Jonathan Agnew column

Stuart Broad completes his hat-trick by bowling Praveen Kumar
Broad is the 12th Englishman to take a Test hat-trick and the 39th in Test history

Stuart Broad produced one of the most devastating spells of bowling in Test cricket.

He had his home crowd behind him, he was steaming in like a man possessed and it was an absolutely extraordinary spectacle. It was Roy of the Rovers stuff.

It is the sort of pitch where wickets can fall quickly, and I don't think any batsmen ever really feel in, but Broad thoroughly deserved his six-wicket haul because he had been desperately unlucky to miss out on dismissing Yuvraj Singh for only four when Kevin Pietersen dropped a chance.

Since he was dropped for a one-day international earlier this month, the whole world has turned for Stuart Broad. He is pitching the ball up and he has just bowled absolutely brilliantly.

India will no doubt feel aggrieved about the decision to give Harbhajan Singh lbw. It wasn't a very good decision from Marais Erasmus because there was a big nick and I think the umpire will be disappointed when he sees it again.

Test umpires should not be making errors like that, but that is the kind of howler that the Decision Review System would overturn, and we all know India's views on that.

Until Broad's heroics, I don't actually think England had a very good day, with dropped catches, some below-par bowling and lacklustre fielding.

James Anderson was nowhere near his best this morning and Graeme Swann, clearly affected by his bruised hand, leaked far too many runs.

Rahul Dravid's chanceless hundred may prove to be the difference between the two sides. He was absolutely rock solid, his concentration is brilliant and he plays the ball so late, which means he can adjust to the pitch and line.

Thanks to Dravid, England are still playing catch-up in this Test match, trailing by 43 runs with nine second-innings wickets remaining.

They will be looking to get to 350, which would leave India to chase 290 on a pitch that seems to be getting more and more awkward for batsmen.

Whatever happens, it seems certain to be exciting in what is turning into a very entertaining series.

You have two very evenly-matched teams playing bruising, intense, top-drawer cricket on lively pitches that are offering plenty of assistance to the bowler.

I said before the series that it is like an Ashes without Australia and that is exactly how it is turning out. It's great for Test cricket.

Aggers was talking to BBC Sport's Sam Sheringham.

Listen to Jonathan Agnew and Geoff Boycott's review of the day's play on the TMS podcast.

Top Stories