India 60/0 on chasing England’s 1st innings total of 477

New Delhi, December 17
After a good start by India on day two of the fifth India v England Test at the MA Chidambaram stadium, Chennai on Saturday, that saw them take three England wickets for just 37 runs, they took the gas off the pedal which allowed England’s batting depth to come to the fore. From 321 for seven, England went on to post 477 courtesy a 108-run stand for the eighth wicket between No. 8 and No. 9 – Adil Rashid (60) and debutant Liam Dawson (66*). In reply, India reached 60 for no loss when stumps were drawn with KL Rahul (30*) and Parthiv Patel (28*) in the middle.
Dawson and Rashid had joined forces 15.2 overs before lunch and scored 31 runs to steady the innings after a jittery start. Then went on to bat together for further 26 overs in the second session with better intent and frustrated the Indian bowlers who had done marvellously well in the first session.
After Ravichandran Ashwin started the proceedings by inducing Ben Stokes to reach forward to a tossed the delivery and claiming his wicket – for the fifth time in the series – caught behind in the first over of the day, Ishant Sharma got rid of Jos Buttler (5) trapping him in front.
Against Moeen Ali (146), who resumed at an overnight score of 120, the Indian pacers bowled with a clear plan. With two catchers behind the stumps in the deep, Ishant and Umesh Yadav dished out a few short pitch deliveries. Ali went for his shots and the plan seemed to working as Ali failed to get on top of the ball and lobbed a couple of balls in the vicinity of third man but he managed to survive.
Ali upped the ante to unsettle India bowlers and took a six and a four of one Ashwin over, before perishing to a short ball from Umesh. After fending off a couple of bouncers, Ali went for the pull to an outside off stump delivery, but he managed only a top edge and the catch was taken by Ravindra Jadeja at midwicket.
Debutant Dawson has a first-class average of 34.17 and Rashid has to his name ten first-class centuries and the skills and qualities that helped them amass 5809 and 6304 FC runs, respectively, came to the fore on a slow Chennai track. Indian bowlers failed to repeat their intensity from the first session that fetched them three wickets and fell prey to complacency.
Runs came when the duo settled in a very similar fashion to how Ashwin and Jayant Yadav got together in the third Test. India definitely got the taste of their own medicine and the big stand between duo was no rearguard effort. It was a proper partnership that constituted proper batting strokes, proper calling between the wickets and proper defence. Rashid reached his second Test fifty off 141 balls courtesy a cover drive – with the delivery he fetched from leg and middle stump off Ravindra Jadeja . Rashid departed going for a flashy shot – caught behind – for 60 and soon after Dawson reached his maiden Test fifty off 121 deliveries. India bowled 32 overs in the second session at the expense of 100 runs with only one wicket to show.
It took India further seven overs after tea and 48 more runs to remove Stuart Broad and Jake Ball to end England’s first innings. Dawson remained unbeaten in his debut innings, recording the highest score of by a No. 8 on debut for England.
In reply, Parthiv walked out to the middle with regular opener KL Rahul, Murali Vijay was out of the field after tea after injuring his left shoulder while fielding. The duo had little trouble negotiating the remaining 20 overs and looked settled in the middle helping India to 60/0.
Brief Scores : India 60/0 trail England 477 (Ali 146, Root 88; Jadeja 3/106) by 417 runs.

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