Debutant Keaton Jennings cracked a superb century but India fought back to restrict England to 288/5 to end the first day’s action of the fourth cricket Test on even keel here on Thursday.
Jennings (112), the eighth English opener and the 69th batsman in th world in Test cricket’s history to hit a century on debut, propelled the visitors to a strong position at 196/2 by tea.
South Africa-born Jennings was called up to the squad last week. He was dropped when he was yet to open his account in the debut Test and then capitalised on the “life” given to him.
But India’s premier spinner Ravinchandran Ashwin (4/69) orchestrated a turnaround in the final session of the day to peg back England.
Jos Butler (18 not out) and Ben Stokes (unbeaten 25) were at the crease at stumps.
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (1/60) took the only other wicket to fall at the Wankhede Stadium here.
Jennings’ fine effort was complemented by Moeen Ali (50). England skipper Alastair Cook contributed 46.
England were looking to end the day stronger after Jennings put them in a good position.
But Ashwin’s guile checked England’s march. He took two wickets in the 71st over, to dismiss Moeen Ali and Jennings. Ali was caught trying to slog-sweep Ashwin for six.
Ashwin exploited the slow turn that the pitch offered and took advantage of the English batsmen’s tentativeness while negotiating probing spin bowling.
The twin blows jolted England who were by then looking for a first-day score of over 300.