CHENNAI (Reuters) - India made a strong reply to England’s first-innings total of 477 after half-centuries by debutant Liam Dawson and number nine Adil Rashid underlined the tourists’ batting depth in the fifth and final test on Saturday.
India claimed three wickets on the second morning but the 108-run partnership between Dawson and Rashid in a productive second session for the touring side frustrated the hosts.
India’s Murali Vijay hurt his shoulder while fielding and could not come out to bat but the makeshift opening pair of Lokesh Rahul and Parthiv Patel did a decent job, adding 60 runs without being separated.
Rahul was unbeaten on 30 at stumps and the right-hander will be eager to make amends with the bat having dropped centurion Moeen Ali before he had scored on Friday.
Patel was on 29 at the other end with India, who have an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series, 417 runs behind on a pitch which has grown easier to bat on.
Earlier, resuming on 284-4, England got an early jolt when Ravichandran Ashwin struck with the day’s fifth delivery at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
The leading wicket-taker in the series had endured a rare wicketless day on Friday but he lured Ben Stokes on to the front foot to edge a fuller delivery which Parthiv Patel caught behind the stumps.
Paceman Ishant Sharma trapped Jos Buttler lbw for five while Moeen, who resumed on 120, looked ill at ease against the short-pitched deliveries.
The left-hander virtually walked into a trap when Umesh Yadav forced him into playing a pull shot, which the batsman mistimed to find Ravindra Jadeja at deep mid-wicket.
Moeen faced 262 balls for his 146, hitting 13 fours and a six.
Dawson endured a tough test initiation, the second ball he faced from Sharma smacking him on his helmet but the 26-year-old grew in confidence as he and Rashid shared the second century-plus stand of the English innings.
Rashid hit eight fours before edging Yadav to Patel for 60.
Dawson was stranded on 66 not out, including five fours and a six, when Amit Mishra bowled Jake Ball with a googly.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Ed Osmond