KL Rahul's elegant innings and Ravindra Jadeja's controlled aggression propelled India to 309 for five at tea, securing a slender yet significant lead against England on the second day of the first Test. India now holds a 63-run lead, with Jadeja (45 batting) and KS Bharat (9 batting) at the crease.
Despite the lead, there is a sense of slight disappointment in the Indian camp, as none of their established batsmen managed to reach a century. KL Rahul, in particular, displayed impeccable timing and shot selection during his innings of 86, dominating the bowling attack, especially against leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed.
However, Rahul fell victim to a half-tracker by left-arm spinner Tom Hartley, missing an opportunity to score a century in his 50th Test. Ravindra Jadeja's ability to manage risks effectively has kept India in a strong position.
Shreyas Iyer (35) faced a similar fate, letting go of an opportunity to build on a scratchy innings when he played a slog sweep off Ahmed. India made 87 runs in the middle session, losing two wickets.
England's bowlers, despite the slow and spinning nature of the pitch, struggled to consistently maintain the right lines and lengths. Apart from part-timer Joe Root, the main spinners couldn't restrict the scoring opportunities for the Indian batsmen.
The day started inauspiciously for India, losing overnight batter Yashasvi Jaiswal (80) early in the morning. Jaiswal's attempt for a repeat shot resulted in a tame return catch to Root. Shubman Gill (23), the other overnight batter, also couldn't capitalize, losing his wicket to Hartley.
As the match progresses, India looks to build a substantial lead against England in the first Test.
(With Agency Inputs)