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Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow added 110 runs for sixth wicket AFP

England’s Day Three proceeding started with a tumble as overnight batsmen Jonathan Bairstow sprained his foot while jogging in the middle along Ben Stokes. England were already 352 runs adrift against India’s first innings total of 455 set on Day Two in the second Test at Visakhapatnam. Bairstow along with Ben Stokes showed why they are England’s most dependable pair lower down the order for an year or so. Both Stokes and Bairstow recorded their fifties enabling England to reach 190 for 6 run mark by lunch on Day Three, trailing India by 264 runs. Stokes and Adil Rashid were unbeaten on 55*and 0* runs respectively. Live Cricket Scorecard: India vs England 2nd Test at Vizag

Right before stoke of lunch, India came back hard after Umesh Yadav grabbed the crucial wicket of Bairstow. Full and furious, Umesh gets the ball to jag back into to the batsmen in a perfect display of reverse swing. Bairstow was left completely clueless about the hereabout of the ball, to depart for a 152-ball 53.

Bairstow soon followed his partner Stokes, and brought up his 12th Test half-century in his 137th ball. The pair also notched up their 100-run partnership for the sixth wicket. Stokes and Bairstow reached another milestone together, as they became the most successful partnership for their side this year.

Stokes was first to reach his half-century in just 108-balls, that included seven four’s. Stokes displayed much grit and determination to bring up his eight Test half-century.

Making his India debut, Jayant Yadav replaced Ashwin and was unlucky not to grab the wicket of Bairstow in his first over. Bairstow tried to flick the ball past mid-wicket, which fell perilously close to a diving Virat Kohli. Ravindra Jadeja came into attack after an hour of play .

Bairstow achieved a personal milestone for himself getting past 1,200 run mark for the year.

Bairstow was lucky to have survived a close call which was off an Ashwin edge. The ball went past Ajinkya Rahane left side, and went for a boundary. Bairstow and Stokes clearly struggled to hit the ball but fought hard to bring up their 50 run stand. The pair brought up their 50th run with a boundary off a sweep shot by Stokes.

Ashwin in the first half and hour of play was looking dangerously near to picking up a wicket. Stokes in particular was lucky to have survived a close leg-before call and a stumping. Wriddhimann Saha has been poor with the gloves behind the stumps so far continued to be so. Stokes miss judged a looped delivery, which he completely missed and came inches out of the crease, before a Saha juggle saved him for early blues.

India’s premier off-spinner Ashwin was into the attack in the very second over of the day. Ashwin on the very first ball took an poor review, where the ball clearly took the glove rather than it hitting the pad; a dubious decision indeed. Yadav opened the bowling for India was seen trying to use reverse swing to good effect. What was evident in the over was the uneven bounce, which was on display since Day One.

On the other hand, England anxiously awaited Stuart Broad s fitness report after he underwent a scan on his right foot. Broad could still be allowed to bat if needed, but bowling still remains to be a big question mark for English paceman. Broad s injury scare has added more problems to the England management who are already missing leading paceman Chris Woakes, who is nursing a knee injury.

Brief scores:

India 455 (Cheteshwar Pujara 119, Virat Kohli 167; James Anderson 3 for 62, Moeen Ali 3 for 98) lead England 191 for 6 (Joe Root 53, Ben Stokes 55* , Jonathan Bairstow 53; Ravichandran Ashwin 2 for 53) by 264 runs.

(Vishal Mehra is a reporter at CricketCountry, currently tripping on #BlackMirror and #TheFlashS03, enjoying his weekly dose of anime, monthly viewing of sitcoms, daily playing cricket once every few hours, and also venturing into table-tennis. He can be followed on Twitter @capturethecatch)