Ahmedabad, Nov 17: India pushed England to the brink of follow on by reducing the visitors to 110 for seven at lunch on the third day of the first cricket Test here today.
Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha picked up two wickets off successive balls while Ravichandran Ashwin and medium pacer Umesh Yadav shared the other two wickets to leave the tourists 411 runs short of the hosts' massive first innings total of 521 for 8 declared.
Ojha, who took one wicket in England's overnight 41 for 3, packed off a nervous-looking Kevin Pietersen (17) and a clueless Ian Bell (0) at the same score of 69 while Ashwin broke through the stubborn defense of rival skipper Alastair Cook (41 in 149 minutes) with a big off break 11 runs later.
Umesh Yadav, not given the ball till the 48th over, struck in his first over late in the second hour of play by trapping Samit Patel (10) as the batsman attempted to turn to leg. Umpire Aleem Dar, who did not uphold a very confident leg before appeal against the same batsman off Ashwin earlier, this time raised his finger.
At the break, Matt Prior, lucky to be dropped by Zaheer Khan in the deep off Ashwin on 4, was not out with 20 after a stay of 43 minutes in which he struck four boundaries along with Tim Bresnan (0 in 11 balls).
The visitors needed to score 212 runs to avoid the follow on with vice-captain Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann yet to come in to bat.
England had, by lunch, got past their lowest ever total of 102 made in India, in 1981 in Mumbai. For India, Ojha and Ashwin had three wickets each in their bag while conceding 30 and 44 runs respectively while Yadav had 1 for 6 in 3 overs after being brought on to bowl belatedly.
From the first over, England's overnight batsmen Cook and Pietersen faced an all-spin attack with Ojha and Ashwin pressed in from either end by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Ojha troubled Pietersen, who saw the first ball of the morning spin across the face of his bat, and tried to hit his way out of trouble by stepping out to the left arm spinner.