England seemed to have grabbed the early advantage with a wicket on Day 3 of the fourth Test against India in Mumbai, only for a solid partnership between Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli to swing it back in favour of the hosts at lunch.
Cheteshwar Pujara, batting on 47 at stumps on Day 2, got his off-stump rattled off Jake Ball's bowling in the second ball of the day after misjudging the line of a delivery that angled into the batsman sharply after pitching just outside off.
Vijay and Kohli however, put up a stand that was worth 101 at the end of the first session, one that belonged to India, as the hosts went to lunch on a formidable score of 247/2, with Alastair Cook and Co still leading their opponents by 153 runs with two days and two sessions to go after this interval.
Ball, who came in place of off-spinner Gareth Batty in this match, set Pujara up in the first over of the day with one that was pitched slightly outside off, and seaming into the batsman. Pujara however, made the fatal mistake of shouldering his arms to the second delivery as well, despite the bowler reducing the gap between the pitch of the delivery and the off-stump. Having broken the dangerous-looking stand early in the day, it was a dream start for England in the day's proceedings, important for them if they are to keep the series alive.
Vijay and Kohli, however, batted with confidence and tenacity that ensured the hosts were right back in the game, keeping in mind their aim of going past England's formidable first innings score of 400. The duo brought up one milestone after another in their partnership that crossed the 100-run mark at the stroke of lunch. While Vijay got to his eighth Test hundred— and his second in this series after Rajkot — Kohli not only completed 4,000 Test runs, but crossed the 1,000 mark in the calendar year to mark what has been a fantastic 2016 for him.
Cook rotated his pacers, replacing Ball with Ben Stokes and later with James Anderson, while giving an extended spell to Moeen Ali at the other end. It was Adil Rashid however, that troubled the Indian batsmen the most, raising a loud appeal for an LBW that Vijay managed to get overturned with the DRS in the 80th over.
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Updated Date: Dec 10, 2016 11:50:36 IST