A disciplined effort from the English bowlers has seen the visitors take the honours in the second session on the second day of the fourth Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday. The Indian batsmen have left a lot to be desired as the hosts managed to score 73 runs for the loss of two wickets in the post-lunch session.
At the Tea break, India's score read 153/6 with - still trailing by 52 runs - Rishabh Pant (36) and Washington Sundar (1) at the crease. Ben Stokes continued his fine form as he sent back dangerman Rohit Sharma (49) in the second session after picking the prized wicket of Virat Kohli in the first.
Having lost three wickets in the first session, Rohit and Pant started well in the post-lunch session as they looked to defend the good balls and score of the rare bad deliveries. But just when the two started to look good, Stokes sent back Rohit, one short of a much-deserved fifty. The ball from Stokes came back sharply and there was not much that the opener could do. While he did review the call, the replays stuck to umpire's call on impact and the English players celebrated.
Ravichandran Ashwin joined Pant in the middle and tried to accumulate runs to reduce the deficit. The duo had a brief 25-run partnership for the sixth wicket until Jack Leach sent Ashwin (13) back in the concluding minutes of the session. The ball seemed to stop on Ashwin as the batsman played early only for the ball to balloon into Pope's hands. The lower order will need to wield the williow in the final session if India wish to go past England's first innings score of 205.
Earlier, Anderson picked Rahane on the brink of lunch to hand England the upper hand. Going into the morning session with the score on 24/1 and with Rohit and Pujara at the crease, the hosts would have liked to get closer to the visitors' total without losing a wicket. But it wasn't to be as Leach struck first to send back Pujara, leg before. While it was a close call, the umpire was spot on as the ball hit the pad first.
In walked Kohli and with the scoring rate on the slower side, one expected the captain to bring on the attack with Rohit. But Stokes had other ideas as he got the India skipper to produce a nothing shot to a ball that got big on him and ended up giving keeper Foakes an easy catch. With the score on 41/3, the Englishmen realised they had walked right back into the game.
But Rahane and Rohit defied the visitors for a while as they tried to build the innings and stitched a 39-run partnership. But just when it looked like the duo would take India to lunch and start afresh after the break, Anderson sent back Rahane.
Brief Scores: England 205; India 153/6 (Rohit Sharma 49, Rishabh Pant 36*; James Anderson 2-19, Ben Stokes 2-33)
( With inputs from ANI )
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