MUMBAI, Dec. 9: Alastair Cook introduced spin from both ends as early as the seventh over of the Indian innings, in hope of picking up wickets like the Indian spinners did. And he did succeed in it, partially.
Moeen Ali dismissed opener KL Rahul at the end of the 14th over. India’s score read 39 for one. But that was all. Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara then shared an unbeaten 107-run stand to take India to 146 for one at stumps on Day 2 of the fourth Test in Mumbai. They are still trailing England by 254 runs in the first innings.
Both Vijay and Pujara showed the best possible way tackle spin on a track that has both turn and bounce. While Vijay did not mind coming down the pitch and send a couple over the ropes, Pujara was rock solid in his crease and cut most to gather his runs. Vijay was unbeaten on 70 at close of play while his partner at the other end was just three short of half-century.
Rahul, the only wicket to fall for India, looked in touch as he played some beautiful drives off the England pacers before a ripping delivery from off-spinner Ali went through his bat and pad and on to his stumps.
Earlier, England were bowled out for 400 after R Ashwin took six wickets and Ravindra Jadeja took picked up the remaining four wickets. This was Ashwin’s 23rd five-wicket haul in his Test career.
England were propelled to 400 after Jos Buttler made 76 and number 10 batsman Jake Ball chipped in with 31 and they shared a 54-run stand for the ninth wicket that frustrated India.
The visitors resumed the day at 288 for five but lost Ben Stokes for 31 to Ashwin. Ashwin had picked four of his six wicket on Thursday. A small controversy was also related to Stokes dismissal as the umpire turned down the appeal for catch against Stokes but India reviewed. The replays showed a deflection when the ball passed the bat but Stokes was surprised when he was giving out.
Jadeja then chipped in with two quick wickets in Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid and it looked like India will bowl out England before Lunch and below 350 but that is when Buttler and Ball got together. It was only after Lunch that Ashwin broke the stand when Ball was caught behind. Buttler was the last man to fall when he was castled by Jadeja.(TIE)