First Test: England on back-foot after decent start on Day 1 vs India
Birmingham: England wasted a decent start as India bounced back in the third session and restricted the hosts to 285/9 at stumps on the opening day of the first Test match here on Wednesday.
Sam Curran (24) and James Anderson (0) were at the crease when umpires dislodged the bails for the day.
Resuming the final session from 163/3, England batters failed to utilize the batting-friendly conditions at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground and went back back one after the other.
For India, star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took four wickets while Mohammad Shami took two wickets. Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma scalped one wicket each.
Earlier, electing to bat under slightly damp conditions, the England openers — Alastair Cook (13) and Keaton Jennings (42) — had no trouble in dealing with the India quicks as they soon raised 26 runs, before Ashwin was brought in as early as the seventh over of the innings.
The off-spinner immediately delivered with the wicket of Cook, even as Jennings survived a dropped chance and a few inside-edges.A
Cook’s departure brought in skipper Joe Root, who together with Jennings started the repair work and forged a 57-run second wicket stand and ensured there were no more hiccups in the opening session.
The tea session saw India pacer Mohammad Shami taking Jennings’ (42) wicket in his very first over.
Jennings, who did all the hard work facing 98 balls, fell while defending Shami’s short-pitched ball which dislodged his off bail.
Shami immediately jolted the hosts again trapping new man Dawid Malan (8) plumb in front to reduce them to 112/3 in no time.
Thereafter, Root, who in the meantime got past 6,000 Test runs, along with Bairstow started the repair work with caution.
Together the right-handers forged an unbeaten 51-run stand for the fourth wicket and guided England safely to the tea break at 163/3.
The final session is all about the Indian bowlers, especially Ashwin. The experienced spinner bowled some difficult lines to the England batters which resulted in the quick wickets.
Root (80) and Jonny Bairstow (70), however, put some fight but some brilliant fielding and bowling from Virat Kohli and Umesh Yadav, respectively, saw the departure of both batsmen.
After that, there was no looking back for the India bowlers as they kept on taking wickets at regular intervals.
Middle-order batsmen Jos Buttler (0) and Ben Stokes (21) also failed to step up to the occasion and was dismissed early. The duo was dismissed by Ashwin.
Continuing his mayhem, Ashwin kept the pressure on with Ishant and they dismissed Stuart Broad (1) and Adil Rashid (13) cheaply. But the last wicket — Anderson and Curran — somehow managed to survive the day without losing their wickets.