Chennai, Feb 15 (PTI) Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin applied themselves on a treacherous pitch to share an unbeaten 50-run stand and extend India's lead to a comfortable 351 on day three of the second Test here on Monday.
India were at 156 for six at lunch with Kohli (38 batting off 86) and Ashwin (34 batting off 38) going strong after India lost a flurry of wickets in the first hour of play.
India added 102 valuable runs in the session with the loss of five wickets after resuming the day at 54 for one.
For England, left-arm spinner Jack Leach, who bowled a long spell this morning, was the best bowler with 3 for 63 while Moeen Ali (2/46) was the other wicket-taker.
Ashwin, who joined the captain at the fall of Axar Patel (7), looked positive and used the sweep shot to good effect to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Kohli looked assured during his knock and played some glorious drives on a deteriorating surface.
The visiting team had hit back earlier in the session by picking five wickets including those of Rohit Sharma (26) and Cheteshwar Pujara (7).
India started on the wrong note, losing Pujara off the last ball of the day's first over. He was runout attempting to regain his crease after he stepped out to flick a Leach delivery and his bat got stuck into the pitch and couldn't get his foot back in time.
Rohit, who had looked at ease during his stay in the middle, was stumped by Ben Foakes, who continued his good work to give Leach his first scalp of the day. Rishabh Pant (8), pushed up the order with an eye on countering Leach, was victim of another sharp stumping by Foakes as he stepped and tried a big shot only to beaten by a ball that spun sharply.
Ajinkya Rahane (10) hit two good shots before falling to Moeen Ali. He danced down the wicket and defended a delivery that spun back resulting in an inside edge on to his pad which was snaffled by an alert Ollie Pope at short-leg. PTI SS BS BS BS