MOHALI, Nov 28: Star India all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin kept his team firmly on course for yet another comprehensive victory, outclassing England on all counts here at the end of the third day�s play in the third cricket Test.
At stumps, England were in deep trouble at 78 for four, still 56 runs in arrears and only six wickets at their disposal.
Earlier in the day, Ravindra Jadeja smashed his way to a career-best 90 while Ashwin hit 72 as lower middle-order once again put up a power-packed performance to score a commendable 417 in the first innings, thereby giving India a healthy 134-run lead over England.
A four-day finish with a 2-0 lead is looking imminent for India.
Having set up the match with a well-compiled half-century with the bat, Ashwin (3/19 in 12 overs) came back to remove rival captain Alastair Cook (12), Moeen Ali (5) and Ben Stokes (5) as India tightened the noose around England. Jayant Yadav (1/12 in 6 overs) then came in to remove first innings half-centurion Jonny Bairstow (15) before the close of play.
England�s No 1 batsman Joe Root (36 batting, 101 balls) stands between India and victory.
While he may not be 100 per cent fit but Ashwin looked like getting a wicket with most of his deliveries. On a pitch where Moeen Ali and Gareth Batty looked ordinary, Ashwin, with his length and deception, looked more potent.
It seemed Ashwin has been successfully able to play on Captain Cook�s mind as he again tried in vain to indulge in a game of survival.
Cook survived a couple of close calls on DRS but then Ashwin bowled one that angled in with skipper playing down the wrong line only to find his bails clipped off.
Moeen, batting at No 3, didn�t reach to the pitch of the delivery and his forced chip shot could not clear Jayant Yadav at mid-on, who ran a few yards back to complete a reasonably simple catch.
England 1st innings: 283
India 1st innings: Murali Vijay c Bairstow b Stokes 12, Parthiv Patel lbw b Rashid 42, Cheteshwar Pujara c Woakes b Rashid 51, Virat Kohli c Bairstow b Stokes 62, Ajinkya Rahane lbw b Rashid 0, Karun Nair run out (Buttler) 4, R Ashwin c Buttler b Stokes 72, Ravindra Jadeja c Woakes b Rashid 90, Jayant Yadav c Ali b Stokes 55, Umesh Yadav c Bairstow b Stokes 12, Mohammed Shami not out 1. Extras: (B-8, LB-4, W-3, NB-1) 16. Total: (all out in 138.2 overs) 417. Fall of wickets: 1-39, 2-73, 3-148, 4-152, 5-156, 6-204, 7-301, 8-381, 9-414, 10-417. Bowling: Anderson 21-4-48-0, Woakes 24-7-86-0, Ali 13-1-33-0, Rashid 38-6-118-4, Stokes 26.2-5-73-5, Batty 16-0-47-0.
England 2nd innings: Alastair Cook b Ashwin 12, Joe Root not out 36, Moeen Ali c J Yadav b Ashwin 5, Jonny Bairstow c Patel b J Yadav 15, Ben Stokes lbw b Ashwin 5, Gareth Batty not out 0. Extras: (B-4, LB-1) 5. Total: (for 4 wickets in 38 overs) 78. Fall of wickets: 1-27, 2-39, 3-70, 4-78. Bowling: Shami 7-2-17-0, U Yadav 1-0-7-0, Ashwin 12-3-19-3, Jadeja 12-4-18-0, J Yadav 6-1-12-1. � PTI