India continued the trend of getting a key wicket before the interval, dismissing Joe Root for 78 just before lunch, as England hobbled their way to 153/7 at lunch on Day 4 of the third Test at Mohali on Tuesday.
Having brought up his 25th Test half-century earlier in the day's play, Root was looking to bring up his 12th century in the format, when he paid the price for attempting to drive a length delivery from Ravindra Jadeja outside off, edging it to Ajinkya Rahane in the slips, where the latter took a one-handed blinder to deal a massive blow to the visitors in their desperate attempt to revive their chances in the ongoing Test.
Resuming from their overnight shaky score of 78/4, nightwatchman Gareth Batty did not spend much time at the crease, getting trapped LBW by left-handed all-rounder Jadeja for a duck. Out came Jos Buttler, who had earlier scored a useful 43 in the first innings. His stay at the crease was marked with aggression, as he came down the track against Jadeja and smashed a six towards long-off. It was the same approach that eventually led to his dismissal for 18, as he holed out to Jadeja at cow-corner off Jayant Yadav's bowling, ending a vital 45-run stand.
Hameed, who couldn't open earlier in the innings thanks to an injured finger, walked out after the fall of the sixth wicket, and was steady in his approach till the end of the session. Root, on the other hand, played a few strokes to put the visitors in lead, which Alastair Cook's side managed to stretch to 22 at the interval.
Earlier, India were bowled out for a score of 417, with the innings witnessing the first-ever occurrence of three Indian batsmen below No 6 scoring three 50-plus scores. Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja led the Indian fightback after they were reduced to 204/6 at one stage, guiding them to a relatively safe score of 271/6 at stumps on the second day. Jayant too, struck his maiden half-century in only his second appearance, as the hosts finished with a decent lead.
England chose to bat after captain Cook won the toss for the second time this series. While they made three changes to the side — Chris Woakes, Batty and Buttler coming in place of Stuart Broad, Zafar Ansari and Ben Duckett — the Indians opted to bring Parthiv Patel and debutant Karun Nair in place of the injured duo of wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and KL Rahul.