Mohali, Nov 27 (IANS) India posted 271/6 in their first innings, trailing England by 12 runs at the end of the second day of the third Test at the Punjab Cricket Association I.S. Bindra Stadium here on Sunday.
Ravichandran Ashwin (57 batting) and Ravindra Jadeja (31 batting) were in the middle at stumps.
England were all out for 283 runs in their first innings.
Having mopped up the England tailenders early in the opening session, India rode on some excellent batting by skipper Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and comeback man Parthiv Patel to dominate first two sessions before the visitors hit back with four quick wickets after tea.
Kohli, who was involved in a 75-run partnership with Pujara, was the top scorer among the Indian batsmen with 62 runs off 127 balls.
The usually flamboyant Indian captain played a patient knock, hitting nine boundaries before being caught behind off Ben Stokes’ bowling.
Pujara posted a patient 51 off 104 balls before being sent back by leg-spinner Adil Rashid.
Ashwin then continued his rich vein of form with the bat to ensure a positive end to the day for the hosts.
Rashid was the most successful among the England bowlers with figures of 3/81 while pacer Ben Stokes, who received an ICC reprimand for his spat with Kohli on Saturday, returned 2/48.
The traditionally pace-friendly Mohali pitch offered appreciable lateral movement to the pacers while spinners also managed to extract a fair bit of turn.
The Indians started their first innings with comeback man Parthiv Patel opening the batting with Murali Vijay (12).
Patel enjoyed a steady start to his comeback to international cricket after a gap of several years as India posted 60/1 by lunch.
Patel survived a nervous start, almost edging an outgoing delivery from pacer James Anderson to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.
But he gradually found his groove, hitting a couple of boundaries to get the scoreboard ticking. He notched up six boundaries over the 73 balls he faced until the lunch break.
Vijay, however, was struggling at the other end. His uncomfortable stay of 38 balls ended when a half-hearted flash at a Stokes delivery found a slight outer edge on the way to the wicketkeeper.
Pujara then strode to the middle and played solidly for 22 deliveries — including two hits to the fence — to ensure that the hosts went into lunch without further mishap.
Patel departed a short while after the resumption of play, trapped leg before by Adil Rashid.
The Indian wicketkeeper-batsman scored 42 off 85 balls with six hits to the fence.
That was the only bit of celebration England could enjoy before tea as Kohli and Pujara struck up a steady partnership.
The visitors gained the upper hand in the post tea session, pegging the hosts back with an excellent effort with the ball as well as in the field.
Rashid struck in only the second over after tea as Pujara holed out to Chris Woakes on the leg-side.
The leg-spinner struck in his very next over, trapping Ajinkya Rahane leg before. Rahane, who lasted all of six balls, was outfoxed by the spin as the ball his front pad plumb in front of the wicket.
Debutant Karun Nair did not enjoy a good start to his Test career as he was run out following a horrible mix up with Kohli.
Ashwin joined Kohli and the duo proceeded to produce a 48-run partnership.
After Stokes claimed the prized wicket of Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin added 67 runs between them to take the hosts closer to the England total.
Ashwin brought up his half-century with a boundary off Anderson through the off-side and celebrated the landmark by driving the very next ball to the ropes.
The star off-spinner hit eight boundaries during his 82-ball stay in the middle and was unbeaten on 57 at the close.
Jadeja also batted aggressively, hitting three boundaries and a six to post 31 runs off 59 balls.
Earlier, England started at the overnight score of 268/8 before fast bowler Mohammed Shami cleaned up the remaining two wickets for figures of 3/63, limiting the visitors to 283 in the first innings.
Fellow fast bowler Umesh Yadav, star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and Jayant Yadav bagged two wickets each. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja got one wicket.
Shami dismissed overnight batsman Adil Rashid (4) with his very first ball, a superb delivery that pitched on around the off and middle stump and seamed away slightly, taking the outer edge of the bat on its way to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.
Anderson, the next batsman in, started off with an edge through the third man area for a boundary. He remained unbeaten on 13.
But the England innings did not last long. Shami trapped Gareth Batty (1) leg before to bag his second wicket of the morning and put an end to the visitors’ first innings.