Ashwin, Kohli put India in command
Visakhapatnam: India consolidated their position after Ravichandran Ashwin picked up a five-wicket haul yet again to bundle out England for 255 and secured a 200-run lead in the first innings of the second Test match on Saturday at Visakhapatnam.
Virat Kohli hit another half-century in India’s second innings to the overall lead to 298 runs with seven second innings wickets in hand. At stumps, Kohli and Rahane added unbeaten 58 runs and taken the Indian second inning score to 98 for 3 wickets, after India lost three quick wickets.
Captain Kohli continued his superb touch from first innings 167 and remained unbeaten on 56 runs in second innings with six boundaries. Stuart Broad dismissed both Indian openers Murali Vijay and Lokesh Rahul cheaply after overturning umpire Rod Tucker’s not out decisions on both occasions.
All batsmen except Kohli struggled with their timing on a surface offering turn and variable bounce.
At one point in India’s second innings, it was at a very precarious position at 40 for 3 wickets after James Anderson with late in-swinger cleaned up first innings centurion Pujara’s defence.
Off-spinner Ashwin is the world’s top-ranked Test bowler at the moment and his 22nd five-wicket haul in only his 41st Test earlier helped bring an end to some stout resistance from the tourists.
Earlier, Ben Stokes and Bairstow had hit half-centuries and combined in a sixth-wicket stand of 110 to launch England’s fightback. Just ten minutes before lunch Bairstow was dismissed by Umesh Yadav for 53. Later Stokes fell for 70 to Ashwin. Rashid offered some resistance and remained unbeaten on 32.
India 455 and 98/3 (Kohli 56*, Rahane 22*) lead England 255 (Stokes 70, Bairstow 53, Root 53, Ashwin 5-67) by 298 runs