JACK Leach's four-wicket haul was of little consolation for England on a chastening third day of the second Test against India in Chennai.

The Somerset spinner's steady improvement has been one of the few bright spots for England, building on his positive performances in Sri Lanka and then the first Test, which the tourists won by 227 runs last week.

The tables have been turned in spectacular fashion this week, with India making 329 in their first innings, as Rohit Sharma scored 161, and the returning Moeen Ali claimed 4-128 off 29 overs, Olly Stone 3-47 off 15.5 and Leach 2-78 off 27.

England were then dismissed for a mere 134, with Ben Foakes (42*) top scoring and Leach (5) falling to a brilliant catch by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant off the bowling of Ishant Sharma.

This prompted a debate over the condition of the pitch, with 'The Analyst' Simon Hughes tweeting: "India should be docked World Test Championship points for this pitch. It’s a sandpit. Makes batting a lottery."

Former Australia international Mark Waugh also chipped in...

And BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew wrote: "The Chennai pitch for the second Test between India and England is not good enough for Test cricket... You may as well go and play on a beach."

On the other hand, former England bowler Ryan Sidebottom said: "This isn’t a bad pitch... 550 runs from India in this match, proving you can score runs... There’s always going to be home advantage by playing to your strengths, like greener wickets in England."

Ex-England spinner Graeme Swann tweeted: "I have no problem at all with a pitch offering this much spin (hardly a surprise naturally).

"We prepare green pitches to suit our bowlers at home when deemed necessary, so it’s fair game."

And Isabelle Westbury, who played for Somerset between 2007 and 2012, also saw nothing wrong with the conditions.

Leach showed his skill by claiming four victims in India's second innings, including Rohit (26) and his old nemesis Pant (8), both being stumped by Foakes, on his way to figures of 4-100 off 33 overs.

Moeen contributed 4-98 off 32, but Ravichandran Ashwin - who had taken 5-43 the day before - blitzed his way to 106, leading India to a second-innings total of 286.

That meant England were chasing a record 482 to win, or needing to survive more than two days to draw the match.

Their chances of doing either became even slimmer in closing the day on 53-3.

With openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley dismissed, Leach was sent in as nightwatchman, only for the Somerset man to be caught by Rohit off the bowling of Axar Patel, for a first-ball duck.

Dan Lawrence (19*) and Joe Root (2*) resume England's all but impossible task on Tuesday morning.