Mohammed Siraj’s 4/66 and patient half century from Cheteshwar Pujara helped India gain firm control at the end of Day 3 of the fifth rescheduled test at Birmingham on Sunday.
Resuming Day 3 at 84/5, the overnight pair of Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes started aggressively by smashing the Indian bowlers to all parts of the ground. Skipper Stokes who was given a reprieve twice finally fell to a superb catch by Jasprit Bumrah, diving to his left off Shardul Thakur for 25.
Bairstow along with Sam Billings featured in a 92 run stand for the seventh wicket before the former perished to Mohammed Shami, caught at slip by Kohli for a magnificent 106. His knock came off 140 balls with 14 fours and 2 sixes.
Mohammed Siraj then got into the act by dismissing Stuart Broad (1), top edging a bouncer to wicket keeper Pant and then claiming Sam Billings bowled for 36.
Matthew Potts (19) was dismissed in a controversial circumstances, caught in the slips by Shreyas Iyer off Siraj as the hosts were bowled out for 284, giving India an overall lead of 132.
England veteran James Anderson struck early in India’s second innings by dismissing Shubman Gull for the second time, caught at slips by Zak Crawley for 4.
The pair of Pujara and Hamuma Vihari added 39 runs for the second wicket before the latter edged a drive off Stuart Broad to Bairstow at third slip for 11.
Former skipper Virat Kohli who looked in his knock of 20, was undone by Ben Stokes extra bounce.
Pujara and Pant put on an unbroken 50 run stand for the fourth wicket to put India in a strong position at stumps.
The 34 year old Saurashtra batsman brought up his well deserved half century in the final over, as India finished at 125/3, with a overall lead of 257.
Stumps at the end of Day 3
India 416 and 125 for 3 (Pujara 50*, Pant 30*) vs England 284 (Bairstow 106, Billings 36, Siraj 4-66, Bumrah 3-68) lead by 257 runs