MOHALI, India: India took control of the third test in Mohali on Monday as England were reduced to 78-4 at stumps on day three after the hosts were bowled out for 417 runs in their first innings.
England trail by 56 runs with two days to play.
Opener Joe Root was unbeaten at the close on 36 runs, while Gareth Batty was 0 not out.
Haseeb Hameed did not open the batting owing to his injured left hand. He is expected to bat at some point on day four.
Alastair Cook (12) and Root put on 27 runs for the first wicket.
Ravichandran Ashwin (3-19) clean bowled Cook, after he had survived two lbw shouts via DRS reviews.
The England captain has struggled to read India’s spin attack on tour and is far from his usual assured self.
Moeen Ali (5) decided to attack Ashwin but misread the length and chipped a catch to mid-on.
Jonny Bairstow was caught behind off Jayant Yadav (1-12), with Parthiv Patel holding a low catch.
Ashwin trapped Ben Stokes (5) lbw before theclose of play. The original decision was overturned on DRS review.
England now face a tough fight to save this test with two days left to play.
At best, they can hope to delay the inevitable as the pitch showed more life when the Indian spinners were operating.
“There was more variable bounce and it is expected on day three. It is still a decent pitch. We have lost a few wickets, which isn’t ideal. But we have Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid to come. So there’s
a lot of batting left,” said Jonny Bairstow after the day’s play.
Earlier, Ravindra Jadeja scored 90 runs and Jayant Yadav (55) scored his maiden test half century to take India to a healthy total.
Starting from overnight 271-6, Ashwin and Jadeja took India past 300. They put on 97 runs for the seventh wicket as England looked listless on the field.
Ashwin was caught at point off Ben Stokes (5-73).
“We had to control the scoring rate at some point. I think we did that very well. We looked for a quick start with two wickets. It didn’t happen. They played well. Now we need to come back and do in the morning session what they did to us,” said Bairstow.
Jadeja added 80 runs for the eighth wicket with Jayant Yadav. Jadeja reached his third test half century off 104 balls, including five fours and a six.
This was his highest test score, going past his previous best of 68 runs, also scored against England, at Lord’s in 2014.
After lunch, Jadeja was caught at the boundary off Adil Rashid (4-118), falling short of his maiden test hundred.
“Our lower order has been consistently scoring runs and it bodes well for the team. I went for my shots as England were bowling a boring line. I think of myself as a batsman and I wanted to bat for long today. I knew I could make up the strike rate after facing 60-70 balls. I don’t regret the shot I got out on,” said Jadeja after the day’s play.
Jayant Yadav scored his maiden test half century off 132 balls, inclusive of four fours.
He added 33 runs for the ninth wicket with Umesh Yadav (12).
Stokes accounted for both batsmen to end the Indian innings.
It was his third five-wicket haul in test cricket, and his first in the sub-continent.—AP