Four days before stumps, Alastair Cook’s dogged resistance was finally broken by a Ravindra Jadeja delivery that pitched outside off and hit him in front of middle. The umpire immediately raised his finger and India proceeded to celebrate. Cook, at the same, called for a review. The DRS assessment found the ball was pitching outside off and hitting the pad first. But the contentious point was whether the ball was going on to hit the stumps. And a few seconds later, that was confirmed with the ball projected to be going on to hit the leg stump. That ended Cook’s 54 run stay in the middle and had England going into Day 5 at 87/2 after it being 75/0 a few overs prior.
The wickets kept India on course to a win in the second Test in Vizag with the pitch not offering plenty but for some rough patches and variable bounce. The visitors are still 318 runs behind the target of 405 runs with an intriguing fifth day in prospect.
Cook and Haseeb Hameed staged a repeat of the Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers’ “blockathon” from last year with the England opening duo staying strong amid India’s numerous close calls and balling changes.
During his three hour stay in the middle, Hameed once again proved his ‘Baby Boycott’ nickname to frustrate the Indian bowling with his strong defence even if it meant taking some blows into the body in the process.
However, his resistance finally came to an end in the most excruciating manner when he was given leg before to an R Ashwin delivery that stayed low and would have gone on to hit the middle stump.
After Cook brought up his 53rd Test fifty from 171 balls, his 188 ball and 54 run stay brought curtains to a good day for England that had them dismissing the hosts for 204 after resuming from 98/3.
Stuart Broad, despite his physical discomforts, proved to be exceptional with figures of 4/33 and was given good support with the leg spin of Adil Rashid who took 4/82.
Broad who will be assessed after the end of the Test match stayed in good form with his probing cutters. Ajinkya Rahane was the first to fall on the day at 26 when he fell to one such delivery to glove it to Cook at first slip.
The middle order failed to order much and from 117/3, India were toiling at 162/9 with six wickets falling in 45 runs.
Mohammed Shami and Jayant Yadav provided the final flourish for India with a partnership of 42 runs before Shami was stumped by Jonny Bairstow off Moeen Ali.