Mohali: Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday proved once again why he is the No. 1 Test all-rounder as he came to rescue of struggling Indian team and helped them to come out of hot waters on second day of the third Test against England here at the PCA Stadium.
At stumps on Day 2, India were 271-6 with Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja still at the crease on 57 and 31 respectively.
Both the batsmen have added 67 runs in under 20 overs and thereby helped the team to reduce the first innings' deficit to just 12 runs.
Earlier, resuming the day at 268-8, the visitors could add just 15 runs to their tally and eventually got bowled out at 283. Johnny Bairstow and Jos Butler were the star performers for the England as they scored 89 and 43 respectively in the first inning.
India did not have a good first inning start as they lost inform Murali Vijay (12) with 39 runs on the scoreboard. Parthiv Patel, who returned to the national team in Tests after eight years, led India's first innings reply as he scored 42 runs before getting lbw to Adil Rashid.
Patel, who came in place of the injured Wriddhiman Saha for this match, impressed with six boundaries off his bat, most of which were directed towards long-on and against the new ball pace duo of James Anderson and Chris Woakes.
However, from there on skipper Virat Kohli (62) and Cheteshwar Pujara (51) once again steered the Indian innings and stitched together a 75-run stand to take India to tea.
At 148/2, India were in the box-seat, two balls after tea, Pujara pulled Rashid and was well held at deep mid-wicket, by Woakes. The out-of-form Rahane (0) failed to read Rashid's googly and was pinned in front, debutant Karun Nair was unlucky to get run-out at the individual score of 4 and all of a sudden, 148/2 had turned to 156/5.
Rashid was pick of the English bowlers as he scalped three wickets whereas Woakes took two wickets.
With the pitch now assisting the spinners, it would be vital for India to add as many runs to their first innings tally on Day Three and then induce pressure on the England batsmen.