Fighting England face gigantic task
England put on a much-improved performance with the bat but still face a gigantic task to salvage a first-Test draw after folding to India’s spinners on day three and having to follow on 330 runs behind.
Openers Alastair Cook and Nick Compton seemed assured at their second attempt, but if recent records are to go by, then it will take just a couple of slip-ups for India to take the Ahmedabad Test.
Pragyan Ojha (five for 45) and Ravichandran Ashwin (three for 80) ran through England, bowling them out for 191 in their first innings but found it a little difficult when Cook and Compton took guard for a second time.
The tourists ended the day unscathed at 111, of which Cook’s fluent 74 were a feature.
Earlier, England, resuming on 41/3, were typically suspect of anything that had spin on it, losing their last seven wickets by tea.
Matt Prior responded to a critical situation with determination, but the battle was too big for one man to fight, and his 48 off 100 balls only delayed the inevitable.
Kevin Pietersen’s comeback innings following his successful ‘reintegration’ was anything but heroic. It was more of an imitation of bad dance moves as he sought to counter the Indian spinners.
Ian Bell, Samit Patel and Stuart Broad all followed suit in England’s short-lived resistance.
England will look to Cook to notch up one of his ‘daddy hundreds’ when they come out to bat tomorrow but turning the game so that India bat once again seems unlikely for now.