Fourth Test: India dismiss Burns and Malan as England crawl to 131 for 2 at lunch on Day 5
England opener Haseeb Hameed went on the defensive during the first session to take the hosts to 131 for two at lunch against India in pursuit of a tough target of 368 on the final day of the fourth Test, here on Monday.
Hameed (62 batting) added only 19 runs to his overnight score as England lost Rory Burns (50) and Dawid Malan (5) during the session in which they added only 54 runs.
A maximum of 63 overs are left in the game with England need to score 237 runs which would primarily depend on how skipper Joe Root (8 batting) paces his innings in the next two sessions. Ravindra Jadeja (0/21) is getting some turn and it would only mean that England will have a tough time in scoring runs at a rate of 3.76 per over.
India are certainly in driver's seat with those two wickets and Hameed's ultra-defensive approach but Mohammed Siraj missing a sitter gifted by the opener at mid-on off Jadeja made it a bit easier for England. Shardul Thakur (1/15) who was disappointing in the first innings provided the breakthrough in the 41st over after a partnership of 100 runs, the first against India in the fourth innings in 58 years.
Thakur bowled one fuller and it moved a shade away taking the outside edge of the Burns' bat as he squared up.
Malan was looking solid in defence till Hameed misjudged a single, tapping a Jadeja delivery to short cover where substitute fielder Mayank Agarwal picked and threw in one action that found Malan short of his ground much to the joy of visitors.
For Hameed, who is nicknamed Baby Boycs after Geoffrey Boycott for his stodgy batting, was not even ready to dispatch the loose half volleys to the boundary as only six fours have been hit by him so far.
It will now depend on how long Root waits before deciding to down the shutters or go for the target which will also help India to make some decisive inroads.