India made a strong reply with the bat after off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picked up yet another five-wicket haul as the hosts reached 146 for 1 on the second day of the fourth cricket Test against England here today.
After Ashwin took two more wickets today to return with innings figures of 6/112, Murali Vijay (70 batting) and Cheteshwar Pujara (47 batting) led a solid Indian reply to England’s first innings 400 all out with a 107-run stand for the unbroken second wicket to help the hosts take the Day 2 honours.
India, 2-0 up in the five-match Test series, now trail England by 254 runs with nine first innings wickets in hand on a Wankhede Stadium track offering copious turn and bounce to the spinners.
Opener Vijay rediscovered his form with an elegant knock of 70 not out while in-form number three Pujara continued to torment the visitors with his impeccable judgement with his bat in making 47 not out as India closed the day with their nose ahead on 146 for 1 in 52 overs.
The duo’s unfinished second wicket partnership of 107 runs came from 228 balls and it was their seventh 100-plus stand in Tests and second of the series after the double century stand in the drawn series opener at Rajkot.
Earlier, Indian spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja claimed all the 10 wickets between them to bowl England out for 400 in the visitors’ first innings, 22 minutes into the second session.
Ashwin bagged 6 for 112 with his off-spin, his 23rd five-wicket haul in his 43rd match, while left-arm spinner Jadeja claimed 4 for 109 as the tourists were all out in the post-lunch session. Ashwin has now equalled legendary Kapil Dev’s tally of 23 five-wicket hauls in Test cricket to be behind just Anil Kumble (35) and Harbhajan Singh (25).
Opener K L Rahul (24) was out before Vijay and Pujara, who had put on a stand of 211 in the series opener at Rajkot, came together to consolidate the innings by negotiating the spin of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid with aplomb.