ngland lost Rory Burns for a golden duck having opted not to enforce the follow on after bowling India out for 337 – a first innings lead of 241 – on the fourth morning in Chennai.
India, with Washington Sundar batting beautifully for his 85 not out, added 80 runs in the morning session, but lost four wickets to concede a big first innings deficit. Jack Leach and Jimmy Anderson, both wicketless as England took six scalps one day three, took two wickets each.
England did not enforce the follow on because they do not want to bat last on a pitch that remains good for scoring runs, but will only deteriorate. Burns was caught at slip to a ball that turned and bounced from Ravichandran Ashwin as India opened with two spinners. Having stuck with their usual batting order rather than chasing very quick runs, that brought Dan Lawrence, on a pair in his third Test, to the crease.
England reached lunch on one for one, a lead of 242. They will want to bat for at least a session and, if they are not bowled out, will have a tricky declaration to judge. They will want to leave themselves enough time to take 10 wickets but having dominated the game from the opening day, will not want to give a formidable Indian batting lineup – who pulled off a brilliant chase in Brisbane recently – a sniff.
India resumed on 257 for six with Sundar and Ashwin at the crease, and the new ball available in six overs’ time. Dom Bess, who took four key wickets on Sunday, began poorly, and India scored 27 runs in those six overs, and the rot was not stopped when Anderson and Jofra Archer took the new ball.
Joe Root turned back to spinner Leach in the 87th over, and he put a tricky third day behind him to strike second ball, with Ashwin gloving into the offside and Jos Buttler diving forward to take the catch. That ended a crucial stand of 80.
In the third over of Leach’s spell, Shahbaz Nadeem edged simply to Ben Stokes at second slip. Leach finished with an economy of 4.38 – very respectable given the assault Rishabh Pant launched on Sunday, taking the left-armer for five sixes.
Anderson returned and had Ishant Sharma caught at short leg – the first wicket he has taken with a short ball for years. The innings was finished when Jasprit Bumrah was caught brilliantly by Ben Stokes close in at slip.
Sundar, who had batted superbly from No7, had moved to 85, including launching Root down the ground for a handsome six.