Just three balls from stumps and close of play, night-watchman Jake Ball got a faintest of edges off R Ashwin and Parthiv Patel did well to hold on. That could very well be the jab in confidence that England couldn’t afford in the Test at Wankhede Stadium and could very well wrap up the series.
At stumps then, England were 182/6 with the spin trio of Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant Yadav getting five of the six wickets and the other falling to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. With that, England are still behind by 49 runs with Jonny Bairstow unbeaten on 50. Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid and James Anderson are the batsmen remaining for England to withstand the trouble that the spin has caused to the visitors.
Amidst this, there was a half century by Yorkshire duo of Joe Root and Bairstow to keep the visitors alive after early jitters before the Tea session.
On the second delivery of England’s chase of India’s 231 run lead, debutant and centurion from the first innings, Keaton Jennings was trapped leg before by Bhuvneshwar and gone for a golden duck.
Soon enough, Alastair Cook and Moeen Ali were dismissed by Jadeja who got the ball to grip and employed perfect length to have England in trouble.
Root played a resolute knock and was one of the batsmen who rode through the wave of Jadeja’s absolute brilliance with the ball and have his outside edge beaten on numerous occasions. He finally fell to Jayant in the final hour of play after being trapped leg before and opted to walk after the umpire gave him out.
Ben Stokes was the other wicket to fall in the final hour of play when he went for a reverse sweep but ended up gloving it on to his boot and unluckily for him, the ball looped up and was taken by Murali Vijay.
However, the man of the day honours could very well be shared between Virat Kohli and Jayant who ballooned India’s lead and made England toil in the heat. Where Kohli brought up his third Test double – all scored this year, Jayant took home the honours of scoring his maiden Test century.
The duo had joined forces when Jadeja fell on Day 3 with India 364/7 and still 36 runs behind. By the time Jayant fell to a stumping when attempting to go expansively for a cover drive, India had taken a 205 run lead.
Kohli joined him in the pavillion soon after when he was taken in the deep off Woakes. With his 235 run knock, he had become the highest scoring Indian captain and Indian batsman with most runs against England.
Going into the fifth day, the equation reads simple: England need 49 runs to avoid innings defeat and India have to pick up four wickets. It looks unlikely that India won’t have to bat again but what will be the eventual target remains to be seen.