London, Dec 15(ANI): A fighting fifth-wicket stand of 198 between India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli on day three of the Nagpur Test has kept the host nation in the match as well as the series.
At the close of the third day India were 297 for eight wickets and still 33 runs behind England on first innings, with Kohli slamming a resolute century (103) and Dhoni missing out his century by just one run.
Kohli, a class act, was due to come good as he had not gone beyond 20 in this series, and ground out his third Test century with the patience and application that had been missing from India's batting in Kolkata and Mumbai.
Dhoni, however, missed out on his century thanks to some brilliant fielding from Alastair Cook, the Telegraph reports.
When Dhoni pushed to mid-off, Cook threw down the stumps and Dhoni was run out for 99.
If the pair of Kohli and Dhoni had batted through the whole day, India would have ended on top.
As it was, England has a nose in front going into day four, if only because they won't have to bat last and chase a target to level the series.
Although only four wickets fell during this old-fashioned day (all in the last hour), and he did not take one of them, it was Monty Panesar who kept India's fifth wicket pair under control, especially in the opening session, conceding only 43 runs from 32 overs.
India, being 2-1 down in the series, would have liked to get a move on but Panesar wouldn't let them, and they scored 59 runs off 32 overs in the morning as Panesar pushed the ball through with unrelenting accuracy.
Kohli was pinned legbefore, by Swann's first ball after evening drinks.
With Dhoni's wicket India's hope of a substantial lead that would pressurise England in their second innings also diminished. (ANI)