Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel yet again bamboozled the England batsmen and kept them guessing as India finished the happier of the two teams at stumps on day 1 of the fourth test in Ahmedabad. England scored 205 and India at stumps were 24/1 after 11 wickets fell in the day’s play. India needs to ensure that they do not lose this Test match to cement a place in the WTC final. More about the 4th Test day 1 report in detail below.
England skipper Joe Root won the toss and opted to bat first on a wicket that looked far better than the third Test pitch to bat on. yet, they did not have the best of starts as their openers went back early. Dom Sibley scored two, while Zak Crawley fell for nine. Axar Patel picked up both the wickets.
Mohammed Siraj, playing in place of Jasprit Bumrah and ahead of Umesh Yadav then got into the act picking up the wicket of Joe Root. England went to lunch on 74/3 with Ben Stokes (55) having just joined Bairstow. Soon after lunch, Siraj struck for the second time to dismiss Bairstow who looked good for a big one after scoring two ducks in the third Test.
Indian Spinners Spun A Web Around English Batsmen
After Bairstow’s dismissal, Indian spinners Axar and Ashwin bowled in tandem. Keeping his wicket intact, Stokes played sensibly. Ollie Pope joined Stokes at the wicket and added a 43-run stand with the all-rounder before the former’s dismissal. Washington Sundar picked up the wicket of th well set Stokes.
England went to tea at 144/5 having just lost Stokes at the stroke of the break. In the final session, Daniel Lawrence played with a particularly attacking approach for his 46. He added a good 45-run stand with Ollie Pope who was dismissed in the most unfortunate manner.
Pope’s dismissal with the team score on 166 opened up the England lower order and India’s spin Axar and Ashwin picked up the remaining four wickets in just 40 -odd runs.
The Indian bowlers bowled with a lot of discipline. The spinners took eight wickets together with Siraj picking up a couple. Two of Axar’s four dismissals were from the ball which went on with the arm, while Lawrence was stumped. Ashwin dismissals were more about setting up the batsmen to play the wrong line. They bowled just one wide and one no-ball throughout the 75-odd overs.
When it was India’s turn to bat, Shubman Gill yet again fell early after he was set up expertly by James Anderson. Rohit Sharma was unbeaten on 8 and Cheteshwar Pujara on 15 as India reached 24/1 when the umpires called stumps.
After all the criticism about the pitch in the third Test, it played out really well on the first day. It did not do any unexpected trickery and neither was any vicious turn seen from any of the spinners. There was enough pace, bounce and carry to keep the seamers interested and Siraj’s wickets are proof of the same.
India 24 for 1 trail England 205 (Stokes 55, Lawrence 46, Patel 4-68) by 181 runs
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