Nottingham: Skipper Virat Kohli continued his impressive run while Cheteshwar Pujara finally found some form as India reached 194 for 2 at lunch, consolidating their lead to 362 against England on the third day of the third Test.
Kohli (56 batting) and Pujara (54 batting) put on 83 for the unbroken 3rd wicket stand slowly putting the visitors in an unassailable position.
Starting from overnight 124-2, India had perfect conditions for batting on a humid and warm day in Nottingham. The two batsmen looked to grind and play for time with no hurry whatsoever.
It could be seen in the manner Pujara took his sweet time to get going, even as Kohli set off quickly for the day. They scored 70 runs during the wicketless session.
James Anderson (0-31) though bowled a superb spell in the morning and didn’t let the batsmen score easily. He bowled seven overs in the first hour of play, including three maidens and gave away only seven runs.
Chris Woakes (0-31) and Ben Stokes (1-42) kept things tight at the other end, particularly the latter, as the two batsmen were troubled by awkward bounce on a few occasions.
There were many play-and-miss deliveries, but nothing came forth for the bowlers. Anderson was very unlucky not to have got a reward for his efforts, as Pujara, on 40, was dropped at second slip by Jos Buttler in the 40th over of the innings.
England kept things tidy, with 63 balls passing between two boundaries during this passage of play.
However, there was reason for worry when keeper Jonny Bairstow was hit on his left middle finger in the 44th over. He went off the field, and at last news, had gone for an x-ray with Buttler taking over keeping duties.
Thereafter, Pujara reached his 18th Test half-century, his first in six innings, off 147 balls. At the other end, Kohli reached his 18th Test half-century as well, off 82 balls.
With Adil Rashid (1-38) coming on to bowl late in the session, runs flowed more easily as India went to lunch firmly in control.