Now Trott shows rot has spread
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Day Three began with England trailing India by exactly 100 runs. They were only one wicket down, but this was the Eden Gardens, where visiting teams regularly collapse from positions of strength. India began the day, therefore, with hope, of a distant and forlorn sort.
They ended it with the same distant and forlorn hope. But with two days left and England nearly 200 ahead, it was now a draw they hoped for, so they could go to Nagpur with the series still level.
Before the series began, not too many of the Indians would have expected this to be their objective halfway through the third Test. But their pre-series expectations had been based on the assumption that the English batsmen would struggle for survival against their spinners.
Till Friday, the Indians could have told themselves that this assumption still partly made sense. Alastair Cook, Nick Compton, Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior had passed the test. The rest still hadn't. Jonathan Trott, starting the day on 21, had scored 0, 17 and 0 in the first two Tests, and had been out once to R Ashwin and twice to Pragyan Ojha.
Cautious, Solid start
Ashwin began the day with a maiden. One run came off his next three overs. In this period, he had had two LBW appeals turned down, one each against Trott and Cook, both batsmen struck outside the line. Ojha had come on from the other end and given away two runs in two overs. A few weeks ago, they may have imagined they would turn the screws on the England batsmen just like this, right through the series.
But the ball Trott and Cook were patting away cautiously, over after over, was more than 80 overs old. In the 88th over, Trott drove Ashwin to the long off boundary. England were 246 for one. They had scored 30 runs in 15 overs.
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