England spinner Shoaib Bashir did not have to wait long for his maiden test wicket and James Anderson struck late in the morning session to reduce India to 103 for two at lunch on the opening day of the second test in Visakhapatnam on Friday.
Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal led India’s charge with 51, his second fifty of the five-match series, while Shreyas Iyer was batting on four at the break.
Rohit Sharma elected to bat after winning the toss but the India captain could not capitalise on good batting conditions.
Off-spinner Bashir, who missed the series opener in Hyderabad because of a
struck in his fourth over when Rohit (14) nudged the ball to Ollie Pope at leg slip.
Shubman Gill struck five fours in his breezy 34 looking to turn the pressure back on England but Anderson returned to cut short his fluent knock.
The 41-year-old, who replaced Mark Wood as England’s lone fast bowler in the match, had Gill caught behind close to the lunch break.
Jaiswal sent a Bashir full toss into the stands and followed it with a four to bring up his fifty.
India are still smarting from their
narrow defeat in the opening test in Hyderabad, where batter KL Rahul and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja picked up injuries that have kept them out of the second match.
Batter Rajat Patidar, earning his first test cap, and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav were called in to replace the injured duo, while Mukesh Kumar has taken the place of fellow paceman Mohammed Siraj.
India are also without stalwart Virat Kohli, who is unavailable for the first two tests due to personal reasons.
Bashir is making his test debut, replacing the injured Jack Leach, while Anderson was drafted in with England hoping to benefit from his vast experience and reverse swing skills.