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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 13:48 GMT
Jonathan Agnew column
Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent in Mumbai

England struggled to 31-2 at stumps on the third day against India, but were in a strong position with a 152-run lead.

PLAYER OF THE DAY

Geraint Jones's wicket-keeping continues to divide opinion among England fans, and he has missed a number of important chances in his Test career.

Geraint Jones
Dravid's dismissal ensured England were likely to secure a lead

But today he took three excellent catches, and finished with five in the innings.

Jones does tend to dive across first slip. That is fine as long as he catches the ball but there have been times, especially in South Africa last winter, when that has not been the case.

This time his judgement was perfect. First, he dived to his left to catch the dangerous Yuvraj in the second over of the day.

Then, after Rahul Dravid had been horribly missed in the gully by Matt Prior, Jones took a faint deflection down the leg side to dismiss India's captain for 52.

He saved the best for last, however, when Harbhajan carved at the second new ball and edged fast and high to the wicketkeeper's right.

TALKING POINT

The brilliant run out of Mahendra Dhoni by James Anderson made pundits reach for their law books.

Law 28 states that the bail must be "completely removed from the top of the stumps" and yet the replay of Dhoni's dismissal - which was as borderline as it is possible to be - was far from conclusive.

One end of the bail was lifted before Dhoni made his ground, but it was far from clear whether or not the whole bail had been removed.

The Indian third umpire studied the film over and over again before deciding to give the batsman out.

KEY MOMENTS

Rahul Dravid
Dravid begins the long walk back to the dressing room

Dravid's dismissal ensured that England were always likely to secure a lead of some sort.

Batting in his 100th Test, he seemed hell bent on marking the occasion with a century, and when Prior put him down in the gully - four balls after Monty Panesar had dropped Dhoni at mid-off - England's heads dropped noticeably.

But just to show that you can never take anything for granted in this game, an innocuous delivery from Anderson, which was directed down the leg side, found the edge as Dravid attempted a nudge to fine leg, and Jones did the rest.

DAY FOUR PROSPECTS

England's plan will be to extend their lead to 350 with enough time to declare well before the close of the fourth day.

India need to repeat their performance at Mohali where pressure, and some fine bowling from Kumble, set up their win.

For the impartial observer, the most entertaining scenario would be to see England bowled out for 180, setting India a tantalising, but tricky 300 to win.




SEE ALSO
India grounds profiled
13 Feb 06 |  Cricket
England in India 2006
08 Dec 05 |  Future tour dates


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