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Kohli's hundred helps India take mammoth lead

Although there is no forecast of rain in the following two days, if it decides to play a part, India may rue their decision of declaring so late.


IND - 329, 352-7 dec

ENG - 161, 23-0 (9.0 overs)

India continued their innings from 124 for 2 and a lead of 292 runs with Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara at the helm. The lead was already quite threatening and England would have expected to wrap up the Indian team as quickly as possible to have any chace of coming back in the match. However, Kohli and Pujara had different plans.

Although English new ball bowlers bowled quite well, holding their line and length and beating the Indian batsmen on odd occasions, Kohli and Pujara battled it out and did not throw it away. This is the reason why England went wicketless in the first session as India stamped their authority on the match.

Cheteshwar Pujara slowed down considerably but was determined to wear out the English bowlers . He was ultimately dismissed by Ben Stokes on 72. Virat Kohli then edged a few in the 90s but ultimately brought up his 23rd Test hundred. He perished soon thereafter on a sharply incoming delivery from Chris woakes.

Rahane and Pandya further extended India's lead and England's misery. After India exceeded the lead of 500 and Hardik Pandya completed his half-century, Kohli decided to declare at 352 for 7.

One could not resist but wonder the point of waiting so long. It feels as if the team wanted to secure itself first.

English batsmen had a tricky period of nine overs to negotiate against searing deliveries from Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma in particular and a couple of overs from Ravichandran Ashwin. Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings did well to see off the period and did not lose any wicket.

With 23 on the board, England still trail by 498 runs. They would at least have to bat the entire Day four to even stand an iota of chance to come back in this match.

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