Hyderabad: KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja hit half-centuries to put India in command of the opening Test against England on Friday with a lead of 175 at stumps on the second day in Hyderabad.
Jadeja remained unbeaten on 81 and took charge after Rahul’s 86 to steer the hosts to 421-7.
He and fellow left-hander Axar Patel, on 35, were batting in a partnership of 63 at close of play.
Jadeja’s fifth-wicket stand of 65 with Rahul, who looked assured in his knock laced with eight fours and two sixes, stood out in a dominant day for India, who resumed on 119-1.
Grinding day for England
The world’s top-ranked Test all-rounder then kept up the charge with wicketkeeper-batsman K.S. Bharat, who made 41 before being dismissed by Joe Root.
Root and debutant Tom Hartley have taken two wickets each on a grinding day for the tourists, who bowled 87 overs after an extended final session.
Jadeja reached his fifty after tea and waved the bat in his trademark sword celebration in front of a cheering crowd of more than 25,000, boosted by the Republic Day holiday.
India lost two wickets in the final session of play including Ravichandran Ashwin run out for one after a mix-up which saw the two batsmen at one end.
Rotating bowling options
Rahul anchored the innings in the first two sessions but was denied a ton when his big heave on a long-hop from Hartley landed in the palms of Rehan Ahmed at deep mid-wicket.
England kept rotating their bowling options and struck in the third over after lunch when Shreyas Iyer holed out to deep mid-wicket for 35 off leg-spinner Ahmed.
India lost overnight batting duo Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill inside the first hour of play.
Left-hander Jaiswal added four to his overnight 76 with a boundary but was dismissed after lobbing the fourth ball of the day back to spinner Root, who jumped high to take the catch.
Rahul and Gill, who started the day on 14, attempted to rebuild in a partnership of 36 but Hartley broke through with his left-arm spin.
Hartley had a bruising introduction to Test cricket when Jaiswal greeted him with a six on the first ball. He leaked 63 runs in nine overs on day one.
A loose shot from Gill got him caught at mid-wicket on 23.
England played their attacking “Bazball” brand of cricket electing to bat at the start of a five-match series and managed 246 courtesy of skipper Ben Stokes’ 70.