India were at their dominant best on Monday, the third day of the third Test against England at Trent Bridge. The batsmen were able to forge valuable partnerships to dominate for the most part of the day, and were able to set a daunting target of 521 for the home side.
India would've boarded the team bus after the day's play staring at the possibility of registering their first win of the series after going 0-2 down at Lord's. Not the first time the Virat Kohli-led side are sniffing a victory in the series — they had the hosts reeling at 87/7 in their second innings at Edgbaston with a lead of just 100 — but they are in a much more dominant position this time around.
Having set a target 237 runs more than the highest fourth innings score in a successful chase at this venue, the possibility of securing a draw, let alone a victory, looks very bleak for the hosts.
This is where the Indian pace unit need to play the waiting game, and sustain enough pressure on the English batting unit across the three sessions to force them to make mistakes at some point. The ample time that they have in their hands now makes the formula all the more simpler for the likes of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and the rest of the attack.
Hardik Pandya, who was the cynosure of all eyes in the first innings with his maiden five-for before backing it up with a run-a-ball fifty, will hope to bowl another lethal spell on Tuesday and make this Test one for him to remember. While the Indian bowlers do their job, the fielders — especially the ones standing in the slip cordon — will have to do their bit to ensure the smallest of chances are not wasted.
Skipper Kohli was already quite vocal at the slips towards the last few overs of the third day, and going by his on-field behaviour observed in the past, one wouldn't expect him to drop his intensity at any point throughout the day.
There's a forecast for a bit of cloud cover on Tuesday, one which should give the Indian bowlers some hope going into the penultimate day. The Englishmen, on the other hand, will be busy praying to the rain gods to pull them out of the pickle that they find themselves in right now.