kumar (19) inside-edged the ball onto his pad and was caught by Ballance, diving forward from third slip.

Dhoni, however, smashed Ali for six and cover-drove Broad for four to complete a 103-ball fifty. 

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