Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara did all the hard work after England posted a pretty good first innings score in the fourth Test in Mumbai. Now, the two India batsmen will want to carry that solid start and drive it to a big score for themselves and their team when day three comes rolling along at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.
While the wicket is turning and bouncing, as R Ashwin insisted, the pitch is not that difficult to bat on. Due to the true bounce and fairly solid nature of the pitch, the batsmen have time to go back on their back foot and play the spinners accordingly.
So, the key for the England spinners on day three will be to draw the batsmen forward as much as possible, and make them go for full-fledged drives. That strategy gave them the wicket of the India opener KL Rahul, but in the final two sessions of day two, the England spinners were just too inconsistent. There were too many bad balls, which eased any kind of pressure that might have been created.
That cannot happen on Saturday, and while there is no doubt that the India spinners are better equipped to take advantage of the conditions in Mumbai, it doesn't mean Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali (with a bit of Joe Root thrown in) cannot trouble Pujara, Vijay and the likes of Virat Kohli, Karun Nair, playing in only his second Test match, and the India lower order when they do come in.
India's plan will be to bat the whole day. Because they know if they do that, they will have the Test match back in their control. Right now, it is still tilted towards England – a couple of wickets early and the pressure will be right back on the home team.
Therefore, Pujara and Vijay have the big responsibility of soaking up that early day three moving day pressure.
Where to Watch Live
4th Test match India vs England Day 3 is set to begin at 9.30am IST (5am GMT, 11pm ET previous day). TV guide and live streaming information for the match is below.
India: TV: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports HD3. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
New Zealand: TV: Sky Sport 3. Live Streaming: Sky Go NZ.
US, Canada: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV Online.
South Africa: TV: SuperSport 2. Live Streaming: SuperSport Live Video.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Foxtel.
Middle East: TV: OSN Sports Cricket. Live Streaming: OSN Cricket Live.