India v England: Murali Vijay & Cheteshwar Pujara frustrate tourists in fourth Test

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India v England: Jos Buttler says visitors in good position after second day
Fourth Test, Mumbai (day two):
England 400: Jennings 112, Buttler 76, Ashwin 6-112, Jadeja 4-109
India 146-1: Vijay 70*
India trail by 254 runs
Scorecard

England were frustrated by a 107-run partnership between Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara on day two of the fourth Test against India in Mumbai.

Jos Buttler (76) and Jake Ball (31) helped England - who trail 2-0 in the series - reach 400 as Ravichandran Ashwin took another five-wicket haul.

KL Rahul fell early to Moeen Ali for 24 but Vijay's unbeaten 70 and Pujara's calm 47 steadied India in their reply.

India moved with few alarms to 146-1 as they targeted England's spinners.

Rahul's dismissal before tea put the tourists in a strong position but England let the game drift in the evening session.

India's batsmen worked the singles as England's seamers struggled on a pitch that offered no assistance, and were more aggressive towards off-spinner Moeen and, particularly, Adil Rashid.

"The difference in the quality of the spinners is why it looks like the pitch has flattened out," former England captain Michael Vaughan said on BBC Test Match Special.

"It's all to play for - terrific Test match cricket."

Mature Buttler guides England to 400

Jos Buttler and Jake Ball
Jos Buttler (left) and Jake Ball put on 54 runs together to help England reach 400

England have never lost a Test in the subcontinent after making 400 in the first innings - they scored 400 in Mumbai in 2006 and went on to win that Test by 212 runs - but reaching that total appeared unlikely when they resumed on 288-5.

Buttler had passed 50 just once in his previous 15 Test innings but he judged this knock well, playing cautiously before using quick singles and the reverse sweep to up the tempo.

But he began to run out of partners with Chris Woakes edging Ravindra Jadeja to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel and Rashid then left a delivery that did not turn and hit middle stump.

However, a well-crafted partnership of 54 for the ninth wicket took England to a competitive score.

Buttler shielded Ball from the strike at first but the number 10 proved to be a more than adequate partner. He cut and flicked Jadeja for four before crashing the new ball to the boundary.

However, a shoulder injury seemed to affect Ball's concentration and he fell three balls later to Ashwin.

Buttler immediately went on the attack, hitting Ashwin for six to take England to 399 but he was bowled attempting a similar shot in the next over off Jadeja.

Andy Zaltzman
All eleven wickets to fall in the match so far have been taken by a spinner

'400 is a tremendous score' - analysis

Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan

Number seven is a really good position for Buttler at this stage. He can play his natural game. Whatever the situation he can go out and look to attack.

This 400 is a tremendous score for England but the spinners will have to get the ball in the right zone more consistently. There's plenty there for them.

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott

It's a good total, 400, if you have decent spinners, but England's spinners are nowhere near as good as India's.

They have one good spinner and one average spinner. They leak a lot of runs and it's very hard for them to squeeze pressure.

Ashwin stars again for India

Off-spinner Ashwin picked India up on the first day and he was the pick of the bowlers again on the second, registering his seventh five-wicket haul of the year as he got the ball to spin sharply.

Ben Stokes fell just 18 balls into the day when he edged to Virat Kohli at slip. He was left furious after the dismissal, convinced he had not hit the ball, but the replay showed a deviation and Stokes became Ashwin's fifth wicket.

He finished with 6-112 after a clever bit of bowling cramped Ball for room and induced a thin edge through to wicketkeeper Parthiv.

Ashwin has now taken 23 five-wicket hauls in Test cricket - the third highest by any Indian spinner - since making his debut five years ago and is the leading wicket taker in this series with 21.

"Without Ashwin, India were a shambles yesterday," said Vaughan. "You're looking at a world-class spinner who has got something out of this pitch, but orthodox spinners like Jadeja and Jayant Yadav have got nothing out of it."

Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay
Cheteshwar Pujara (left) and Murali Vijay scored 107 runs in 38 overs on the second day in Mumbai

'We're in a good position'

England batsman Jos Buttler on TMS: "We've still got a lead of 250-odd. As we've seen in this part of the world, the game does really start to accelerate, so we're in a good position.

"The pitch is playing really well. As a batsman, if you can put the extremities to one side in your mind and trust the pitch, it plays pretty well."

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew: "It's ominous because if India bat the whole day, they'll have a small lead by the close. I would have thought any lead, in these circumstances and with their attack, is going to be dangerous.

"They'll have England batting in that very pressurised third innings of the Test match needing to score enough runs to challenge India in their second innings."

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