MOHALI: Ravindra Jadeja hit a fluent half-century to help India open up a first innings lead on day three of the third Test against England in Mohali on Monday.
India, who resumed on 271-6, took lunch at 354 for seven with Jadeja (70) and Jayant Yadav (26) at the crease. The hosts lead by 71 runs.
Overnight batsman Ravichandran Ashwin was dismissed for 72 but Jadeja, who started the day on 31, and Yadav put on an unbeaten 53-run stand to thwart the England bowling attack.
Seam bowler Ben Stokes and leg-spinner Adil Rashid have claimed three wickets each in the innings so far.
Stokes struck in his very first over of the day to get Ashwin caught at point on a length delivery that just held its line.
Ashwin, who had signalled his intent with a boundary off the first delivery, managed to add just 15 runs to his overnight score of 57.
His wicket ended the 97-run seventh-wicket stand between him and Jadeja as the duo lifted India after the hosts had lost four wickets in the final session on Sunday.
Jadeja carried on the good work as he recorded his third Test fifty and celebrated the feat by performing an impromptu sword dance with his bat.
Jadeja, who registered his career-best Test score surpassing his 68 at Lord’s in 2014, and Yadav played aggressive cricket to frustrate the opposition attack.
Jadeja has hit six fours and a six during his 142-ball stay so far with Yadav, India’s off-spinner who impressed on debut in the previous game, playing a supporting role.
England skipper Alastair Cook tried various combinations with his team’s bowling but could only get one wicket in the morning session.
India regain the upper hand after Rashid and Stokes led England’s fightback on day two, when their quick strikes after tea reduced India to 156-5 and then 204-6.