India vs England - Third Test, Day Two: Tourists give themselves hope in Mohali

A tight bowling display clawed England back into the contest against India.

India vs England - Third Test, Day Two: Tourists give themselves hope in Mohali
Rashid and Stokes picked up five wickets between them on day two (photo: Getty Images / Phillip Brown)

After a disappointing opening day, an inspired bowling performance by Adil Rashid and Ben Stokes ensured that England were right back in the contest against India by the end of day two.

England halt the Indian onslaught

The tourists' first innings lasted less than four overs as Mohammed Shami cleared up the tail and dismissed England for a lacklustre 283. The visiting bowling attack required early wickets and when opening bowlers James Anderson and Chris Woakes failed to find a breakthrough, the buck was passed to the spinners and Ben Stokes. Murali Vijay and Parthiv Patel fell for 12 and 42 to Stokes and Rashid as India loitered on 73-2.

Yet Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli soon put the hosts in control as they made their way to half centuries. After two and a half hours at the crease the pair looked set to take the game away from their opponents, as England looked for something special to break the partnership. With Pujara on 51 and India 148-2, Woakes was eventually the man to produce that magical moment as he dived at full strength to catch the number three off the bowling of Rashid.

That wicket sparked a rennaisance by England as they took a further two wickets for the loss of just eight runs. Rashid trapped Ajinkya Rahane for a duck, before Jos Buttler, positioned in the outfield for the first time in three years, expertly ran out Karan Nair with a pinpoint throw.

Stokes and Rashid are enjoying the Southern Hemisphere tour (photo: Getty Images)
Stokes and Rashid are enjoying the Southern Hemisphere tour (photo: Getty Images)

Ashwin and Jadeja fight back

Ravi Ashwin sought to put India back on track with Kohli as the pair put on 48 with a counter-attack. Yet is was to be Stokes who made the crucial breakthrough as Kohli feathered behind to Jonny Bairstow for 62. The Series top scorer had been involved in a verbal altercation with Stokes on the first day when the Englishman was dismissed, yet Stokes responded by covering his mouth as Kohli departed.

At 204-6 England smelt blood but Ashwin continued to counter, supported by Ravi Jadeja. Whilst the former played a series of well-timed shots, the latter took to sending the ball back over Rashid's head as India looked to get back on top. With Ashwin finishing 57 not out and Jadeja carrying 37, the pair made 38 runs in five overs on their way to an unbeaten partnership of 67.

It left the game in a tense position as India finished the day 12 runs behind England with four wickets in hand. The match could swing on how quickly the tourists dismiss their opponents on day three.