Cheteshwar Pujara displayed grit to remain unconquered with a half century even as England applied the screws on India and made the hosts struggle on a turning track on the opening day of the second cricket Test in Mumbai on Friday.
Caught on a viciously spinning track, India are 167 for five at tea after Pujara and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, with his aggressive batting, bailed them out with an unbroken sixth wicket stand.
Pujara, who cracked a man of the match winning unbeaten double hundred and 41 not out in the opening Test, was unbeaten on 77 after a stay of almost four hours and Dhoni was on 27 after 78 minutes of batting.
Pujara had faced 185 balls and hit six fours while Dhoni struck four boundaries off 62 balls as India, 87 for 3 at the end of the first session, added 80 runs between lunch and tea for the loss of two wickets in 32 overs.
While Pujara played a watchful role, Dhoni attacked judiciously at the other end unmindful of the turn. Left—arm spinner Monty Panesar, left out of the first Test that England lost by 9 wickets, was the destroyer—in—chief for the visitors.
He bowled a splendid spell of 23 overs on either side of lunch for the wickets of Virender Sehwag (30), Sachin Tendulkar (8) and Virat Kohli (19).
James Anderson and off—spinner Graeme Swann packed off Gautam Gambhir (4) and Yuvraj Singh (2) respectively. After pushing India on the backfoot in the pre—lunch session, England continued the good work with a two—wicket burst in successive overs in the first hour of the post—lunch session.
Panesar, who sent back Sehwag —— playing his 100th Test —— and Tendulkar in the successive overs before lunch, got his third victim of the innings by dismissing Kohli.
After disturbing the stumps of Sehwag and Tendulkar with sharply turning balls, Panesar induced Kohli to attempt a drive with a ball that drifted in and turned big to take the bat’s leading edge for Nick Compton at short covers.
India: 167 for 5 in 60 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara batting 77; Monty Panesar 3/64).
Keywords: England tour of India