Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and fast bowler Varun Aaron struck thrice in the opening session as England reached 201 for six at lunch, on the second day of their fourth cricket Test against India, here today.
England now has a small but important lead of 49 runs with four wickets in hand. At crease, currently are two in-form batsmen in Joe Root (22 batting) and Jos Buttler (9 batting).
Bhuvneshwar (3/47 from 18 overs) and Aaron (3/44 from 14 overs) removed Ian Bell (58), Chris Jordan (13) and Moeen Ali (13) during the session.
Pankaj Singh (0-64), Ravichandran Ashwin (0-28) and Ravindra Jadeja (0-5) were the other bowlers deployed in this session.
The second morning began with grey clouds still looming large over the ground, but they seemed lighter than the ones on day one that had helped English bowlers wreak havoc on the Indian top-order.
The Indian bowlers needed to make use of whatever conditions were available to them though, and take as many quick wickets as possible. That plan seemed a bit flustered at the start as 21 runs came off the first four overs itself, with Bell (58, 82 balls, 8 fours, 1 six) and Jordan (13 runs, 22 balls, 3 fours) setting a hectic pace.
The former, starting at his overnight score of 45*, reached his half-century in the second over of the day, off 63 balls.
Soon after, Kumar got rid of Jordan, the batsman caught by Varun Aaron at midwicket off a short ball. Two overs later, India had their man when Kumar set up Bell with two beautiful outswingers, the second getting a faint edge as the batsman played at it.
England were yet to overhaul the Indian total with only five wickets remaining, a heartening point for the visitors. Aaron then got into the act and nearly got Root early as he left an incoming delivery that almost took his off-stump.
But the batsman hung around, in the company of Ali, as they brought up the 150-run mark in the 48th over of the innings. Just like the previous evening, Aaron looked the most dangerous Indian bowler out there, swinging the ball at a quick pace.
He peppered Ali with short deliveries and indeed that ploy worked as he followed one up with a full in-swinging delivery, the batsman beaten all ends up and bowled. At that stage, England were only 18 runs ahead after an intense session of play.
But Root and Buttler added 31 runs for the seventh wicket to resist Ashwin and Jadeja who were bowling in tandem towards the end, and in doing so, brought up the 200-run mark in the 61st over of the innings.