Ahmedabad, Mar 5: Rohit Sharma traded his natural attacking instincts for a cautious approach even as India lost three important wickets, including that of skipper Virat Kohli, to reach 80 for 4 at lunch on the second day of the fourth and final Test against England here on Friday.
The seasoned Rohit showed tremendous patience remaining unbeaten on 32 off 106 balls balls but Pujara (17 off 66 balls) and Kohli's (0 off 8 balls) dismissals brought England back in the game during the second half of the first session.
Ajinkya Rahane (27 off 45 balls) hit a flurry of boundaries to get the scoreboard moving but James Anderson had him caught at second slip with a beautiful swinging delivery at the stroke of lunch in a session where hosts scored 56 runs.
The approach taken by Rohit and Pujara during their 40-run stand of 24 overs wasn't a bad one.
They saw off Anderson's (11.5-8-7-2) morning spell with Ben Stokes (12-5-20-1) bending his back at the other end.
The flashy shots were cut out and with all the time at their disposal, they were ready to grind the bowlers out and dispatch those occasional bad balls to the boundary.
Stokes' one such full toss or a tossed up one from Jack Leach (11-1-36-1) was given some rough treatment by Rohit, who otherwise produced a dead defensive bat on multiple occasions.
It was only towards the fag end of the session that he played an aerial shot, slog-sweeping Dom Bess between deep mid-wicket and deep square leg for a boundary.
Pujara also did the hard work but would now be frustrated with Leach making him his bunny.
He prodded forward hiding his bat behind the pads to a straighter one from Leach and Nitin Menon made a good decision factoring in the deliberate padding to a ball that was hitting off-middle.
The sparse Motera crowd, anticipating a 'Friday matinee show' from the megastar Indian captain was left high and dry when Stokes produced an effort ball with extra bounce outside the off-stump corridor which Kohli edged to Ben Foakes behind the stumps.