At Tea on Day 2 of the third India-England Test in Mohali, it was the hosts who held all the aces. At 148 for 2 with both Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli in the middle, it seemed like India would take home the advantage at the end of the day and put enormous pressure on England.
However, after Tea, the visitors clawed their way back into proceedings, removing a well-set Pujara first for 51, then dismissing Ajinkya Rahane for a duck before getting rid of the debutant Karun Nair in sensational fashion.
The right-hander from Karnataka had begun in a positive fashion, getting off the mark in Test cricket with a crisply timed cover drive but in the very next over, saw his stay end courtesy some brilliance from Jos Buttler.
In the second ball of the 54th over of the innings, bowled by Chris Woakes, Kohli dabbed a ball to point and looked to go the run, but on finding that the fielder had gotten to the sphere, halted his run. But Nair, at the other end, had already gotten off the blocks and was in the middle of the pitch and on seeing his captain being non-commital at that moment and the fielder having got too close to it, started to run back.
Buttler collected the ball and hurled it towards the stumps at Nair’s end, hitting it directly. The minute the ball smacked the stumps, everyone knew the debutant was in trouble.
The on-field umpires went upstairs to have a look and replays confirmed that Nair was short of the crease when the bails had come off fully.
It was a stunning piece of fielding from Buttler and a mighty unfortunate end to Nair’s debut innings, who was not at fault in his own downfall. He was out for 4 and India had slipped further into trouble at 156 for 5 at the stage.
He became only the 12th Indian batsman to be run-out in his debut Test and the first since Anil Kumble in 1990 in Old Trafford.
Post that dismissal, Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin added 48 quick runs before the skipper was dismissed for 62 to leave India at 204 for 6, still 79 runs behind the England total.
Just when you thought that India looked in prime position to take a big lead in the game, England forged their way back into the game and it must be said if they do get the Indian lower-order out cheaply, they will surely be ahead in this Test match.
You can watch that and other dismissals here.