India v England (day three): Joe Root takes two wickets but Virat Kohli puts hosts ahead

Joe Root put a fluctuating fourth Test back in the balance with two wickets in four balls at the Wankhede Stadium.

England's bowler Joe Root, left, celebrates the wicket of Indian batsman Parthiv Patel on the third day of the fourth cricket test match between India and England in Mumbai, India, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

The mid-match advantage appeared to be heading inexorably India’s way as Murali Vijay (136) figured in century stands for the second and third wickets with Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli (83no).

But after Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid eked out a wicket each on day three, Root brought himself into the attack as the third spinner - while England captain Alastair Cook was briefly off the field - and nipped out Parthiv Patel and Ravi Ashwin.

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India faltered from 262 for two to 307 for six before Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja’s counter-attack took them to a first-innings 348 without further loss in reply to 400 all out.

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England had begun the day with an unexpected success, when Jake Ball struck with his second delivery for the only wicket by any seamer so far in the match.

Pujara shouldered arms to a delivery that snaked in to hit the top of off-stump, but it was to be the only breakthrough of the morning.

Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, second from leftsweeps past Jonny Bairstow. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

There was a conspicuous lack of turn for Moeen as Murali reached his second hundred of the series, having hit eight fours and three sixes from 231 balls.

He had given just one chance, a sharp stumping on 45 when he missed a Rashid googly the previous evening, but otherwise made no mistake with a measured balance between prolonged periods of defence and then strategic attack.

Nothing was happening for England, and Kohli was entirely untroubled throughout as he passed two more milestones in his prolific career - 1,000 Test runs this calendar year and then 4,000 in all.

But England’s hopes of reducing their series arrears to 2-1 began to flicker again after lunch.

Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, right, runs between the wicket as England's captain Alastair Cook reacts. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

The pitch played no part in Murali’s dismissal, but arguably the leg-spinner’s late dip did as he mistimed a low full toss back to a juggling Rashid.

Then Karun Nair went lbw, when Moeen found some telling turn at last and got his man lbw on review.

Parthiv had made his thoughts abundantly clear about England’s two frontline spinners when he described them at close-of-play on Friday as being “exposed”.

But he had not counted on Root, who needed only four deliveries to have him caught-behind trying to drive a perfectly-looped off-break - and then doubled up in his next over when Ashwin fell to a short-leg catch off the full face of the bat, Keaton Jennings standing his ground and grasping the ball as it stuck in his midriff.

Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, second from leftsweeps past Jonny Bairstow. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

England then almost had the man they needed most, but Rashid could not quite hold a return chance from Kohli’s fierce blow back at him on 68.

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Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, right, runs between the wicket as England's captain Alastair Cook reacts. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)