The England bowling lineup were made to toil hard as India closed the gap between the teams to 218 runs with six wickets in hand on day three of the first Test.

England toil in Rajkot

England toil in Rajkot

The wickets fell early in the day and then again quite late with England subjected to a day of hard labour in the field.

Stuart Broad, playing in his 100th Test, accounted for Gautum Gambhir early on when he trapped the left-hander leg before for 29.

Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara would then share a morale sapping partnership, they would add 209 runs for the second wicket.

It would take England 67 overs to break the partnership with Pujara showing aggressive intent while Vijay was far more reserved in his approach.

Vijay was granted a reprieve when he was dropped on 66 by Haseeb Hameed to leave bowler Stuart Broad anguished.

India benefitted from the inclusion of DRS in this series when on 86 Pujara was struck on the pad and given out, he reviewed the decision and the umpire’s call was reversed.

Chris Woakes got in the India batsmen’s faces with a series of aggressive short balls one of which struck Vijay flush in the grill.

Once Woakes finished his spell though Pujara took a liking to Ben Stokes bowling, India took the England firebrand for 28 runs in his first four overs.

Stokes would be the one who got the breakthrough though as Pujara steered a shortish delivery outside off straight to Alastair Cook at wide slip to depart for 124 having gone to his ninth Test century during an entertaining stay at the crease.

India were 277 for 2 at that point, Virat Kohli joined Vijay and it looked like they would take India to the close but two quick wickets at the end of the day took the shine off a great day for India.

First Vijay (126) departed after 301 balls at the crease as he played Adil Rashid straight to Hameed at short leg before nightwatchman Amit Mishra was snapped up by Zafar Ansari to bring proceedings to a close.

Ansari will complete his over on Saturday morning with India 319/4 after day three.