Skipper Virat Kohli missed out on becoming the first Indian batsman to score three double centuries in a calendar year, as spinner Moeen Ali grabbed three wickets for England on the second morning of the second cricket Test here on Friday.
At lunch, India were 415/7 with Ravichandran Ashwin and debutant Jayant Yadav batting on 47 and 26, respectively.
Batting on 151 overnight, Kohli got out for 167 at the Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, missing out on what would have been a rare feat by 33 runs.
On a wicket that started turning, Ashwin and Yadav showed fine application.
Having brought into the attack in the ninth over of the day, English off-spinner Ali gave the much-needed breakthrough by putting the brakes on Kohli’s majestic innings and in the next over he dismissed Wriddhiman Saha (3) and Ravindra Jadeja (0) in three balls in a fine spell of 9-1-27-3.
But Ashwin, who was dropped on 17, played beautifully and added an undefeated 52-run partnership with Jayant. With Ali looking to bowl the hosts out, the duo held on as they looked set for a big total after resuming the day on 317/4.
India’s use of DRS was found wanting as they unsuccessfully reviewed an LBW of Saha, but the dubious decision of Jadeja by umpire Kumar Dharmasena in the same over was not challenged.
Replays showed that the ball, pitched outside the off-stump, went with the angle and missed the left-hander’s leg-stump, but India seemed once bitten twice shy and did not refer.
With the second new ball only two overs old, England started with their two frontline pacers in Anderson and Stuart Broad, but there was little assistance for them from the pitch.
Kohli and Ashwin went about their tasks and it was the introduction of spin, in Ali, that provided the breakthrough in the 11th over.
Eyeing a third double century in a calendar year, Kohli looked in no trouble against the duo of Anderson and Broad.
But the Indian skipper momentarily lost his concentration with the change of pace and trajectory as he went for an expansive drive in the very second ball he faced from Ali to give a catch to Ben Stokes at the slip. With it his patient six-hour and 41-minute vigil at the crease came to an end.
It was a dramatic second over of the day for Ali as only in the previous ball Stokes had grounded Ashwin to his left.
The English all-rounder let out a frustrated celebration after taking Kohli’s prized catch.