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Virat Kohli’s expressions sums up his frustration on getting out at 40 on Day 4 vs England AFP

Day Four of the first Test ended between India and England with visitors’ tail up in the contest. Reeling at 319 for 4, India were expected to bat for long and come close to England’s 537. They did pile up 488 but some soft dismissals pegged them back. Taking a vital lead of 49 runs in the first innings, England openers came out to bat with a positive intent and carried on their bat for long. Here are some of the interesting moments from Day Four by Aditya Sahay: Live Cricket Scorecard: India vs England 1st Test at Rajkot

Ajinkya Rahane stays for 30 balls: India promoted Amit Mishra as nightwatchman at No. 5 on Day Three after Murali Vijay fell at the second last over of the day’s play. This ploy was adopted by the hosts to keep Rahane fresh for the next day and not throw his wicket as batsmen tend to lose concentration in the last hour of day’s play. Nonetheless, Mishra came and went on the last ball, which meant Rahane had to take guard with Virat Kohli were on a new day and start hosts’ innings from scratch. Since the duo bat well with each other, they were expected to come hard at the English bowlers but Rahane faltered scoring 13 off 30 balls.

Rahane was thrown a few bouncers, after he struggled against New Zealand at Indore, which showed England’s preparations but India’s Test deputy was ready for the challenge. He struck a boundary off one of the short pitched balls but totally misjudged the length of Zafar Ansari’s ball to get his stumps dismantled. Rahane played a lazy shot which displayed his lapse of concentration and gifted England their first wicket of the day without toiling.

Kohli adds his name to an unwanted list: After looking his usual best on Day Three, Kohli was expected to lead India’s charge with a vital innings. Rahane ditched him early in the day as all eyes once again shifted to Indian cricket’s poster boy. In the 120th over, Adil Rashid came out to bowl as Kohli did the unthinkable. The third ball of the over was pitched short as Kohli, who was already deep inside the crease, went further back to pull and his left leg trod onto the stumps. He was out hit wicket for a well-set 40 to leave India in tatters.

To further add to Kohli’s miseries, he became the second Indian Test skipper, after Lala Amarnath, to get out in this bizarre fashion while the 20th Indian to walk back to the pavilion in this way. Overall, he became the 19th captain to get dismissed by disturbing the stumps, a list which includes greats like Brian Lara, Inzaman-ul-Haq and Graeme Smith.

Wriddhiman Saha-Ashwin keep India in hunt: After losing two quick wickets, it suddenly looked like England would boss around the day’s proceedings with a big lead. Nonetheless, India’s tail has added the second most amount of runs, after England, since 2014 and proved they were in for a fight yet again. Saha and Ashwin had good success together in West Indies and continued here at Rajkot. Saha was tad slow to start but got a move on before lunch. Ashwin, on the other end, looked sure of the movement from the pitch and played late against leg spinner, Rashid.

There were some awkward bounces and turn which showed the nature of the track on Day Four and looked ready to be ruled by the spinners. Nonetheless, Saha-Ashwin fought back with few calculative shots by Saha, coming down the track, while Ashwin rotated the strike to keep the scoreboard ticking. The duo prevented any further breakthrough for a brief period before Saha departed for 35 soon after lunch he break.

Ashwin’s growth as all-rounder continues: After Saha, Ashwin had to regroup again with the tail-enders. He had Ravindra Jadeja at his disposal who is the local lad and was expected to lend valuable support. The two added 24 runs with Jadeja hitting a maximum straight down the ground, but fell to a surprisingly awkward turn and bounce by Rashid. The England leg-spinner had shown a lot of character to toss up the ball, turn it considerably at times and was rightly rewarded. Jadeja was soon followed by Umesh Yadav, before Mohammed Shami added vital runs with India’s star all-rounder and premier off spinner at the other end.

Ashwin looked set from the very beginning as he not only rotated the strike well, but he played late and exhibited patience. Ashwin had only two fours before reaching to his seventh fifty in Tests but turned the heat with some clever and classy shots as he kept losing wickets from one end. He added 29 runs with Shami to not only get to a fine fifty but get closer to England’s 537. He was the reason for which India managed to give a slender lead to the visitors while in one stage it looked as if England would grab a big lead.

Special Mention: There was an instance in the day’s play wherein Ashwin came forward for a defence and the ball hit his bat with no involvement of the pads in between. However, England’s wicketkeeper, Jonny Bairstow, convinced his troops for a review. Having DRS in a game is one thing but using it for such bizarre reasons was hilarious to say the least. The final call obviously went in Ashwin’s favour as the right-hander was also seen smiling at Bairstow’s decision. Bairstow was, later in the innings, also hit by a shot from Ashwin when he tried a paddle sweep as the red leather raised awkwardly to hit the wicketkeeper on his chin. His tough time continued as he missed a few sitters behind the stumps to hand India some valuable runs.

Haseeb Hameed ends England’s day on a high: India were eventually bundled out for 488 with one full session left. It was supposed to be a vital last few hours’ of play as England looked to consolidate while India were eager to test the visitors by unleashing their tweakers. The pitch was turning to some extend and creating confusions in batsmen’s minds when India were batting and the hosts’ were eager to have a go at the opposition for this reason. To their disappointment, England went to stumps at 114 for no loss, leading India by 163 runs.

India started with Shami and Jadeja and the duo created half-chances. Cook was shuffling a bit against the spinners while pacers did not bother him much. On the other hand, Hameed was impressive as he was up for the challenge and showed how much he loved batting. He showed full concentration, came to the pitch of the ball, judged the lengths quickly, got runs off every bowler and seldom looked uncomfortable. He brought up his maiden half-century and remained not out at 62.

This has not only given England a healthy lead but they are in a position to consolidate Day Five at Rajkot. Kohli was not impressive with his captaincy either as he did not keep many close-in fielders for Mishra and Ashwin and introduced the former very late into the attack even after another leg spinner, Rashid troubled the Indians. If England get around 100 runs quickly in first hour of play and declare, India will feel the heat chasing a stiff target against the English bowlers who were disciplined in India’s innings.

(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)