Earlier, England resumed their second innings on 84 for 5. English skipper Ben Stokes was dropped twice. However, he failed to capitalize on his chances and was dismissed for 25 off 36 balls. Jonny Bairstow then single-handedly led the fightback for the hosts. After a slow start to the day, he went on to attack following a verbal duel with Virat Kohli.
Bairstow scored a brilliant 106 off 140 balls, striking 14 fours and two sixes. His innings ended when he nicked Mohammed Shami to the keeper, attempting a big hit. Keeper-batter Sam Billings scored a handy 36 off 57 balls. However, Mohammed Siraj claimed three quick wickets at the end to run through England’s tail. Their innings ended in 61.3 overs as India gained a significant first-innings lead of 132.
India lost opener Shubman Gill (4) in the first over of their second innings. Like on Day 1, the right-hander was again caught at slip by a probing delivery from James Anderson outside off stump. The visitors also lost Hanuma Vihari (11) early in the last session as he was perished to a good delivery from Stuart Broad.
Kohli looked good during his stay out in the middle, but it did not last long enough. He was out for 20 off 40 balls, gloving one from Stokes that rose awkwardly off a length. The keeper could not hold on to the edge, but luckily for England, Joe Root at first slip took the rebound.
Pujara brought up a well-deserved fifty just before the close of day’s play. At the other end, Pant batted with maturity even as England enticed him to go over the top against Root. He was content defending as India kept England bowlers at bay in the last hour.
–Renin Wilben Albert