Rishabh Pant plays a shot during the first Test mach against England on Sunday. Twitter photo
England spinner Dom Bess claimed four wickets to leave India struggling to avoid the follow-on despite Rishabh Pant's blazing 91 on day three of the opening Test on Sunday.
India reached 257 for six at stumps in response to England's 578 in Chennai. Washington Sundar, on 33, and Ravichandran Ashwin, on eight, were batting with an ubroken stand of 32.
India need another 122 to avoid the follow-on. Fast bowler Jofra Archer removed openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill in the morning session and Bess soon took over with his off spin to get key wickets including skipper Virat Kohli for 11.
Pant smashed his fourth Test fifty in 40 balls to counter the England bowling but became Bess' fourth victim after he miscued a lofted hit to get caught by Jack Leach at deep cover.
The wicketkeeper-batsman hit nine fours and five sixes, which came against Leach's left-arm spin, in his 88-ball blitz.
Pant, who was one of India's heroes in their Test win in Australia, helped India recover from 73 for four with a 119-run stand with Cheteshwar Pujara, who made 73.
Pujara was caught at short mid-wicket with the ball coming off a rebound from the shoulder of the fielder ducking at short leg.
Bess got Kohli's prized scalp with a ball outside the off stump that spun sharply and the Indian captain pressed forward only to get an inside edge for a catch at short leg.
The finger spinner struck again in his next over with the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane for one as England skipper Joe Root took a stunning one-handed catch diving towards his left at cover.
Earlier Archer had Sharma caught behind for six in the fourth over. James Anderson took a low diving catch to cut short a promising start by Shubman Gill, who made 29 off 28 balls, including five boundaries.
England's innings, which resumed on 555-8, ended inside the first hour of play. Paceman Jasprit Bumrah and off-spinner Ashwin took three wickets each. Root on Saturday became the first player to score a double century in his 100th Test before being dismissed for 218.
New Zealand enjoyed the greatest triumph in their cricket history as they beat India by eight wickets in the inaugural World Test Championship final at Southampton on Wednesday.
Match referee Chris Broad, however, has a special dispensation to extend this final into a sixth day — men's Tests usually only last a maximum of five days — if he feels that will compensate for time lost in the game.
India, leading 2-1 in the series, struggled to make runs and lost crucial wickets early in the day, including skipper Virat Kohli who failed to score. But Pant put on 113 for the seventh wicket with Sundar to hit back after the England bowlers reduced India to 146 for six at one stage.
Several Sri Lankan players and officials have been put into isolation after batting coach Grant Flower and data analyst G. T. Niroshan tested positive for the new coronavirus soon after their return from England on Tuesday SLC said in a statement.
Both teams will first meet in two 50-over warm-up games on Dec.25 and 27 respectively, and is followed by three T20Is scheduled to be played on Dec.29 and 31, plus on Jan.2 at Sharjah International Cricket Stadium.
Leaders Al Wasl will look to consolidate their position on the top of the table when they take on rivals Al Wahda in their Round 10 match of the Pro League on Friday.
CEO Mauro Gianetti emphasised the team's role in driving positive social impact and supporting the UAE's decarbonisation goals through a comprehensive sustainability programme.