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Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay stuck a 209-run stand to take India out of troubled waters AFP

Day Three began with India on 63 without loss, trailing England by 474, reeling at 63 for no loss at stumps in the previous day. England had done everything right in the first two days by winning the toss and piling up 537 runs and, in process, keeping India on the field for 159.3 overs. Gautam Gambhir and Murali Vijay took India to a careful start but they still had a stiff challenge in hand. India silenced their critics and the experts who were expecting England to dominate with twin tons from Cheteshwar Pujara and Vijay. Here are some of the key moments, jotted down by Aditya Sahay as India ended at 319 for 4. Live Cricket Scorecard: India vs England 1st Test at Rajkot

Stuart Broad got the better of Gambhir: Alastair Cook started the day’s proceedings with Moeen Ali and brought Broad in the second over. The intention was to make India toil hard for runs, as Broad spearheads the England attack. Broad struck with his first ball: he pitched the red leather right at the Gambhir’s pads to trap him in front of wicket. Gambhir’s new stance worked against him as he had to adjust his movement and come across to flick the ball but his willow stuck onto his pads to hit the wickets. This was a big jolt to India as they had to regroup and not let the England dominate. Live Cricket Updates, India vs England,1st Test, Rajkot

Pujara comes out with a positive intent: India’s No. 3 walked out to quite a cheer by the spectators present on the ground, as his father, coach and mentor Arvind and wife Puja Pabari watched from the sidelines. The local boy was expected to deliver, and he showed signs of a big innings as he was solid in his defense but the most striking factor was his positive intent. Pujara stepped down the track for some flawless flicks, drove to good effect and added runs at a brisk rate.

However, despite his crisp start, Pujara looked clueless at times against the balls outside the off stump. He was tentative whether to play or leave the balls before Chris Woakes troubled him with three awkward bouncers. Woakes was accurate as he troubled the local lad with three awkward bouncers, all of which hit his helmet, but to the home crowd’s delight, Pujara remained at the crease.

Pujara, Vijay bring up respective 50s by lunch: If Pujara was playing his strokes, Vijay was careful from his end. Vijay and Pujara continued their cricket-equivalent of bromance as they continued to add runs together and kept the scoreboard ticking. Pujara was quick to get to 30 while Vijay joined the party with a couple of sixes off Zafar Ansari. In no time, they duo added a 94-run stand as India piled up 99 in the first session with the duo bringing up their respective half-centuries before lunch.

The last pre-lunch over by Adil Rashid was exemplary as he turned the balls away from the two set batsmen and asked a few answers as they looked bewildered. Nonetheless, there was no damage for India as they went into the break with their heads held high.

Haseeb Hameed hands Vijay a reprieve: After tea, England pulled things back with some steady bowling as the first 15 overs went for only 33. In the 60th over, Vijay drove towards cover but failed to keep the ball grounded. He was, however, reprieved as Hameed could not grasp the ball and dropped a sitter. Vijay’s scalp could have been vital for England but he never gave them another chance and penalised them to the fullest.

Mrs erupts as hubby survives DRS: The 71st over created most buzz and drama in the stadium. Cook brought back left-armer Ansari to trouble the right-handers in hope of a wicket. The third ball of the over pitched in the middle, Pujara came on his front foot for a forward defense but missed the length of the ball. There was a huge appeal from the oppositions’ den and he was given out. Pujara was not done yet as he was eager to get a big one and reviewed instantly. Pujara went upstairs and survived as the bounce on the ball took it well over the stumps. He was on 86 and got a move on as his wife Puja celebrated in delight. She jumped up from her seat in delight and applauded the decision. His father and coach, too, were surrounded by the crowd who congratulated them with Pujara surviving a close call.

Pujara, Vijay continue after tea: Though Pujara remained unbeaten on 99 at tea break, Vijay was also not far behind. They took time to get to their respective three figures and reached there soon after tea. Pujara was the first to get there and Vijay followed him, jumping in the air in uncharacteristic jubilation. Both players had fifties against their names in the last series against New Zealand but had managed to get to that three-figure ton in crisis situation. The two continued adding runs in the middle, like they did in some previous home series against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. If it was Vijay’s 7th ton in whites, Pujara reached three figures for the 9th time.

Pujara, Vijay depart: The duo had done everything right after Gambhir fell. They added a 209 to dismantle England’s advantage. The duo were fluent in their strokes, hit the big shots, survived bouncers and awkward turn, applied themselves in the middle and displayed patience. The partnership finally ended in the 92nd over when Cook got Ben Stokes to bowl. The change worked wonders in the very first ball as Pujara fell after facing 206 balls. Stokes bowled short outside off, and Pujara was cramped for room as he attempted to cut. The ball flew to the third slip where Cook made no mistake.

On the other hand, after batting for the entire day, Vijay fell in the fag end giving a simple catch to forward short-leg. Hameed finally had the last laugh after dropping him earlier in second session. Vijay and Virat Kohli were set to take India’s score with no further damage but this did not happen.

Strategical error gifts England another wicket: While India dominated the whole day courtesy a fine double-century stand, England came back with 3 wickets in the final session. Vijay’s dismissal came at a crucial time with an over to go. India could have opted for a nightwatchman or send in the usual No. 5, Ajinkya Rahane. Rahane would have been kept off strike for the last over, but the hosts sent in Amit Mishra. Kohli gave a Mishra few balls to face before stumps but the latter fell for no score, giving another catch to Hameed.

This can be termed as strategical error from India’s part as they wasted a wicket, even if it was in form of Mishra, as England got an easy scalp after toiling hard the entire day. Nonetheless, it was a spirited performance by India as they added 256 runs and lost only 4 wickets. They will still have to regroup and not lose the momentum and platform provided by Pujara-Vijay.

(Aditya Sahay is a journalist with CricketCountry who is completely into sports and loves writing about cricket in general. He can be followed on Twitter at adisahay7)