Ishant Sharma bowled an incisive spell in the post-lunch session as India gained upperhand effecting a middle-order collapse to reduce hosts England to 205 for seven at tea, on the third day of the third Test, here today.
Comfortably placed at 131 for one during lunch, England lost six wickets for addition of 74 runs in the post-lunch session including a couple of debatable decisions as Ishant (3/64) along with Mohammed Shami (2/58) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/35) ripped through the middle-order.
At the tea-break, the hosts were still trailing by 252 runs in the first innings, needing 53 more to avoid the follow-on, with ample time remaining in the match for the visitors to push for victory.
Joe Root (13 batting)and Stuart Broad (1 batting) were at the crease.
The post-lunch session started with Ishant striking in the very second over after lunch. However opener Sam Robson, who scored his maiden Test half-century, was unlucky to be given out leg before by Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford as there was clearly an inside edge.
It brought in-form Ian Bell to the crease and he started with a flurry of boundaries as the English 150 runs came up in the 55th over, with the out-of-shape ball also changed before that over.
Just afterwards though, Ishant made it a double strike as he trapped Gary Ballance leg before as well, a clean dismissal this time around with the ball jagging back in and befuddling the batsman. He scored 71 runs after facing 167 balls, inclusive of 9 fours.
That's when the slide began for England as five overs later Bell (25 runs, 37 balls, 6 fours) was caught behind, playing an unintelligent shot to a short ball from Sharma who snapped up his third wicket.
Moeen Ali (14 runs, 30 balls, 3 fours) then added 25 runs for the fifth wicket with Root, but he too misjudged another short delivery, this time from Shami as the ball looped up off his gloves and was caught in the slips.
Kumar then struck twice, removing Matt Prior (5) and Ben Stokes (0), both caught behind by Dhoni. The former though had cause for complaint as umpire Kumar Dharmasena adjudged him out when there was a clear gap between bat and ball.
It meant England lost six wickets in the session of 25 overs and scored only 74 runs.
Earlier, youngsters Ballance and Robson struck patient half-centuries as the home team reached 131 for one with the