If there was any hope of victory that England harboured at lunch following an inspired bowling performance in the first session of the fourth day of the fourth Test, it dissipated into thin air following a 100-run seventh wicket partnership between Rishabh Pant and Shardul Thakur that took India to 445/8 at tea, 346 runs ahead.
When the day began, India were comfortably placed at 171 runs ahead with seven wickets in hand. However, three wickets in the first session with the lead extended to only 230 by lunch brought England back into the match.
But then Thakur and Pant played themselves in and frustrated the England bowlers who found nothing from the pitch and as the new ball softened, legs started to get tired, runs started to flow quite easily for the two batsmen.
The duo fell after one another after reaching their half-centuries and extending India’s lead to beyond 300.
Thakur (60 off 72 balls; 7x4s and 1×6) and Pant (50 off 106 balls; 4x4s) added exactly hundred in just under 26 overs.
They fell just before tea with Joe Root removing Thakur and Moeen Ali getting rid of Pant.
Brief scores (Tea, Day 4)
India 191 all out and 445/8 in 144 overs (Rohit Sharma 127, Cheteshwar Pujara 61, Shardul Thakur 60, Rishabh Pant 50, K.L. Rahul 46, Virat Kohli 44, Ollie Robinson 2/105, Chris Woakes 2/72, Moeen Ali 2/118) vs England 290.