India were firmly on the front foot after reaching 100 for two at lunch on second day of the fourth Specsavers Test at the Ageas Bowl.
The tourists continued to eat away at England’s total, despite losing both openers in the first session, as they look to build a sizeable lead after skittling out the hosts for 246 on the first day following captain Joe Root’s decision to bat.
Virat Kohli (25 not out) came to the crease after Lokesh Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan both fell cheaply and he soon became the second fastest Indian batsman to reach 6000 Test runs when he edged James Anderson ball for a boundary.
England’s top-order had failed to deliver on the first day as they collapsed to 86 for six on a flat track before Moeen Ali (40) and Sam Curran (78), who was dropped for the third Test, produced a seventh-wicket stand of 81 to save the hosts’ blushes before the tourists batted the final four overs of the day.
India resumed on 19 without loss but they could only add 18 runs to their overnight score as Stuart Broad made the breakthrough by trapping Rahul in front for 19 despite the efforts of a review by the batsman.
Curran opened his stint in attack with a double maiden as the ball continued to swing, similarly to day one, and the Southampton crowd were cheering once more when Dhawan (23) feathered a Broad delivery to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.
However, Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, unbeaten on 28, put on a half-century partnership as the tourists hit the 100-run mark.