India put themseleves on the cusp of completing a comprehensive series victory with England caught in a spin web following skipper Virat Kohli’s career-best 235 at the end of the fourth day of the fourth cricket Test.
Records tumbled one after another as Kohli’s third double ton in as many Test series was complemented by Jayant Yadav’s maiden hundred with India piling up a mammoth 631 tereby taking a lead of 231 runs.
In reply, England were left tottering at 182 for 6 needing another 49 runs to avoid innings defeat as the hosts are now all but assured to regain the Anthony De Mello Trophy that they had lost back in 2012.
Ravichandran Ashwin (2/49), Ravindra Jadeja (2/58) and Jayant Yadav (1/39) shared five of the six wickets. The other wicket-taker was Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/11), who removed first innings centurion Keaton Jennings (0).
It was a day of records with Jayant being the first Indian to score a Test hundred at No 9 and 241 runs added for the eighth wicket between Jayant and Kohli literally put England out of the game.
With Indian spinners proving to be much superior in quality than their Indian counterparts, it will be a matter of time before the home team take series clinching lead going into Chennai for the fourth Test.
Jonny Bairstow was the not out batsman for England, on 50, after Jake Ball departed in the final over of the day.
Skipper Kohli yet again proved why he is among the top three batsmen in world cricket. The India captain struck 25 fours and one six in his monumental eight-and-a-half hour innings while he faced 340 deliveries.
With an able ally in Jayant, Kohli dictated terms for the second successive hitting boundaries on both sides of the wicket. He attacked the loose deliveries, the intennsity didn’t drop one bit even after he reached 175 plus as he was still running the second run as hard as ever.
With each run that the duo scored, England players were frustrated a degree more.
The home team were dismissed 48 minutes into the second session and England – with only a draw to play – plunged into deep trouble to be 49 for three at tea before being revived by a fourth wicket partnership of 92 runs between Joe Root (77) and Bairstow.
The dismissal of Root, who looked in good touch till he was trapped on the backfoot by Jayant, followed by Ben Stokes (18) and Ball (2) in the last session has left the visitors with a very difficult chance to save the penultimate game of the series. Captain Alastair Cook (18) and Moeen Ali (0) were also dismissed cheaply.
Jadeja scalped Cook and Ali after Bhuvneshwar had packed off Jennings with the second ball of the innings.
Post tea, England were in total shambles as Jayant sent back danger man Root while Ravichandran Ashwin, after changing ends, dismissed Stokes 13 minutes before close, caught off a reverse sweep, and then added the scalp of Ball, who was caught behind.
India could have got rid of Bairstow too but Kolhi standing at slip could not hold on to a catch, when the batsman went for a reverse sweep off Ashwin. Bairstow was on 14 and England were 98 for 3.
India, however, have also wasted both their reviews off appeals against the England wicket-keeper batsman.
The first session of the day totally belonged to the Indian pair of captain Kohli and rookie Jayant, playing in only his third Test but showing great signs of maturity.
The home team sent England on a leatherhunt for more than 12 hours thereby piling up the third highest score against the same opponents.
When England batted Bhuvneshwar got rid of first innings debut centurion Keaton Jennings for a first-ball duck with an inswinger that caught the batsman plumb in-front.
Cook played across to Jadeja to be given out and the review by England also failed before the charged up left arm spinner got one to turn across the bat of Moeen to have him caught by Murali Vijay at backward short leg to signal tea.
The entire morning belonged to Kohli and Jayant as they put paid to the England hopes of restricting the home side’s lead to the minimum with forthright batting.
Among the other records broken, Kohli eclipsed predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose 224 against Australia at Chennai in 2013, was the previous best score by an Indian captain.
Their partnership of 241, that consumed 244 minutes and 352 balls, obliterated India’s previous best for the wicket of 161 set by Mohammed Azhauddin and Anil Kumble, the current head coach, in 1996-97 against South Africa at Kolkata.
Kohli-Jayant duo also eclipsed the previous highest eighth-wicket partnership of 168 between the two countries standing in the name of England’s Ray Illingworth and Peter Lever at Old Trafford, Manchester in 1971.
The partnership was finally broken at 605 after the duo had come close to bettering the century-old all-time best eighth-wicket of 243 between Australia’s M J Hartigan and C Hill of Australia set in 1908.
It was when Yadav was stumped charging at leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who later finished with 4 for 192 after a marathon stint of 55.3 overs.
Kohli, who had already started chancing his arm in order to get quick runs, finally departed 10 runs later when he holed out to deep extra cover fielder James Anderson to give Chris Woakes his only wicket of the innings.
He was congratulated by the England fielders after his marathon effort that has virtually won the series for his team ahead of the Chennai game.
The Indian first innings came to an end 16 runs later to leave England with a massive task of playing for a draw on a track on which the ball spun considerably on occasions.