India vs. England: Michael Vaughan warns tourists will rue lost chances

The third Test between India and England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad concluded as a thrilling draw, leaving both sides with mixed emotions. While India will be content with retaining the series lead, England, according to former captain Michael Vaughan, will be left “ruing missed chances.”

India, resuming their first innings from a commanding 307/7, added another 63 runs to post a challenging 369 on the board. In response, England started brightly, with Zak Crawley and Joe Root stitching together a century partnership. However, their progress was halted by a middle-order wobble, leaving them precariously placed at 235/6 at stumps on Day 2.

Day 3 witnessed a resurgence from England, spearheaded by Ollie Pope’s masterful century (108). Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes provided valuable support, taking England to a lead of 154 before they were eventually dismissed for 423. India, set a target of 271, found themselves in early trouble, losing Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara cheaply.

However, Virat Kohli, playing his 100th Test, anchored the chase with a gritty 79. Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja provided crucial cameos, taking India to the brink of victory before rain intervened on Day 5, forcing a draw.

While the result keeps India in the driver’s seat, Vaughan believes England could have secured a famous victory. “England will know it was a day of missed chances,” he stated on the Test Match Special podcast. He pointed to dropped catches, missed reviews, and crucial wickets lost at inopportune moments as factors that hampered their progress.

Vaughan wasn’t alone in highlighting England’s shortcomings. Former England captain Nasser Hussain echoed similar sentiments, saying, “They [England] had their foot on India’s throat, and they should have gone on to win.” Missed catches of Kohli and Jadeja on crucial occasions were particularly glaring errors. Additionally, questions were raised about England’s bowling attack, which lacked penetration at times, especially after James Anderson’s dismissal due to an ankle injury.

Despite England’s missed opportunities, India deserves credit for their fighting spirit. They were staring down the barrel at 161/5 on Day 4 but displayed remarkable resilience. Kohli’s hundredth Test proved to be a special occasion, as he played a captain’s knock under pressure. Pant’s quickfire 50 and Jadeja’s all-round brilliance further helped India claw their way back into the contest.

With the series poised at 2-0 in India’s favor, the final Test in Mumbai promises to be a thrilling decider. England, despite their missed chances, have shown they can compete on Indian soil. If they can address their deficiencies and capitalize on opportunities, they can still snatch an unlikely series win.

India, on the other hand, will be keen to seal the series victory on home soil. Their bowling attack, spearheaded by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, will be crucial in restricting England’s batting prowess.

Vaughan’s assessment serves as a warning for both sides. England cannot afford to repeat their mistakes, while India needs to remain vigilant against a determined English outfit. The final Test promises to be a nail-biter, with both teams fighting for pride and the coveted Pataudi Trophy.