4th Test - England Vs India - Ahmedabad - Day 2
Rishabh Pant launched a spectacular late assault smashing a swashbuckling century to put India in the driving seat in the fourth and final Test against England in Ahmedabad yesterday.
India reached 294 for seven at the end of the second day in response to England's 205 and lead by 8 runs with three wickets still in the bag.
Washington Sundar was batting at the crease on 60 with Axar Patel on 11.
India, leading 2-1 in the series, struggled in the morning session which yielded just 56 runs.
They lost crucial wickets early in the day, including skipper Virat Kohli who departed for an eight-ball duck.
But Pant put on 113 for the seventh wicket with Sundar to hit back after India had stumbled to 146 for six.
Pant began cautiously with his half century taking 82 balls but needed just 33 more balls to race to his century, as he accelerated scoring, especially after England took the second new ball.
The left-hander reverse-swept Anderson to race into the 90s and slog-swept Joe Root for a six to bring up his third Test century and his first at home.
Pant’s 118- ball blitz score of 101, was studded with 13 fours and two sixes before swatting an Anderson delivery to Root at short mid-wicket.
Sundar hit eight boundaries against a tired-looking England attack which conceded 141 runs in the final session.
“We were on the back foot after losing those wickets but the partnership between Pant and Washington was very important,” said India opener Rohit Sharma who made 49.
“He was quite cautious at the beginning and then he flourished. Rishabh put the team in a good position. It got us to where we wanted and that was back in the driver's seat.”
Ben Stokes earlier took two key wickets, including Kohli and catching Ajinkya Rahane in the slips.
He combined with Anderson, who bowled 11 maidens in 20 overs to make India work for their runs, after they resumed the day on 24-1.
Spinner Jack Leach took the day's first wicket trapping Cheteshwar Pujara lbw for 17, with the overnight batsman adding two to his overnight score.
Stokes bent his back to generate pace and awkward bounce on the controversial Ahmedabad wicket.
He sent back Kohli for his second duck of the series when he edged a rising delivery to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes. It's been 12 innings and almost 18 months since Kohli's last Test hundred.
Another Stokes delivery hit Sharma on the helmet and then he took a sharp catch at second slip to dismiss Rahane for 27 off Anderson on the stroke of lunch.
The all-rounder returned after the lunch break to deny Sharma his fifty and Leach sent back Ravichandran Ashwin to peg back India.
“If India have to chase anything above 100 on a wearing wicket, that could be interesting,” said the England spin bowling coach Jeetan Patel.
India need to avoid defeat to book a meeting with New Zealand in the World Test Championship final at Lord's in June.