Riding on Shubman Gill's stellar performance with his third Test century, coupled with crucial contributions from Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, India has set a formidable target of 399 for England to chase in the second Test.
This challenging target surpasses England's successful pursuit of 378 against India in the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston in July 2022. Notably, the West Indies hold the record for the highest successful chase by an opposition team in India, achieving 276/5 at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi in 1987.
Interestingly, the highest successful chase in India stands at 387, achieved by England in 2008 at Chennai. Additionally, the highest fourth innings target successfully chased in Asia is 395 by West Indies against Bangladesh at Chattogram in 2021, emphasizing the daunting nature of England's pursuit of 399, despite their unconventional Bazball style in Test cricket.
Shubman Gill's innings of 104 off 147 balls, his first Test century as a number three batter, played a pivotal role in India's competitive total. Partnering with Shreyas Iyer for 81 runs and later with Axar Patel for 89 runs, along with a late contribution of 29 from Ravichandran Ashwin, India posted a challenging score. However, England's spinners, Tom Hartley and Rehan Ahmed, proved effective, claiming seven wickets as the Indian lower order folded swiftly.
During the post-tea session, Rehan Ahmed struck early, dismissing KS Bharat with a mistimed pull to wide mid-on, while Hartley removed Kuldeep Yadav, caught at mid-wicket with a top-edge on a slog-sweep. Despite a dropped catch at slip, Ashwin showcased resilience, eventually contributing crucial runs with a four down the ground and a lofted six, followed by a sweeping four off the leg-spinner.
The ninth-wicket partnership of 26 runs was broken when Hartley had Jasprit Bumrah edging to gully. In the next over, Rehan Ahmed concluded India's innings with Ben Foakes taking a sharp catch of a faint outside edge from Ashwin's bat. The hosts lost their last six wickets for 44 runs in this innings.
Brief scores: India 396 and 255 in 78.3 overs (Shubman Gill 104, Axar Patel 45; Tom Hartley 4-77, Rehan Ahmed 3-88) lead England 253 by 398 runs