AHMEDABAD: England captain Alastair Cook scored a stellar unbeaten 168 as he, along with wicketkeeper Matt Prior, avoided an innings defeat against India on the fourth day of the first Test in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Cook's disciplined innings saw him score his 21st Test century as he scored a 141-run partnership with Prior, who was unbeaten on 84, to take England to 340 for five at stumps, with a lead of 10 runs after India enforced the follow-on.
England had resumed the day on 111 for the loss of no wickets but soon saw Nick Compton fall to Zaheer Khan after scoring 37. Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen followed, both off Pragyan Ojha with Trott caught out by MS Dhoni and Pietersen bowled.
Umesh Yadav then dealt England a double blow, taking the wickets of Ian Bell (22) and Samit Patel (0) in the same over. Yadav said he had made a big effort to take the wickets as it was becoming difficult to bowl on the pitch.
"The wicket has become very flat. It helped the spinners earlier on but it has now become very easy to bat on it. There is no help for the bowlers. We have to put in a lot of effort to get something out of it. I took my wickets after putting in a lot of effort," said Yadav.
England coach Graham Gooch agreed and said there was no certainty as to what kind of result to expect on the final day.
"If you know your cricket, India are still in a strong position and still in a position to win. We have to take it ball by ball and not look too far ahead tomorrow. The wicket has become flat," said Gooch.