Mumbai : Murali Vijay made his second century of the series, and eighth overall, as India overcame the shock of losing Cheteshwar Pujara off the second ball of the third day. Their captain Virat Kohli had bedded in as well, a weekend crowd at Wankhede stadium egging him on. As a result the deficit had been cut down to 153 by lunch.

There were 101 runs in 31 overs in a highly entertaining session of cricket. It began with Alastair Cook taking a punt. He had a man with 467 wickets at the ready but chose the one playing his first Test since his debut in July to bowl the first over. Jake Ball repaid that trust quite emphatically when he bowled Pujara neck and crop. The batsman had shouldered arms, having misread the line of a delivery that pitched on fifth stump and seamed in.

At this point, India had a choice to make. It was very early in the day. They were 254 runs behind on a turning pitch. Their usual No. 5 Ajinkya Rahane, who averages 47, was injured. So their middle order comprised of Karun Nair, playing his second Test, and Parthiv Patel, recalled this series from an eight-year cryogenic freeze. But such is this team’s aversion to take a step back that they kept attacking.

Kohli guided Ball to the third man boundary twice in the fourth over after the breakthrough and then thumped a fist onto the face of his bat when Vijay hoisted Moeen Ali for a straight six. India went from 150 to 200 in only 66 balls – after the wicket had fallen.

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