England are facing their seventh Test defeat of the year after Virat Kohli’s double century ensured India dominated day four of the fourth Test in Mumbai.
Kohli’s 235 and 104 from number nine Jayant Yadav helped India amass a commanding 631, a lead of 231 runs.
England – trailing 2-0 in the series – lost Keaton Jennings to the second ball of the innings as they reached 182-6, needing 49 to make India bat again.
Joe Root made 77 and Jonny Bairstow 50 not out, while Ben Stokes fell late on.
Nightwatchman Jake Ball was caught behind off Ravichandran Ashwin off what proved out to be the final ball of the day to leave India within sight of a third successive comprehensive win over England.
“It was a dreadful day for England,” said BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew.
“Spirited batting by Root, Bairstow and Stokes tried to keep England’s slender hopes alive but, with the ball spinning almost unplayably, India are firm favourites to win the game and the series tomorrow.”
England’s long day gets worse
After 182 overs and 14 hours in the field, England’s batsmen faced a tough task as they prepared to contend with Ashwin, the number one Test bowler, on a pitch that was turning sharply.
Jennings, who made 112 on the first day, had spent much of India’s innings fielding at short leg and that weariness showed when he fell lbw to Bhuveneshwar Kumar to his first ball.
It was the same for Alastair Cook, who reviewed a clear lbw decision as he was dismissed for the fourth time in the series by Ravindra Jadeja, before Moeen Ali edged the same bowler to leg gully for a duck.
Root and Bairstow counter-attacked but batting was always fraught as Jadeja and Ashwin got the ball to spin. Root reverse swept his way to a half-century but was dismissed by Ashwin as he moved back to a full ball.
And the late dismissals of Stokes, caught via bat and pad at slip off Murali Vijay, and Ball in the final over of the day surely ended any hopes England may have had of saving the Test.
Kohli’s brilliance thrills the crowd
Kohli and Jayant attacked England’s weary bowlers from the start of the day, with Jayant thrashing Rashid for back-to-back boundaries, before bringing up his maiden Test century.
He and Kohli put on 241, 146 of those coming in the morning session, before Jayant charged Rashid and was stumped. He was dropped on eight late on Saturday – and by the time he was dismissed, he had celebrated his maiden Test century.
Kohli continued, rolling his wrists to rotate the strike, before bringing up his 200 with a flick off his pads. He became more aggressive after reaching the total, hitting Chris Woakes into the stands as India passed 600.
When he eventually fell for his highest Test score, caught by James Anderson at deep extra cover, he was congratulated by the England team as the 20,000-strong crowd gave him a standing ovation.
India’s lower order continued to play their shots, with Woakes going for 12 runs in an over before Bhuvneshwar Kumar was caught in the deep to end India’s innings.
“It’s been another masterclass from Virat Kohli but Jayant Yadav looks a tremendous cricketer,” Vaughan said.
Kohli the record breaker
- Highest Test score by an India captain
- Highest Test score by an India batsman against England
- Highest Test score by an India batsman at the Wankhede Stadium
- First India player to score three Test double centuries in a year
- The first man to hit three double centuries in three successive series
And there are more…
- India’s 631 is the highest total at the Wankhede Stadium, and their second highest against England
- Jayant Yadav’s century is the first by an India number nine in Tests
- The 241 added by Kohli and Yadav is India’s highest eighth-wicket stand in Tests
- Adil Rashid’s 4-192 are the most expensive figures by an England bowler against India, and the third most expensive against any team
‘We want to win this game’ – what they said
Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott: “I don’t think England had any hope when they started batting.
“When it comes to turning pitches, England are all at sea. They don’t get any practice on them at home in county cricket. The only way they can learn is watching Kohli.”
Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan: “India are a better team in these conditions. Even if England played an extra batsman, they’d probably still lose.
“But you’ve got to give England credit for the way they’ve batted today. They’ve done the right thing by playing shots.”
England bowler James Anderson on Sky Sports: “We’re not going to come out of this game with a draw; we want to win this game.
“We’re going to have to bat extremely well tomorrow. We’ve got to keep believing.”