4th Test: Rohit-Pujara Take Ind to 24/1 At stumps; Eng 205 All Out
Live Updates from Day 1 of the 4th Test between India and England at Ahmedabad in the Narendra Modi Stadium.
India’s bowlers were yet again in fine form against England in Ahmedabad, especially Axar Patel, who continued to torment the visitors on Day 1 of the final Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
At Stumps on the first day, India were 24/1 having lost Shubman Gill for 0 after England, who failed to stitch together significant partnerships, had been bowled out for 205.
India’s spinners picked 8 wickets with Axar taking 4, Washington Sundar accounting for Ben Stokes and R Ashwin adding three to his ever increasing tally. Mohammed Siraj, replacing Jasprit Bumrah, finished with 2 of his own, including the big one of Joe Root in the morning session.
Needing to win the Test to save the series, Joe Root won the toss and opted to bat first and the openers survived the five-over phase of probing lines and lengths from Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj.
Ishant almost struck with the second delivery of the game when he hit Zak Crawley on the pads and India took the review immediately, but the England batsman survived due to height.
Kohli introduced Axar Patel in the attack in the 6th over and the left arm spinner responded with a wicket of his second delivery when he went through the gates of Dom Sibley (2). Off his next over, Axar dismissed Zak Crawley (9) who was looking to go big but holed out to Mohammed Siraj at mid-off.
Root and Bairstow survived the rest of the opening hour and added 15 runs to the total before the England captain departed. Right after the first drinks break of the game, Siraj struck and trapped Root LBW for 5 with a sharp inswinger that had the captain stuck inside the batting crease, leaving the visitors in a fair bit of trouble with the score at 30/3.
Ben Stokes and Bairstow then took the aggressive route against Axar and Ashwin, who was introduced into the attack in the final half hour of the session. The duo found themselves a few streaky boundaries in that phase and played a few assured shots such as Stokes stepping out and lofting Ashwin over his head for the first 6 of the game.
Stokes and Bairstow put on 44 off 78 deliveries before Lunch as England clawed their way back after the early wickets. They added 4 more runs after the break as Siraj struck with a sharp inswinger that took Bairstow by surprise. The batsman was beaten for pace and trapped LBW for 28 as England lost their fourth wicket.
Stokes was then joined by Ollie Pope and both of them kept India’s bowlers at bay for most of the afternoon. Stokes, who was uncomfortable initially, completed a gritty half century with a spanking reverse sweep of Axar. Stokes’ joy was short-lived though as he was trapped LBW by Washington Sundar for 55 soon after.
Dan Lawrence and Pope ensured there were no further mishaps for England as they went into Tea with the score at 144/5.
Pope, who had played a fighting hand of 29 off 87 deliveries, was another one who was guilty of not making the start count. An inside edge caught his back leg and looped up to Shubman Gill at forward short leg off Ashwin, who finally picked a wicket. England with the score at 167/6 had failed to make a third consecutive partnership count.
Ashwin had his second wicket soon after when Ben Foakes was caught by Ajinkya Rahane at slip for 1.
Lawrence (46), who was closing in on his half century, failed to achieve the milestone and was stumped by Rishabh Pant off Axar with the score at 188/8. Dom Bess was the next to depart in the same over, trapped LBW for 3 by Axar.
James Anderson and Jack Leach added a couple of boundaries to the total that crossed 200 for the first time since the first innings of the Chennai Test before Ashwin dismissed Leach, bowling out England for 205.
Anderson was on the money from the get go with the ball after that and trapped Shubman Gill LBW for 0 off the third delivery of the first over.
While Anderson bowled a fabulous spell of five maidens, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma played out the next 11.3 overs without too much trouble.
When stumps were drawn, India were 181 runs behind.
India lead the four-match Test series 2-1 and are on the cusp of making it to the World Test Championship final against New Zealand at Lord’s.
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