Classy Kohli puts India in charge


Virat Kohli led from the front once again as India opened up a healthy and potentially decisive first-innings lead over England in the fourth Test in Mumbai.

The hosts' skipper has excelled throughout this five-match series, which India will win if they avoid defeat at the Wankhede Stadium, and struck 147 not out on Saturday to lift his side to 451-7 in reply to England's 400.

Kohli put on 116 for the third wicket with fellow centurion Murali Vijay (136) after Cheteshwar Pujara had fallen to the second ball of the day, and continued to prosper following a fightback from the tourists in the afternoon session of day three.

Two breakthroughs in as many overs from part-time off-spinner Joe Root left India wobbling at 307-6, but the key scalp eluded England as the imperious Kohli moved past 500 runs for the series and 4,000 in Tests.

On a surface continuing to offer plenty of turn, Kohli exhibited some typically glorious strokeplay either side of a scare on 68, when Adil Rashid failed to hold on to a return chance low to his left.

That missed opportunity provided further frustration for England, who had seen Vijay survive a stumping chance before he had made it to 50 on Friday, and Alastair Cook's side were left to rue their sloppiness as Kohli shared in respective stands of 57 and 87 with Ravindra Jadeja (25) and Jayant Yadav (30 not out), the latter partnership unbroken at stumps.

Jayant was also dropped, on eight, and survived two reviews either side of India edging ahead.

Although Pujara fell early, bowled by Jake Ball for 47 after shouldering arms to a length delivery that nipped back, there was nothing else for England to celebrate in a morning session that saw Vijay bring up his eighth Test hundred.

The opener successfully reviewed an lbw decision that had gone in favour of Rashid shortly before lunch, but eventually fell to the leg-spinner - caught and bowled off a full toss with the score on 262.

Karun Nair followed cheaply, lbw to Moeen Ali for 13 following lengthy deliberations from the third umpire, and England had momentum on their side when Root removed Parthiv Patel - who had been critical of the tourists' spinners in a news conference the previous evening - and Ravichandran Ashwin in quick succession.

However, Kohli's subsequent reprieve at the hands of Rashid - with India still 85 runs behind - proved a turning point as India swiftly regained the initiative.

Rashid did account for Jadeja, who hit one straight up in the air, but Kohli appeared increasingly dominant as the evening session wore on and there was a final kick in the teeth for England when a glove down the leg side from Jayant went unnoticed, with the fielding team having wasted their reviews.