England produced an outstanding bowling and fielding display to drag themselves back into contention on day two of the third Test against India in Mohali.
After wrapping up the England innings for 283 in the first four overs of the day, India were well placed at 148-2.
But the tourists took three wickets for eight runs, before Ben Stokes removed India captain Virat Kohli for 62.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja then shared an unbroken stand of 67 as India closed on 271-6, 12 behind.
India are looking to that pair and the rest of their tail to build a lead on the third morning against a ball that is only four overs old.
England will want to mop up the innings quickly, then put in a much-improved batting display in their second attempt on a surface that remains good for run-scoring.
However, the tourists, who are 1-0 down in the five-match series, are waiting on the fitness of Haseeb Hameed, who did not field after taking a blow to the hand while batting and will have a scan at the end of the Test.
‘England will be delighted’
Former England captain Michael Vaughan on BBC Test Match Special
It’s been a really good day for Test cricket. It’s bizarre to see batsmen getting out to not great bowling.
I expected India to go on and get a big score, so England will be delighted with that last session and to be back in the Test match.
Ashwin and Jadeja are looking very dangerous. If that lead starts to get to 50 or 70, then it’s a problem for England.
Ex-England off-spinner Vic Marks
England took everything that came their way after tea, but India have defused the problem. If England could get them out for another 50, they’d take that.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar
India found themselves with their backs to the wall. Even if they get a small lead they’ll be very happy with it. They’ll need Ashwin and Jadeja, and Jayant Yadav, to stick around as long as they can.
Electric fielding sparks England fightback
England’s bowlers stuck to their task admirably, particularly when Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara were well set in a third-wicket partnership of 75.
But it was two wonderful pieces of fielding that illuminated a chaotic 19-ball spell which turned the momentum of the match.
On 51, Pujara uncharacteristically played a lofted pull shot to an awful Adil Rashid short ball, allowing Chris Woakes to sprint from the mid-wicket boundary and take a brilliant diving catch low to the ground.
Then, after Ajinkya Rahane was lbw to a Rashid googly, Jos Buttler athletically ran out debutant Karun Nair.
Buttler, usually a wicketkeeper and fielding in a first-class match for the first time in three years, dived to make a stop at point, threw the ball while still on the ground and hit the non-striker’s stumps direct to beat Nair, who had been sent back in a mix-up with Kohli.
Stokes wins latest battle with Kohli
After being dismissed on the first day, Stokes was involved in a verbal altercation with Kohli that earned the England all-rounder an official reprimand from the International Cricket Council.
Even after England’s triple strike, India remained on top through the continuing presence of Kohli, the leading run-scorer in the series who seemed intent on cashing in on the batting conditions by playing well within himself.
He added 48 in only 10 overs with Ashwin, but an increasingly dangerous partnership ended when Stokes got the ball to move away from the India captain, who could not resist a fine edge through to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.
This time Stokes opted against a verbal volley, celebrating by covering his mouth to emphasise he had not spoken a word to the departing Kohli.
England rewarded for perseverance
England’s attack, with the exception of recalled off-spinner Gareth Batty, were excellent throughout, often having to show the discipline to bowl to stacked off-side fields.
After Stokes had Murali Vijay caught behind and the impressive Rashid trapped Parthiv Patel lbw for an entertaining 42, Kohli and Pujara were kept quiet by the control of England’s bowlers.
They could have had greater rewards – Vijay was dropped by a diving Buttler one run before he was dismissed and Pujara offered a chance down the leg side to Bairstow on 35.
England eventually got what they deserved after tea, with the shackles only broken late in the day as Ashwin and Jadeja attacked either side of the visitors taking the new ball.
Ashwin, who ended 57 not out, played cuts and straight drives, while Jadeja, unbeaten on 37, lofted Rashid down the ground for four and six as 38 runs came in one five-over period.
Their continuing presence is dangerous for England, while India will want a lead big enough to compensate for the disadvantage of batting last on a pitch that is likely to deteriorate.
Rashid makes his mark – the stats
- Adil Rashid has taken 16 wickets in the series, the most by an England leg-spinner since 1959. Doug Wright’s 23 wickets in Australia in 1946-47 is the record.
- Ravichandran Ashwin has passed 500 Test runs in 2016. He is only the second Indian to score 500 runs and take 50 wickets in a calendar year. Kapil Dev did it twice, in 1979 and 1983. Sir Ian Botham, Shaun Pollock (both twice), Andrew Flintoff, Daniel Vettori and Mitchell Johnson are the other men to do that double.
- Ashwin has made a half-century in the first innings in each Test of the series so far.
- Virat Kohli only reached 50 once in his first 19 innings against England. Now he has passed 50 three innings in succession.
- Jonny Bairstow took his 67th wicketkeeping dismissal of the year, equalling the records of Ian Healy in 1993 and Mark Boucher in 1998. He’s already got the most runs by a wicketkeeper in a calendar year.
‘We’re right in the game’
England leg-spinner Adil Rashid told BBC Sport: “It’s fairly interesting at the moment but fairly poised. To come back in the last session, getting four wickets there, I think we’re right up in the game.
“I thought as a team the bowlers bowled exceptionally well. We stuck by our plans and got rewards. As a group and as a team we had the belief that if we stick to our plans and what we were doing things will change and happen. We’re still confident.”
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/38122490