VISAKHAPATNAM: India wobbled before resuming control of the second test against England, finishing the third day on 98-3 Saturday in its second innings with a commanding lead of 298 runs.
Captain Virat Kohli, who hit 167 in the first innings, remained undefeated on 56 and Ajinkya Rahane was 22 not out.
India had slipped to 17-2 ? and 40-3 ? before Kohli and Rahane shared their 58-run partnership.
Stuart Broad removed both openers, and finished on 2-6.
The hosts will be looking to bat deep into day four and set a tall target for their attack to bowl comfortably in the second innings.
“We have a lead of about 300 now, but we haven’t decided yet,” said offspinner Jayant Yadav.
“The pitch will be in its fourth day tomorrow, and then fifth day, so it will be tough to bat as we strive to be a consistent spin attack.”
Earlier, England resumed its first innings on 103-5 and was all out for 255 shortly before the end of the second session, with Ben Stokes making 70 and Jonny Bairstow out for 53.
India declined to enforce the follow-on.
Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took 5-67, his 22nd five-wicket haul in test cricket, and sixth in 2016 as England’s batsmen failed to significantly close in on India’s big first innings score of 455.
England’s hopes were briefly raised with a trio of blows after tea.
Murali Vijay (3) was caught at gully in the ninth over, the ball taking an inside edge onto his pads before lobbing up to Joe Root.
The decision went up for review.
Broad then dismissed Lokesh Rahul (10), who was adjudged caught behind, after a second review appeal.
Cheteshwar Pujara (1) added 23 runs with Kohli for the third wicket before he was bowled through the gate by James Anderson (1-16) as the hosts struggled to get going in their second innings.
Rahane then came together with Kohli and rescued India. The 50 mark came up in the 19th over, while Kohli reached his 13th test half century off 63 balls.
Allrounder Stokes had provided the main resistance in the tourists’ first innings, scoring 70 from 157 balls, with 11 boundaries.
England crossed the 200 mark in the 85th over, before Ashwin broke through by trapping Stokes lbw.
The batsman went for a television review and there seemed to be a hint of an inside edge, although he would have been out anyway, caught at silly point.
England lost its last four wickets for 30 runs, collapsing from 225-6 as India polished off a weak tail.
Zafar Ansari (4) was trapped lbw by Ravindra Jadeja (1-57), before Ashwin dismissed both Broad (13) and Anderson (0) lbw in the same over.
Rashid was unbeaten on 32.
Despite a difficult two days left for England in the test, wicketkeeper-batsman Bairstow remained optimistic.
“Whenever we bat next, there are definitely runs to be had. So we will try to be positive and score, because at the end of the day it’s a run chase.
There will be some uneven bounce on the pitch and you have to grit your teeth and crack on,” Bairstow said.
“We have shown we can bat long and score runs on these pitches. Only last week we have scored 500 out here. It is important for us to take wickets quickly tomorrow and change the game.”
The first test of this five-match series in Rajkot was a draw.—AP