Visakhapatnam: Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow posted half-centuries as England reached 191/6 in their first innings at lunch on the third day of the second Test against India in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.
Stokes was unbeaten on 55 at the break with Adil Rashid batting on one at the other end at the VDCA Cricket Stadium.
Stokes has hit eight boundaries off the 129 deliveries he has faced so far.
Bairstow also played a crucial role as the visitors went about their attempt to salvage the innings after losing quick wickets on Friday.
The right-hander scored 53 runs off 152 balls with five hits to the fence before fast bowler Umesh Yadav uprooted his middle stump shortly before lunch.
The hosts had earlier missed out on a stumping chance that could have sent Stokes back to the pavilion for 21, with Saha failing to collect the ball cleanly off Ashwin's bowling.
The visitors had earlier got off to the worst possible start after bowling India out for 455. Skipper Alastair Cook's off-stump was shattered into two by a vicious inswinger from Mohammed Shami — setting him up with a couple of deliveries that moved away from him.
After shining with the bat, Ashwin returned to his hostile ways with the ball by getting the important wicket of Joe Root, as well as Ben Duckett. Root, playing his 50th Test, managed to bring up his 24th Test half-century before a brainfade saw him miscue a delivery to Umesh at long-off.
India earlier rode on centuries from Virat Kohli (167) and Cheteshwar Pujara (119), as well as another half-century from Ashwin (58) to reach a score of 455 in the first innings.
The hosts won the toss, and decided to replace Gautam Gambhir with KL Rahul as Murali Vijay's opening partner, aside from giving Jayant Yadav his debut at the expense of experienced leg-spinner Amit Mishra. England, on the other hand, made the solitary change of replacing Chris Woakes with the experienced James Anderson.
First Published On : Nov 19, 2016 12:23 IST