BIRMINGHAM – A fluent half century by skipper Virat Kohli guided India to 149 for six at tea on the second day of the first test, even as England’s bowlers kept up the pressure on Thursday.
Resuming at 76 for three after lunch, the visitors quickly found themselves on the back foot as all rounder Ben Stokes picked up two wickets to leave India reeling at 100-5 and trailing England’s first innings total by 127 runs.
James Anderson was the most economical of the English bowlers with 27 runs off 15 overs though he was unlucky not to bag any wickets after an edge off Kohli was dropped when he on 21.
The missed chances allowed Kohli to reach an unbeaten 53, stroking nine fours.
He put together a 48-run partnership for the sixth wicket with all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
Just as the partnership was starting to look ominous, left-arm swing bowler Sam Curran dismissed Pandya with a brilliant yorker.
The visitors suffered some early blows in their reply to England’s modest first innings total of 287.
After the Indian openers chalked up a half century partnership, the visitors were rocked by three swift strikes by the 20-year-old Curran who is playing in his only second test.
Curran gave the hosts a huge boost as he dismissed India’s top three batsmen, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and Lokesh Rahul, in the space of nine runs.
England only managed to add two runs to their overnight total on Thursday following their dramatic collapse in Wednesday’s final session.
The hosts, playing their 1000th test match, had lost six wickets for 67 runs as they limped to the close on 285 for nine on Wednesday.
Skipper Joe Root had top scored with a fluent 80 but his run out from a brilliant throw by Kohli led to their demise.