Even before the day’s play started, it was clear that if England’s hopes rested on one batter alone, namely their skipper – Joe Root.
Fittingly, Root delivered when it mattered.
His peerless 180 not out, his second successive Test hundred and fifth this year, guided England to a slender first-innings lead against India.
Root hardly erred during a near nine-hour stay at the crease.
Thanks to him, England finished at 391, giving them a 27 runs lead over India first-innings total of 364.
Root faced 320 balls, with 18 fours, before James Anderson was bowled by Mohammed Shami off the last ball of the third day’s play.
Root came into the Test with innings of 64 and 109 in the first Test.
He had been the only England batsman to pass fifty in last week’s rain-marred drawn first Test.
Thankfully, for England, Root got some support from Jonny Bairstow.
Root and Bairstow combined for a fourth-wicket partnership of 121 before the latter threw away his wicket while on 57.
Root took a quick single off Jasprit Bumrah which took him to a 200-ball hundred, his fourth in Tests at Lord’s.
This was Root’s fifth Test century this year and 22nd overall.
He had scores of 228 and 186 in Sri Lanka and 218 against India in Chennai before the 1st Test in Nottingham.
Root now stands alongside Walter Hammond, Colin Cowdrey, Geoffrey Boycott and Ian Bell with 22 centuries.
Only Kevin Pietersen (23) and Alastair Cook (33) having scored more Test centuries for England.
How the day progressed
England resumed on 119-3, a deficit of 245.
Bairstow and Root batted with purpose to take the score to 216-3 by lunch.
Root square-drove Siraj for a stylish four to complete an 82-ball fifty.
Bairstow, six not out overnight, struck brilliant straight-driven fours off Shami and Siraj as he compiled a 90-ball fifty.
However, just before the new ball, Bairstow fell, trying to hook a short-pitched ball from Siraj and ended up gloving it to Kohli in the slips.
Recalled paceman Ishant Sharma checked England’s progress with three vital wickets.
He bowled Jos Buttler with an excellent in-swinger.
He also had Moeen Ali and Sam Curran caught in the slips off successive deliveries and finished with an impressive 3-69 in 24 overs.
There was some drama towards the end as No 11 Anderson was hit on the helmet by a Bumrah bouncer.
Just after his dismissal, he appeared to have a heated exchange of words with Virat Kohli.
The Indians will be hoping that Anderson won’t be too pumped up, owing to this incident as he could prove a handful on a Day 4 wicket.
The big disappointment for India was the lackadaisical bowling of Ravindra Jadeja.
Jadeja was wicketless, raising questions whether India had erred in dropping Ravichandran Ashwin.
England 391 (Root 180*, Bairstow 57, Siraj 4-94, Ishant 3-69) lead India 364 (Rahul 129, Anderson 5-62) by 27 runs