England’s Debutant Keaton Jennings would be very happy with his batting performance after cracking a superb century against India who fought back to restrict England to 288/5 to end the first day's action of the fourth Test on even keel at the Wankhede Stadium here on Thursday.
Jennings, the eighth English batsman to hit a century on debut (112), propelled the visitors to a strong position at 196/2 at tea. 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) and Ben Stokes (25) were at the crease at stumps.
Left-arm spiner Ravindra Jadeja (1-60) took the only other wicket to fall at the Wankhede Stadium.
Jennings' fine effort was complemented by Moeen Ali (50). England skipper Alastair Cook contributed 46.
England were 117/1 at lunch.
England put on 99 for the opening wicket after winning the toss and electing to bat at the Wankhede Stadium.
Cook's decision of taking first strike seemed vindicated when he and Jennings put together a strong partnership.
They scored at a brisk rate of nearly four runs an over till Cook was foxed by Jadeja to come out of his crease and sharply stumped by Patel in the 26th over.
Jennings continued to impress even after the departure of Cook, hitting 12 crisp boundaries.
The left hander showed no signs of nerves while playing his first Test innings in a true pitch that offered consistent pace, bounce and not enough spin, making it easier for the batsmen to hit through the line.
Cook earlier became the sixth batsman to score 2000 or more Test runs against India during his innings, when he reached 19.
Cook is the first England batsman to achieve the feat against India, which have some elite names -- Ricky Ponting, Clive Lloyd, Javed Miandad, Shivanarine Chanderpaul and Michael Clarke.
This is first instance since 1989 when India playing a Test at the Wankhede sans retired batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar.
The confidence of the Virat Kohli-led team is sky high and they would like to regain the Anthony de Mello Trophy which they had lost to Alastair Cook's side back in 2012.
Even if England manage a draw, India will win the series after the visitors' hat-trick of wins- 2011 in England, 2012 in India and 2014 in England again.
In their last two Test meetings at the Wankhede, England had prevailed over India and the 2012 Test match will always be remembered as one where Kevin Pietersen played perhaps one of the finest knocks by an overseas batsman on Indian soil.
Today's Test match gives India a chance to exact revenge for the two earlier defeats and also make the Chennai Test inconsequential.
The tourists suffered a heavy loss in Mohali and are now expected to come hard at the hosts after spending a week away from the sub-continent - in Dubai - licking their wounds and recharging their batteries.
In the interim, England had also replaced two injured Asian-origin players - impressive teenage opener Haseeb Hameed and left arm spinner Zafar Ansari - with two uncapped players - Keaton Jennings and Liam Dawson.
Hameed's loss due to a finger fracture sustained in Mohali is a big blow to England who will be hoping that the South Africa-born Jennings will step into the other youngster's shoes seamlessly and perform well the difficult role of opening the batting with skipper Alastair Cook.
India, too, have had injury concerns but as head coach Anil Kumble pointed out at a media conference yesterday, the newcomers had slipped in and performed well to contribute to the hosts' domination of the rubber after having played second fiddle to the tourists in the series opener at Rajkot.
India's top-order batting has been shored up by the sublime form exhibited by No 3 Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Virat Kohli and any subsequent wobble has been arrested by the lower order batsmen led by Ravichandran Ashwin.
Parthiv Patel, who was recalled to the team after an eight-year gap, took on the unenviable job of opening the batting against the top-class England new-ball attack led by the redoubtable James Anderson with elan in Mohali, making 42 and 67 respectively.
With the return to fitness after a forearm injury of KL Rahul, who did not play the third game of the series, the pint-sized wicket keeper is expected to bat in the middle-order.
(With IANS inputs)