On the fourth day of play at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, India found themselves at 95/3 during the tea session, pursuing a target of 231 set by England. Facing the left-arm spin of Hartley, who claimed figures of 2-131, the Indian top-order struggled, reaching 63/3. However, KL Rahul (21 not out) and Axar Patel (17 not out) displayed composure, adding 32 runs for the fourth wicket before tea.
With Rahul having scored 86 in the first innings, his partnership with Axar is crucial for India to secure a 1-0 lead in the five-game series by chasing down the remaining 136 runs. The second session commenced steadily, with Rohit Sharma smashing two boundaries off Mark Wood. Despite England's efforts to maintain pressure with in-out fields, Jaiswal and Gill fell to Hartley, with Rohit attempting to counter with aggressive strokes.
Rohit's attempt to reverse-sweep Hartley resulted in an lbw dismissal, leaving India without their captain. Subsequently, Rahul and Axar took charge, stabilizing the innings. Rahul executed well-timed sweeps for boundaries, while Axar capitalized on Rehan Ahmed's deliveries to score two fours and a pull shot for another boundary off the leg-spinner.
In summary, England set a target of 231, and India, at 95/3, is on course for victory, with Rahul and Axar at the crease. The match hangs in the balance as the teams head into the final session.
(With Agency Inputs)