Nottingham, Aug 21: India inched closer to victory in the third Test over England after reducing the hosts to 84/4 in their chase of a mammoth 521, at lunch on the fourth day at Trent Bridge here on Tuesday.
Jos Buttler (19) and Ben Stokes (3) survived a few close calls before heading back unseparated at the break.
Assisted by overcast conditions suited to swing and seam bowling, the Indian pace trio of Ishant Sharma (2/24), Mohammed Shami (1/28) and Jasprit Bumrah (1/26) got rid of the English top order.
Resuming at the overnight score of 23/0, England lost opener Keaton Jennings (13) in the very first over of the day, after the southpaw nicked one behind to Rishabh Pant off Ishant’s short-of-length delivery.
Ishant struck again in his very next over by sending back his old nemesis and former England skipper Alastair Cook (17) for the 11th time in Tests, this time caught comfortably by Lokesh Rahul at second slip.
Struggling at 32/2, skipper Joe Root (13) along with rookie batsman Ollie Pope (16) did well to battle out the initial fury from the Indian pacers, who by now had their tails up.
Root attacked first change bowler Shami with a couple of boundaries but looked consistently in doubt facing Bumrah, who finally managed to get the right-hander caught by Rahul at second slip.
In the very next over, Pope joined his skipper back in the pavilion, thanks to a blinder of a catch at third slip by captain Virat Kohli off Shami.
Bumrah could have jolted England in the next couple of overs with the wicket of new man Buttler for a duck, had Pant not dropped a regulation catch behind the stumps.
Buttler and Stokes did well to survive a few anxious moments even as the stand-in England wicketkeeper started playing his natural game once he got his eyes in towards the end of the first session.
Brief Scores: India 329, 352/7 vs England 161, 84/4 (Jos Buttler 19 not out, Alastair Cook 17; Ishant Sharma 2/24).