U.K. Nottingham: Speedsters put India on top on the first day of the series opener when the pacers breathed fire in conducive conditions to dismiss a vulnerable England batting line-up for 183 and put their team in a strong position on day one of the first Test here on Wednesday. Jasprit Bumrah (4/46), who was not his best during the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, was back in his rhythm and ran through the opposition alongside his new-ball partner Mohammad Shami (3/28). Mohammad Siraj(1/48) and Shardul Thakur(2/41) made the ball swing through the England innings which lasted 65.4 overs. It vindicated the team management’s decision to go for a four-pronged pace attack while leaving out premier spinner R. Ashwin from the playing XI. Ravindra Jadeja was picked ahead of Ashwin in the playing eleven, raising a few eyebrows.
In response, K L Rahul, playing his first Test in two years, and Rohit Sharma, took India to 21 for no loss at stumps, surviving 13 overs from England fast bowlers under testing conditions.
A recovery after losing three wickets
England won the toss and surprisingly chose to bat first. In the second over, Bumrah trapped opener R. Burns plumbed in front. Sibley and Crawley safely negotiated hostile Shammi and Bumrah until just before lunch Crawley got out to Mohammad Siraj for 27. After lunch, Shammi removed Sibley caught to Rahul. It was 66 for 3 and the England innings were in trouble. But a 72 runs partnership between captain Joe Root and Jhony Bairstow brought England back to the contention. It was 138 for 3.
A dramatic collapse
All of a sudden, thick clouds came in and the ball started swinging more. It was Shami, who had removed Bairstow at the stroke of tea, struck four balls after the break by having Daniel Lawrence caught down the leg side. Struggling to get off the mark, Jos Butter attempted a loose drive off Bumrah on his 18th ball only to edge it to Rishabh Pant for naught. The more drama came in Shardul Thakur’s over. Thakur got the prized wicket of Root with a beautiful outswinger delivery that swung away slightly from the middle and leg stump to trap the England skipper in front for 64. He had Ollie Robinson caught at mid-on three balls later. With some wild swings of the bat, Sam Curran’s unbeaten 27 towards the end helped England’s innings crawled to 183.
With Indian openers solid in defense, the second day will be an interesting day to watch for Indian spectators.