India’s Ravichandran Ashwin scored a valiant half-century to rescue India from a tricky situation and prevented them from throwing away their advantage in the third Test against England in Mohali.
Ashwin came into bat with India precariously placed at 156 for five after England scalped three quick wickets immediately after the two teams returned from the Tea break.
With Virat Kohli at the other end, Ashwin batted confidently and once again rescued India with the bat. He later combined well with fellow spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who remained unbeaten on 31, and added 67 runs for the seventh wicket.
Ashwin’s unbeaten 57 took India to 271 for six at stumps, 12 runs shy of England’s first innings total of 283. The 30-year-old kept his calm even as Kohli returned to the hut with India placed at 204 for six. His partnership with Jadeja kept India in the game at the end of the day.
Adil Rashid was the standout performer for England, taking three wickets. He got England the breakthrough as Cheteshwar Pujara skied one just moments after tea. Pujara’s dismissal on 51 broke a 75-run stand between him and Kohli.
England who were bowled out for 283 in the morning session were looking to make a larger dent into India’s batting. As Pujara-Kohli formed their stand, the possibility looked difficult.
Rashid came good at an opportune time and England capitalised on the big break, as Rashid immediately sent back Ajinkya Rahane for zero. Youngster Karun Nair perished soon after a superlative piece of fielding by Jos Butler found him short of the crease.
The three quick wickets had England’s tails up. However, they could not quite get past Ashwin, who batted stoically to close out the game with India trailing by 12 runs.
Most of India’s batsmen gave their wickets away after making good starts. Opening the innings, Parthiv Patel was found leg before by Rashid for 42. His partner, Murali Vijay had perished for 12 earlier.
England 283 vs India 271/6 (Pujara 51, Kohli 62, Ashwin 57*; Rashid 3/81).