India vs England | Kohli steals the show after middle-order collapse

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© BCCI Media

India vs England | Kohli steals the show after middle-order collapse

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SportsCafe Desk


Virat Kohli scored his 15th Test ton as India recovered from a middle-order collapse to finish the third day of the fourth Test at 451/7 and 51-run lead. After a Kohli-Vijay century stand, India lost 4 wickets for 45 runs, before Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant Yadav played a couple of cameos.

Brief Scores: England 400 all out in 130.1 overs against India 451/7 in 142 overs (Kohli 147*, Vijay 136; Root 2/17, Ali 2/139)

Vijay-Kohli put India on track after Pujara’s early dismissal

Coming to the match, Murali Vijay was under tremendous pressure due to his lack of runs in the series. After hitting a flawless century in the first Test against England, the Tamil Nadu opener only managed to score 66 runs in the next five innings. But at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, he showed a completely different approach to silence his detractors with a fine century. Resuming his innings from 70, Vijay continued his assault on the opposition to get to the eighth century of his Test career- his third against England. Despite losing Cheteshwar Pujara on the second ball of the day, India walked into lunch with the upper hand. Pujara was bowled by rookie bowler Jake Ball, who put a sharp in-swinger to disturb the woodwork. The ball darted back in from the good length spot to clip the top of Pujara's off-stump.

But India fought back as Vijay and Indian skipper Virat Kohli launched their attack on the English. Kohli hit Moeen Ali for successive boundaries and Vijay hit a huge six over Ali’s head to make their intent clear. Despite James Anderson and Adil Rashid's best efforts, post drinks, Vijay and Kohli were looking rock solid at the crease. Vijay completed his second hundred of the series by pushing Moeen to the vacant point region. India went in for lunch in a pretty comfortable position of 247/2.

England fight back

Just when it looked like India were heading towards a mammoth total, there was a batting collapse. From 262/2, India went to 307/6 in just over 13 overs. Vijay was the first domino to fall. After batting so well and negating so many good deliveries, the opener departed to a full toss! The ball dipped on him a bit as he tried to hit it, and it took the bottom of the bat before popping up towards Rashid for an easy catch off his own bowling.

Few overs later, Karun Nair was trapped in front of the wicket by Ali, and the umpire gave the decision in favor of the batsman. However, England chose to review, and after some initial doubts about the ball hitting the edge of the bat, the TV umpire gave him out. Cook brought Joe Root into the action, and he proved to be the man with a golden arm.

Root dismissed Parthiv Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin in two consecutive overs, and all of a sudden India were in a bit of a trouble at 307/6. It could have been worse, though. Rashid dropped a catch off his own bowling in the 106th over to give Kohli a new lease of life when he was batting at 68. Ravindra Jadeja played a decent cameo innings of 25 runs as he forged a 57-run partnership with the Indian skipper, before being dismissed by Rashid while attempting a big shot over the top.

The Kohli show continues

Despite losing partners at the other end, Kohli kept his calm and completed his 15th Test century in the 121st over with a single down to the cover. After completing his ton, Kohli opened up his arms against Chris Woakes and James Anderson. With Jayant Yadav’s able support at the other end, Kohli took India past England’s score in the final session. Yadav once again showed his worth with the bat and remained unbeaten at 30, while Kohli ended the day three runs short of 150. India now have a comfortable 51-run lead, and if they can extend it beyond 100 on the fourth day, England will have a tough time posting a big target for India to chase in their second innings.

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