All-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant Yadav built a strong partnership after the dismissal of Ravichandran Ashwin, as India found themselves in a comfortable position of 354/7 at lunch on the third day of the third Test at Mohali.
Jadeja put up a fine show with the bat after taking two wickets earlier during the England innings, bringing up his third Test half-century in 104 deliveries (which also is the first time he faced more than 100 deliveries in a Test innings.) At the end of the first session, Yadav was batting on 26 off 66 deliveries, having hit three boundaries so far in his innings. Jadeja, on the other hand, was unbeaten on 70 off 142 balls, his highest score in the longest format.
The day began with Ashwin, resuming from his overnight score of 57, smacking a boundary towards square-leg off Chris Woakes. Visiting skipper Alastair Cook decided to deploy Moeen Ali from the other end in order to counter the left-handed Jadeja, though it seemed to fetch little result for them.
Ashwin got a couple of lucky breaks in the 91st over when a couple of chances were put down, including a faint outside edge to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow. His vigil however, came to an end in Ben Stokes' first over of the day when an attempted slash towards the off-side resulted in a thick edge to Jos Buttler at point. His pursuit of getting a Test century against a side other than West Indies remained unfulfilled as a result.
Jayant, who has impressed since making his debut in the second Test at Visakhapatnam, got a couple of boundaries inside a James Anderson over to display his intent. The highlight of the remainder of the session though, was Jadeja celebrating his milestone in his trademark 'Rajput' style of wielding his bat like a sword.
Ashwin and Jadeja earlier rescued the hosts from the blushes after they were reduced to 204/6. Having dominated in the first two sessions of Day 2, India lost wickets in a flurry, with skipper Virat Kohli departing for 62.
First Published On : Nov 28, 2016 11:42 IST