Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane found much-needed runs to rescue India from a collapsing situation in the second Test against England. With their openers and skipper Virat Kohli back at 55 for three and India effectively ahead by only 28 runs.
However, Pujara (45 of 206) and Rahane (61 of 146) thrived under tremendous pressure to bat for almost 50 overs for a 100-run stand.
Day 4 Highlights: Pujara and Rahane resist England Bowlers
After stumps on day four, India reached 181 for six, leading England by 154 runs. Rishabh Pant (14 batting off 29) needs some support from the long Indian tail to add some valuable runs on the fifth morning.
England will have to bat extremely well with the pitch already playing a few tricks to secure victory. Both Pujara and Rahane, who were desperately searching for runs after the failure in the first innings. They might not have scored a big number of balls they consumed kept the visitors in the game.
Both struggled early in their innings but got better and better as their innings progressed. Pujara, who took 35 balls to get off the mark, played his trademark cut shot off James Anderson while Rahane was good with his pull shot off the pacers and sweep against Ali.
The two senior batsmen steadied the innings after the visitors lost their top three for 56 runs by lunch. Only 49 runs came in the 28 overs bowled in the session but, most importantly, for India, they did not lose a wicket.
There was a loud cheer from the crowd when Pujara played his 100th ball with only 12 runs to his name. The cheer got louder when he got his first boundary, a flick off Mark Wood, off his 118th delivery.
Indian Top order collapsed again
The Indian openers K L Rahul and Rohit Sharma, who made up for the middle-order’s prolonged failure so far in the series, could not bat long on this occasion. Like skipper Joe Root did for England, the onus was on Kohli to score a big one and bring his team back into the game but he could not do so.
Kohli (20 off 31) made a promising start before poking at a wide Sam Curran delivery to leave his team in deeper trouble at the stroke of lunch Rohit (21 off 36) once again looked in sublime touch before falling to the pull shot for the second time in the series.