Moeen Ali bowled England back into the equation against India by taking the key wicket of Virat Kohli and adding two more in three deliveries on the second morning of the second Test against India.
Kohli appeared to have his sights set on what would have been his third Test double-hundred of the year, but had to be satisfied with a mere 167 – the first of three wickets to fall for 12 runs as the hosts reached lunch on 415 for seven in Vizag.
Ben Stokes made up for dropping a sharp chance offered by Ravi Ashwin on 17 at slip from Moeen’s previous ball to instead snap up the greater prize in the same position when Kohli edged a drive.
Kohli had nonetheless already underpinned a first-innings total which would put England under obvious pressure to reply in kind – a tough task on a pitch predicted to deteriorate more quickly than its predecessor for the drawn first Test in Rajkot.
But Moeen (three for 77) doubled up immediately after mid-session drinks, finding sharp turn to have Wriddhiman Saha lbw on the back foot; then Ravindra Jadeja was gone for a second-ball duck – lbw too, albeit to a delivery simulation depicted missing the left-hander’s leg-stump.
By then, Jadeja had walked off without consulting DRS – and despite an unbroken half-century stand for the eighth wicket between Ashwin and debutant Jayant Yadav, India had perhaps failed to capitalise as they might on their captain’s near seven-hour innings which contained 18 fours from 267 balls.
The scoreboard was beginning to tell a marginally more optimistic tale for England, but their six-man attack was compromised by the wear and tear of back-to-back Tests in India.
Stuart Broad was fit to resume with the second new ball despite being conscious of the wound on his right wrist every time he had to dive in the field and limping too on the discomfort he has been feeling in his right foot.
Zafar Ansari, meanwhile, twice had to leave the field suffering from nausea. (PA)