England battling to save 4th test vs India

Indian captain Virat Kohli bats on the fourth day of the fourth cricket test match between India and England in Mumbai, India, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

MUMBAI, India (AP) England were battling to save the fourth test, and the series, as they were reduced to 182-6 in 47.3 overs at stumps on day four Sunday with the hosts still 49 runs ahead.

At the close of play Jonny Bairstow was unbeaten on 50 runs.

Joe Root (77) continued the battle with Bairstow for company through much of the third session. The duo added 92 runs for the fourth wicket.

The 50-mark came up in the 15th over, while Root brought up his 26th test half-century off 75 balls, inclusive of eight fours.

Root, after surviving a DRS review for caught behind, was dismissed in the 35th over when Jayant Yadav (1-39) trapped him lbw.

Bairstow continued to battle on at the other end. He survived two DRS reviews, one for caught behind and the other for caught at short leg.

He then went on to complete a counter-attacking 14th test half-century off 89 deliveries.

Virat Kohli had earlier dropped Bairstow on 14 at slip off Ravichandran Ashwin (2-49) in the 25th over. He then added 39 runs with Ben Stokes (18) for the fifth wicket.

Stokes was unlucky to be caught at slip off Ashwin, after the ball hit his boot off a reverse sweep and bounced to Murali Vijay.

Jake Ball (2) had come out to bat ahead of Jos Buttler, and he was dismissed in the final over of the day, caught behind from what proved to be the last delivery.

England have an uphill task ahead of them on day five, to not only save this match but also stay alive in the series.

”I am not sure if the Indian spinners are too difficult to handle. They are world-class spinners but we knew the task ahead of us,” said England bowler James Anderson. ”Root and Bairtsow batted well today, and showed that they can still score with skill. We are not going to bat for a draw. We are trailing by 50 runs, we will try to come back tomorrow and get ahead by 100 runs. Then we will try to put pressure on them.”

Earlier, Virat Kohli scored his third double hundred of the year as India finished their first innings with 631 runs. Jayant Yadav (104) also struck his maiden test hundred as the duo were involved in a record eighth-wicket partnership of 241 runs.

”It was immensely frustrating. We needed three wickets and they were only 50 ahead. If we could have got them, we would still be in the game. Unfortunately we didn’t bowl well as we could have done this morning. Then they got settled and got a big partnership,” said Anderson.

The duo’s stand is an all-time Indian record for the eighth wicket, going past 161 runs put on by Mohammad Azharduddin and Anil Kumble against South Africa in 1996 at Kolkata.

Starting at overnight 451-7, England looked listless in the field, as Kohli and Yadav scored 128 runs in the morning session.

”I have always been a handy batsman since my days in domestic cricket. In the morning I was just trying to reach 50 runs, since overnight I needed 20 more. Once I got there, I kept going with the flow. Virat asked me to keep batting on,” said Yadav.

Kohli then brought up his double hundred off 302 balls, inclusive of 23 fours.

It was the third test double hundred in his test career, making him just the second India captain to score one against England, after MAK Pataudi at Delhi in 1963-64.

In doing so, he also joined Sir Don Bradman (1930), Ricky Ponting (2003), Michael Clarke (2012) and Brendon McCullum (2014) to achieve the feat in a calendar year.

With 617 runs so far in this series, Kohli also went past Rahul Dravid’s highest aggregate of 602 runs for an Indian batsman in a test series against England (2002).

Meanwhile, when Yadav crossed the 90-mark, he broke the record for the highest individual score for an Indian No. 9 batsman, going past Farokh Engineer’s 90 runs against New Zealand in Chennai in 1965.

In the second session, Yadav completed his maiden test hundred off 194 deliveries. In all, he faced 204 balls and hit 15 fours.

He was dismissed in the 177th over, stumped off Adil Rashid (4-192).

Kohli finished with 235 runs, facing 340 balls inclusive of 25 fours and a six, notching up the highest individual score by an Indian captain in test cricket. He went past MS Dhoni’s 224 runs scored against Australia in Chennai (2013).

He was out caught at deep cover off Chris Woakes (1-79) and walked off to a standing ovation.

Thereafter, Ravindra Jadeja (2-58) dismissed Alastair Cook (18) lbw and Moeen Ali (0), caught at leg slip, as England were reduced to 49-3 at tea. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-11) had trapped Keaton Jennings for a golden duck.