England’s top order folded quickly despite electing to bat on Saturday in the third test against India, reaching 92-4 at lunch. The tourists made a decent start, reaching 51-1 after first hour, with captain Alastair Cook receiving two reprieves: dropped by Ravendra Jadeja at slip in the third over and then at midwicket by Ravichandran Ashwin when on 23, both off the bowling of Mohammed Shami.
Umesh Yadav (1-30) made the first breakthrough, having Haseeb Hameed (9) caught at gully by Ajinkya Rahane. Jayant Yadav (1-26) trapped Joe Root (15) lbw immediately after drinks. Ashwin (1-14) had Cook (27) caught behind in the next over as England slipped to 51-3.
Moeen Ali (16) and Jonny Bairstow then added 36 quick runs for the fifth wicket. Ali was out caught at fine leg, off Shami, just before the lunch break as England lost three wickets for 36 runs in the second hour of play.
At lunch, Bairstow was batting on 20 not out and Jos Buttler was unbeaten on 5 runs.
India made two changes to their line-up from the second test. Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha is out with a thigh strain, and 31 year old Parthiv Patel has been drafted in. Karun Nair was named for his test debut ahead of opener Lokesh Rahul.
India continued to pick a five-bowler combination, with Patel slated to open and Nair expected to bat at no.6. England made three changes to their line-up. Fit-again Chris Woakes replaced the injured Stuart Broad, while Buttler was picked ahead of struggling Ben Duckett.
Off-spinner Gareth Batty came in for left-arm spinner Zafar Ansari, as the visitors retained a six-bowler combination. The pitch at the Punjab Cricket Association bears a dry and cracked look, and should take spin from early in the contest.
The first test in Rajkot had ended in a draw, and the visitors lost the second test in Visakhapatnam by 246 runs. India lead the five-match series 1-0.