Off-spinner Dom Bess ran through India’s middle order as England reduced them to 257 for 6 at the close on day 3 of the opening Test in Chennai on Sunday. Bess accounted for crucial wickets of India captain Virat Kohli (11), his deputy Ajinkya Rahane (1), Cheteshwar Pujara (73) and Rishabh Pant (91) to put England on top at Chepauk.
Bess drew Kohli forward with a flighted delivery and Ollie Pope, at short leg, took a sharp catch to dismiss the India captain for 11. After the end of play on Day 3, Bess went onto explain Kohli’s dismissal, saying he was not trying to bowl ‘magic ball’ but was glad that Pope took a great catch at short leg.
“[on the Kohli wicket] I was just trying to bowl at a spot, trying to build pressure for a long time, and II guess it just happened. It wasn’t like I was trying to bowl that magic ball. It was really just about hitting that box. I saw the replay and it seemed to [drift] a little more and got him playing at a wider line, and I’m glad Popey took a great catch at short leg,” Dom Bess told Star Sports.
Dom Bess gets the big wicket!
Virat Kohli inside-edges one to short leg, and the Indian captain has to walk back for 11.
— ICC (@ICC) February 7, 2021
Bess was full of praises for ‘phenomenal talent’ Rishabh Pant who smashed five sixes in his belligerent 91, all off Jack Leach.
“[Bowling to Pant] He’s a phenomenal talent. We saw him in the Australia Tests and that ability. At four down, he’s charging at Leachy and going hard. Very bold innings. I thought Leachy bowled really well today,” Bess added.
“You saw the spot map, and from him to Sundar, I guess he had 20 balls on the same spot, but I guess it was just a different innings [from Pant]. We’ve seen today how much the pitch has broken up, how much it’s started spinning. We’ll come back tomorrow, try to get these four wickets, and assess where we stand,” Bess further said.
Washington Sundar was on 33* at stumps and Ravichandran Ashwin on 8* with India needing another 122 runs to avoid having to bat again if England enforce the follow-on.