Chennai, Feb 9 (IANS) Veteran England fast bowler James Anderson on Tuesday wreaked havoc, utilising his reverse swing skills to great effect as India found themselves on the verge of defeat on Day Five of the first Test here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
At Lunch, India were in all sorts of trouble with their scorecard reading 144/6, still 276 runs behind the target.
Resuming the final day at 39/1 in their pursuit of a tall chase of 420, India lost Cheteshwar Pujara early as he was caught in the slips against Jack Leach, after scoring 15 runs off the 38 ball he faced.
Shubman Gill and skipper Virat Kohli then shared a 34-run stand and tried to steady the Indian ship. However, just after reaching his third Test fifty, Gill got out bowled, courtesy a ripper from Anderson.
Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane once again failed to perform with the bat as he got out in the same over via an in-swinging delivery from Anderson, thus leaving India in a precarious situation. Rahane, who had scored just one in the first innings, went back to the dressing room without troubling the scorers.
Rishabh Pant, India’s batting hero in the first innings, came out with his flambouyant batting approach and scored 11 off 19 before he became the third scalp of Anderson. The 38-year-old came round the wicket to Pant and angled in a delivery into the batsman who managed to get a leading edge to skipper Joe Root standing at short cover.
Washington Sundar, the next batsman in, also couldn’t stay long and got out for a duck against Dom Bess.
Ravichandran Ashwin then faced some blows on his body but made sure that he didn’t give his wicket away as India went into Lunch needing 276 runs with just four wickets in hand. Kohli and Ashwin were batting on 45 and 2 respectively when the umpires called the end of the first session.
Earlier, England had scored 578 runs in their first innings in reply to which India posted 337, thus conceding a first innings lead of 241. The visitors then got bundled out for 178, thereby setting a 420-run target for the Indian team.
Brief scores: India 337 and 144/6 at Lunch (Shubman Gill 50, Virat Kohli 45 batting; James Anderson 3/8) need 276 runs more vs England 578 and 178.