After getting bowled out for 329, R Ashwin’s fifer (5/43) on a spin-friendly MA Chidambaram surface has helped India take the upper hand in the ongoing second Test against England at Chennai. While India took a huge 195-run lead in the first innings, they have also managed to add 54/1 till the end of day’s play with Jack Leach dismissing Shubman Gill. Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara will resume Indian innings on Monday.
Resuming their first innings from 300/6 on Day 2, India lost their last 4 wickets for the addition of only 29 runs as stumper Rishabh Pant managed to complete his half-century. Some welcome boundaries by the southpaw helped India make some significant addition on a day which saw the fall of as many as 15 wickets.
Pant’s “Pantastic” form continues
It was Moeen Ali who gave a perfect start for the visitors in the morning as he sent back Axar Patel and Ishant Sharma in the same over. Fearing he might run off partners, Pant took the attack to the opposition before Olly Stone wrapped up the Indian tail by removing Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Siraj.
Although the Three Lions would have liked to get off to a good start that wasn’t to be with Ishant Sharma picking up the wicket of Rory Burns in the first over itself. Before the English innings could get back on its feet, local boy R Ashwin started weaving his magic as he picked two wickets before the lunch break. However, Axar Patel’s wicket of Joe Root off the latter’s preferred weapon against the spinners in the Indian subcontinent- the sweep stroke- had to be the moment of that brief passage of play for which India were on the field before Lunch with the visitors reeling at 39/4.
In the second session, Ashwin struck twice again as India picked four wickets with Axar and Mohammed Siraj also chipping in with a wicket. The veteran India off-spinner then completed the 29th fifer of his career by outfoxing Stuart Broad after Ishant had got his second wicket of the day in the form of Jack Leach as the hosts bowled out England for 134 with Ben Foakes’ being the English batter showing some resilience and top-scoring with an unbeaten 42.
In what is deemed as a tricky passage of play, India lost Shubman Gill but Rohit Sharma survived a couple of close calls as he along with Cheteshwar Pujara remain unbeaten at the wicket with 53 runs on the board. A result seems a certainty in the match now with the spinners getting plenty of assistance and the wicket deteriorating. With England set to chase a big total batting fourth, India would get a good night’s sleep on Sunday.