Left-hander Sam Curran justified his recall to the England side as he led the fightback on the opening day of the fourth Test after a disastrous start in Southampton.
Having elected to bat the home side were 57 for four and 86 for six as the ball moved around alarmingly before Curran and Moeen Ali shared a 79-run stand to stop the rot.
When Moeen eventually went for 40 in the 60th over top-edging a slog-sweep off Ravichandran Ashwin to square leg Curran continued the fight, reaching his second Test half-century in four innings.
Here’s how the action played out:
India have their chance to seize the moment against England in Southampton.
The tourists bid this summer to become only the second team in Test history to recover from a 2-0 deficit and prevail in a five-match series.
Watch the video below as both camps are optimistic of a result.
The off-spinner had suffered a groin injury in the third Test in Nottingham and there were doubts over his availability for the penultimate Test after he did not bowl in the team’s training session on Monday.
Speaking on the eve of the match, Kohli stated that India are likely to field the same playing XI that beat England by 203 runs in the third Test at Trent Bridge.
“Ashwin is fit to play fourth Test. As things stand, we don’t feel the need to change anything,” Kohli said.
If Kohli does indeed field the same playing XI on Thursday, it will be the first time he has done so in his 38-match captaincy tenure with India.
Having suffered losses in Edgbaston and Lord’s before bouncing back at Trent Bridge, the visitors are aiming to emulate Don Bradman and his Australia side of 1936-37 who came back from 0-2 down to win the Ashes series by 3-2.
The Indian skipper though, does not expect the going to get any easier despite their crushing third Test win.
“If Nottingham was hard work, then this (Southampton Test) will be even harder. England will want to come back stronger. We will have to be even better than what we were in Nottingham to get the result to go our way,” he stated.
While the pitch at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton does bear a greenish tinge, the possibility of India lining up with an all-pace bowling attack has not crossed Kohli’s mind.
“I doubt that an all-pace attack is the right option. That’s just the thing of getting excited and probably doing that but it doesn’t make much sense. The last time we played here, the spinners came into play in the second innings since there were big foot marks,” Kohli explained.
“The surface is pretty hard. Once it wears out, there could be big foot marks and spinners can get a lot of purchase in the second innings. That is how I see the wicket now.”