A disciplined bowling effort coupled with atrocious shot selection by the visiting batsmen enabled India to take early control as England were tottering at 92 for four at lunch on day one of the third cricket Test, here.
Despite some fielding errors, the hosts managed to get rid of skipper Alastair Cook (27), young Haseeb Hameed (9), batting mainstay Joe Root (15) and Moeen Ali (16) in the morning session after the visitors elected to bat.
While the pitch is not the easiest one to bat, barring Hameed, who got out to a good delivery, skipper Cook and the talented Root should be cursing themselves for poor shots that they played.
Umesh Yadav (1/30), Ravichandran Ashwin (1/14), Jayant Yadav (1/26) and Mohammed Shami (1/22) shared the spoils despite another average effort on the field.
Umesh bowled at a brisk pace and young Hameed started confidently as he was again playing his patient game for the first 30 balls.
The final delivery of the 10th over saw Umesh pitch one on three quarter length. The ball reared up awkwardly leaving Hameed in no position as it hit the gloves and Ajinkya Rahane standing at gully took easiest of catches.
Cook was showing positive intent as he smashed six boundaries in his 27. Shami should consider himself unlucky as Cook was dropped on 3 by Ravindra Jadeja at third slip. Cook flashed it hard and the ball flew even before Jadeja could react. A reflex catch but it was a chance that was missed.
On 23, it was an easier one when Cook flicked straight to Ashwin standing at mid-wicket but the ball popped out off his palms. It was a regulation catch that went abegging. As if to punish Shami, Cook pulled the next delivery for a boundary.
He had Root for company, who looked in good touch cutting one and clipping another off his legs to the boundary. It looked India would have to pay for their costly fielding errors before the spinners came into operation in the 13th over.
It took Jayant Yadav seven balls to get a breakthrough as it was more about Roots indiscretion. Yadav bowled an off-break slightly short of length as Root instinctively committed to play a pull shot.
He was yet to get his eye in before trying a wild shot across the line. He missed it and was caught plumb in-front.
The scoreboard reading 51 for 2 got worse as Ashwin made amends for his fielding error. It was another shortish off-break and unlike Root who went for the pull, Cook went for the cut shot. The shot was on but the execution went awry with his faint edge being taken by an ecstatic Parthiv Patel behind the stumps.
Moeen and Jonny Bairstow (20 batting) added 36 runs as the former used his feet against Jayant to hit him for a boundary and a six off successive deliveries.
But it was astute captaincy from Kohli that led to Moeen’s downfall. Knowing Moeen’s weakness against short ball, Kohli positioned a single man Murali Vijay at fine leg boundary.
Shami bowled a lovely short pitched delivery that climbed on Moeen who went for the hook shot and Vijay gleefully accepted the catch. A plan well executed.