LONDON: Ravindra Jadeja marked his return to India duty by top-scoring with 86 not out as England’s James Anderson was kept waiting for a landmark wicket at the Oval on Sunday.
Jadeja also shared a seventh-wicket stand of 77 with Hanuma Vihari, who made 56 on debut, as India finished on 292 all out — just 40 runs behind England’s first innings 332.
England paceman Anderson took two for 54 in 21 overs to leave him two shy of Australia great Glenn McGrath’s record of 563 Test wickets, the most taken by any fast bowler.
At tea, England were 20 without loss in their second innings, a lead of 60 runs in the last of a five-match series they had already won at 3-1 up.
Alastair Cook, England’s all-time leading Test run-scorer, was 13 not out in his final innings before international retirement.
Keaton Jennings, who had earlier dropped India No 11 Jasprit Bumrah first ball when Jadeja had made just 56, was unbeaten on seven.
Before play started on Sunday, the International Cricket Council announced Anderson had been fined 15 percent of his match for “speaking in an aggressive manner” to umpire Kumar Dharmasena on Saturday after an lbw review against India captain Virat Kohli went the way of the star batsman.
Kohli eventually fell to Ben Stokes for 49, strengthening an England grip on the game established earlier in the day by Jos Buttler making 89 on his 28th birthday.
India resumed in trouble at 174 for six, with Vihari 25 not out and Jadeja, recalled in place of the injured Ravichandran Ashwin, unbeaten on eight.
The veteran new-ball duo of Stuart Broad and Anderson were straight into the attack on an overcast Sunday morning.
But Vihari, who came through a couple of close lbw incidents involving Broad when on nought, was increasingly assured as he completed an admirable fifty in 104 balls, including six fours and a six.
Stokes thought he had Jadeja caught behind for 28 but Dharmasena said not out and an England review confirmed that the Sri Lankan had made yet another good decision this match.
But a stand of 77 finished when off-spinner Moeen Ali, whose hat-trick ended last year’s Oval Test against South Africa, drew Vihari forward, with wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow holding a thin edge.
Jadeja, primarily a left-arm spinner, completed a 113-ball fifty including seven fours, celebrating the landmark with a trademark twirl of the bat.
Silly-point Jennings then snatched at a bat/pad chance when Bumrah went forward first ball to Adil Rashid after the leg-spinner had Mohammed Shami caught in the deep.
England eventually took the new ball, with India 268 for nine off 87 overs.
Jadeja’s response was to drive Anderson straight back over his head for six and hook Broad for four down to long leg.
But Jadeja, who made his highest Test score of 90 against England at Mohali two years ago, was left short of a hundred when Bumrah was run out as he tried to keep the strike. —AFP