On a surface that’s getting increasingly difficult to bat on, India further consolidated their position ahead of Tea on day two of the second Chennai Test against England.
The visitors trail by 223 runs with wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes holding the fort against a fired-up Indian attack.
The session’s highlight was Ravichandran Ashwin outfoxing Ben Stokes by drawing him forward and making him play against the turn. The ball, which drifted in, turned past Stokes’ bat and found the top of the off-stump.
Stokes’ dismissal made Ashwin the second-most successful Test bowler in India, with 266 wickets. He went past Harbhajan Singh’s tally and is now only behind Anil Kumble, who picked up 350.
Ben Foakes entered the Test with an average of 41.5. After giving a good account of himself on a rank-turner, with some tidy wicketkeeping and not conceding an extra, Foakes impressed with the bat. He exhibited good defensive technique against the Indian spinners and built a crucial 35-run stand for the sixth wicket with Ollie Pope.
The partnership was broken by Mohammed Siraj, who is playing his first Test in India. Siraj dismissed Pope off his very first ball, with Rishabh Pant taking a good catch diving down the leg-side.
Siraj went on to bowl four consecutive maidens, stifling the run-flow. After a five-over spell, Siraj was replaced by Axar Patel, who struck immediately by dismissing Moeen Ali.
Olly Stone lasted four balls before chipping one to Rohit Sharma at mid-wicket off Ashwin ahead of the tea break.
The only setback for India in the second session of Day Two was the loss of three of their reviews.
No wickets for Kuldeep Yadav
Playing a Test after 25 months, Kuldeep Yadav was finally introduced into the attack in the 35th over. The left-arm wrist-spinner went wicket-less in his six overs.
Earlier, India elected to bat after winning the crucial toss and scored 329 on a surface that spun from the first session. The Indian innings was set up by Rohit Sharma’s fine century and vital contributions from Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant.
India 329 (Rohit Sharma 161, Ajinkya Rahane 67, Rishabh Pant 58*; Olly Stone 3-47, Jack Leach 2-78, Moeen Ali 4-41) lead England 106-8 (Ben Foakes 23*; Ravichandran Ashwin 4-36, Axar Patel 2-30) by 223 runs.