Mohali (Punjab)[India], Nov. 28 : India took four crucial England wickets in second innings to put themselves in a commanding position after third day's play of the ongoing third Test of the five-match series at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium on Monday.
At stumps on Day Four, the visitors were left in tatters at 78-4, and are still trailing by 56 runs. The day belonged to Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant Yadav. The spin trio did not only bowl brilliantly to put England in deep trouble, they also contributed handsomely with the bat to help India take a lead of 134 runs in the first innings.
Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 271-6, Ashwin and Jadeja, which had shared an unbeaten partnership of 67 on Day Three, added another 30 runs before Ashwin got out at his individual score of 72.
However, Jadeja found an able partner in Jayant (55) and the duo added 80 runs to consolidate India's lead.
Jadeja got out 10 short of his maiden Test hundred in trying to score quickly. Beginning their second innings, England skipper Alastair Cook and Joe Root never looked comfortable and survived various scares.
In the space of four deliveries, Cook survived two close DRS calls. However, the reprieve was short-lived as Ashwin bowled him at the score of 12. Moeen Ali, who came into bat at No. 3, chipped Ashwin to mid-on at his individual score of 5. It was a lovely piece of deception from the bowler, who defeated Moeen in the flight. When both Root and first innings hero Jonny Bairstow were eyeing the close, the wicketkeeper was caught low by his Indian counterpart off the bowling of Jayant.
Just before stumps, Ben Stokes got lbw off Ashwin to leave the visitors in danger. The pitch is taking more and more turn and even the 56 by which England is trailing is looking quite a fair distance away.
It would be interesting to see how far England can stretch India's wait to go 2-0 in the five-match series.