Tea India 256 for 3 (Rahul 133*, Nair 19*) trail England 477 by 221 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details
KL Rahul's fourth Test hundred led India's response to England's 477 in excellent batting conditions at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. India began day three assertively, with Rahul and Parthiv Patel stretching their overnight opening partnership to 152, before England pegged them back with three wickets including those of the in-form Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli. At tea, India were 256 for 3, with Rahul batting on 133 and his Karnataka team-mate Karun Nair on 19.
India's mini-slump began before lunch, with the wicket of Parthiv. Both openers had scored freely - at a run-rate of 3.63 overall, and at 4.21 on the third morning - and looked in no trouble until Parthiv, having entered the 70s for the first time in his Test career, fell in a moment of overconfidence. Having stepped out and whipped Moeen Ali over wide mid-on two balls previously, Parthiv left his crease again. This time, the ball drifted in a touch further, making him aim squarer and close his bat face. It also turned more, and looped to cover off the leading edge.
On a pitch that offered them little help, England's seamers took the key wickets of India's Nos. 3 and 4. Pujara had begun ominously before lunch, hitting Adil Rashid for two fours in one over, but fell to an uncharacteristic shot in the third over after the break, poking at a shortish, fifth-stump ball from Ben Stokes. It wasn't a full-blooded cut, it wasn't a back-foot defensive; he may have simply been looking to dab to third man. Instead, the ball nibbled away just a touch to take his edge through to slip.
Then Stuart Broad sent back Kohli, who hadn't been dismissed for under 40 in his seven previous innings of the series, for 15. With Broad moving around the wicket and slanting the ball across him, Kohli had looked intent on putting bat to ball, leaving only occasionally, more often moving across his stumps to defend into the off side. Then Broad slipped in a full, wide slower legcutter. Failing to spot the change of pace, Kohli drove early and into the lap of short cover.
By then, Rahul had moved to his hundred - only once in five attempts has he failed to do so after getting to 50 - continuing to target England's spinners with reverse-sweeps and frequent forays down the pitch. With wickets falling and the seamers bowling most of the overs, he retreated somewhat after getting to the landmark, only hitting one four in 57 balls. England began to extract a little bit of help from an otherwise impeccably behaved surface; Rashid got a bit of extra bite, and Jake Ball hit Rahul on the chest with an unexpected lifter when he was on 119.
Nair, at the other end, slowly gained confidence, having made 4 and 13 in his two previous Test innings. He drove Broad for a wristy, straight four, and later rocked back to pull Rashid to the midwicket boundary in the last over before tea.
India - or Rahul, at any rate - started the day looking to take on England's spinners. In the third over of the morning, he stepped out to Liam Dawson and launched him for a straight six. In his next over, when the left-arm spinner dropped long-off back, he came down the track again, but this time moving across as well, to hit him against the turn, over wide long-on. Six more.
Having bowled only four overs, Dawson went out of the attack. There was little help available to the seamers, and both batsmen enjoyed themselves, Parthiv picking up fours through mid-on and midwicket off Broad with drives that showed the full face of his bat, and Rahul flaying Ball through cover point.
Moeen took over from Broad, and found Parthiv's edge in his first over with one that bounced a little more than the batsman expected, but the ball quickly ran past slip. Rahul, again, showed his intentions early against the offspinner, sweeping him powerfully from outside off to the midwicket boundary in his second over. Not long after, either side of Parthiv's dismissal, he exploited the vacant point region with stinging reverse-sweeps.