Resuming their innings at 300/6 on Day 2, India lost their last 4 wickets for the addition of only 29 runs, with Rishabh Pant managing to complete an unbeaten fifty in the second Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. Indian bowlers led by R Ashwin then reduced the English side to 39/4 at lunch break. Other than Ashwin, Ishant Sharma and Axar Patel also picked up a wicket each. All-rounder Ben Stokes remains unbeaten in the middle with a daunting task ahead of him as the visitors are still trailing by 290 runs and have 6 wickets remaining.
Moeen Ali got England off to a perfect start on Sunday morning as he dismissed overnight batsman Axar Patel first up. Ishant Sharma was too sent back in the same over by Ali with just a single run added to their Day 1 score. It took some fireworks from Rishabh Pant to add some crucial runs for the hosts as he feared running out of partners before not being able to contribute much.
The southpaw did manage to complete yet another half-century and continue his rich run of form with the bat before Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Siraj were dismissed to bring an end to the Indian innings. Against the run of play, it was pacer Olly Stone who wrapped up the Indian tail.
While India were short of the 350-mark which vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane had said the team wanted to reach at the end of day’s play on Saturday, they sort of made it up with a dream start with the ball as Ishant Sharma dismissed Rory Burns for a duck in the first over. Local boy Ashwin weaved his magic yet again as he picked up the wickets of Dom Sibley and Dan Lawrence but it was an even memorable session for debutant Axar who caught the big fish- the English skipper Joe Root as his first Test wicket getting him to top edge a sweep shot- his preferred weapon against the spinners in the subcontinent.
Riding on a great start, India would aim to take a massive first-innings lead to tighten their grip on the match and make a comeback in the series after losing the first Test.