India, enjoying the luxury of a 195 run first innings lead, stretched it further to 416 runs and would be pushing for a series levelling win after losing the opening test by 227 runs.
The post-lunch session was compltely dominated by India as Kohli (62, 149 balls, 7x4) and Ashwin kept spinners Leach and Moeen Ali at bay, though runs were at a premium as only 65 runs were scored in 25 overs.
Moeen Ali picked both the wickets to fall in the session for a four wicket haul, while Leach bagged three.
Kohli negated the turn by using his feet and was quick to go back if the bowler altered the length, while being severe if width was offered.
A leaning cover drive off Moeen Ali stood testimony to Kohli’s batting display as he reached his 24th half century. It was a masterly and well crafted innings on a square turner and one of the best high quality knocks under extremely tough conditions.
Ashwin on the other hand, played with controlled aggression and used the sweep shots effectively against them slow bowlers, while being dogged in his defence.
Ashwin emerged as the top scorer in this innings with a serene knock, which had aggression initially and a sense of composure as he grew in confidence in tackling the spinners.
But when the nippy Olly Stone pitched short Ashwin responded with a tennis like shot to the cover point fence to bring up his 12th half century and second in Chennai.
Both Kohli and Ashwin added an invaluable 96 runs in 19.3 overs for the seventh wicket, before the Indian skipper, playing back was trapped in front by Moeen Ali, who later accounted for Kuldeep Yadav who was struck on the front pad and give LBW.
Kohli was dismissed by Moeen for the second time in this Test after a rare duck in the first innings.
Following is the scoreboard:
India (first innings): 329
England (first innings): 134
India (second innings):
Rohit Sharma st Foakes b Leach 26
Shubman Gill lbw Jack Leach 14
Cheteswar Pujara (run out) 7
Virat Kohli lbw Moeen Ali 62
Rishab Pant st Foakes b Leach 8
Ajinkya Rahane c Pope b Moeen Ali 10
Axar Patel lbw Moeen Ali 7
R Ashwin (batting) 68
Kuldeep Yadav lbw Moeen Ali 3
Ishant Sharma (batting) 0
Extras: (b-5, lb-11) 16
Total: 221 for eight in 73 oers.
Fall of wickets: 1-42, 2-55, 3-55, 4-65, 5-86, 6-106, 7-202, 8-210,
Olly Stone 5-0-19-0
Jack Leach 28-5-74-3
Moeen Ali 27-7-71-4
Joe Root 4-0-15-0
Stuart Broad 8-3-19-0
Dan Lawrence 1-0-7-0 (UNI)