India are ever so close from taking a 1-0 series lead in the five-match Test series against England. The visitors, spearheaded by skipper Virat Kohli, ended Day Three at 110 for 5, needing 84 runs to win the first Test at Birmingham.
The third day belonged to Kohli and co, though, England can claim to have made dominated the final session. Play on Friday saw both the teams putting in some wonderful performance, but then also letting in the opposition through their mistakes.
There were many talking points from the all crucial third day, which saw the renaissance of Ishant Sharma, struggles of Indian batters against swing and much more. So ahead of the result defining day, let's take a look at the key instances from Friday.
1. Ishant Sharma roars back into action: In the 2014 tour, India won a match and matched hosts on numerous occasions. And much of it was down to the form of Ishant Sharma. The tall fast-bowler can be devastating, when on song.
In the second innings of England, he wrecked havoc on the hosts' batting. Ishant took just one wicket in the first innings, but roared back with a fifer in the second as the home team were bowled out for a mere 180. His line and length was perfect, and he used his height to trouble the batters.
2. King Kohli at it again: When England were bowled out for a mere 180 in the second innings, many thought that India would chase the target of 194 with ease. But the England bowlers have made sure till now that their team are now just one wicket away from scripting a remarkable win.
But that golden wicket is of Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who has moved on from his 2014 tour's failure. King Kohli scored a sublime century in the first innings, and has been the lone warrior in the chase. While the other batters seemed like fish without water, the Indian skipper has played the English bowlers beautifully.
3. India's struggle against swing: It is not something new to witness Indian batters struggling in swinging conditions. But it definitely comes as a surpise in the manner which they have struggled.
None of Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul or Ajinkya Rahane have looked comfortable when the ball is swinging. So much was expected from on this tour, but they have once again flattered to deceive.
4.Rashid no match to Ashwin: Prior to the start of the test match, the fixture was billed as a challenge for Ravichandran Ashwin to prove his credentials as a quality spinner in tough condition. The off-spinner has risen up to the challenge in some manner, silencing his critics with seven wickets in the match.
On the other hand, Adil Rashid's return to Test cricket has been horrible. The leg-spinner has bowled a mere nine overs in the match, and has taken just two wickets. He has struggled with his line and length, bowling numerous full tosses and loose deliveries.
In the contest between the two spinners, Ashwin has been extremely dominant of Rashid.