Sports Cricket 02 Sep 2021 England seamers trou ...

England seamers trouble India once again, visitors reach 54 for 3 lunch

PTI
Published Sep 2, 2021, 6:09 pm IST
Updated Sep 2, 2021, 6:09 pm IST
England seamers once again tormented the Indian top-order batsmen, leaving them rattled at 54 for 3 in the opening session
England's Chris Woakes celebrates after taking the wicket of India's Rohit Sharma during play on the first day of the fourth cricket Test match between England and India at the Oval cricket ground in London on Thursday. (Photo: AFP)
 England's Chris Woakes celebrates after taking the wicket of India's Rohit Sharma during play on the first day of the fourth cricket Test match between England and India at the Oval cricket ground in London on Thursday. (Photo: AFP)

London: Bolstered by the inclusion of Chris Woakes, England seamers once again tormented the Indian top-order batsmen, leaving them rattled at 54 for 3 in the opening session of the fourth Test here on Thursday.

India's openers Rohit Sharma (11) and KL Rahul (17), after showing initial promise, were done in by high quality seam bowling, while Cheteshwar Pujara (4) got one from James Anderson that could easily qualify to be the "ball of the series".

 

At the lunch break, Virat Kohli (18 batting) was soldiering on in company of Ravindra Jadeja (2 batting), who was given a promotion at No.5 ahead of two out-of-form batters -- Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant -- under cloudy conditions.

England captain Joe Root called it right at the toss and knowing India's struggling batting line-up, promptly put them into bat.

Both Rohit and Rahul punished the loose deliveries from Anderson with 28 runs added within first 35-odd minutes before Woakes (5-4-4-1) was brought into the attack replacing the senior-most pacer, who looked a bit tight during that spell.

 

A fuller delivery outside the channel with extra bounce saw the normally patient Rohit jabbing at it and the catch was taken by wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow.

Rahul, who had already hit three boundaries, was ready to pounce on anything over-pitched outside the off-stump before Ollie Robinson (8-6-8-1) got one to jag back sharply from length and the TV replays showed that the ball would have clipped the bail. The on-field umpire's decision was upheld.

Kohli joined Pujara, who was again defending dourly save the one that got on his pads, which was clipped to the boundary.

 

However Anderson (8-1-28-1), who has dismissed Pujara more times than his skipper, bowled a delivery just in the corridor of uncertainty.

Pujara played for the inswing but once it pitched, the ball took the outside edge into Bairstow's gloves.

At 39 for 3, there was more surprise in store as Jadeja walked in, perhaps to unsettle the bowlers with a left-right combination going for them.

The skipper, during the 29 balls he faced, looked more assured with his trigger movement as the right leg seemed more planted on the middle-stump as he got three boundaries.

 

he would need a big one to rescue India and to keep criticism at bay for excluding premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin despite popular opinion to the contrary.

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