Team India spinners have set the tone so far in the ongoing day-night Test against England at the Motera Stadium. After Axar Patel dominated the first session, Ravichandran Ashwin removed Ollie Pope with a beauty in the first over of the second session to cut the visitors into halves in the first innings.
Pope stands puzzled for a fleeting moment before leaving the crease. The skiddy drifter from Ravichandran Ashwin and it curled in enough to beat Pope all end up on the outside edge. The off-spinner from Tamil Nadu is a master in setting up batters and he did exactly the same with the English batters.
Ravichandran Ashwin dismisses Ollie Pope
Ollie Pope almost lost his footing in the previous delivery and Ravichandran Ashwin hit the same line but this time Pope decided to stand his crease and that extra second was enough to bamboozle his stumps.
Watch the video here:
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Meanwhile, England were off-colors in the first session after opting to bat first. India raised eyebrows by picking just two-seamers and three spinners as you expect the pace to dominate the pink ball, but they read the conditions perfectly.
It’s a dry pitch that’s turning and bouncing. Axar Patel was brilliant to watch and he got Jonny Bairstow first ball at his home ground. Ravichandran Ashwin was streetsmart yet again to prise out Joe Root. Ishant Sharma predominantly bowls inswingers and incoming deliveries they say. So Dom Sibley played that theory, only to figure out Ishant does get the ball to wobble away off the seam in the last few years. A lovely catch by Rohit Sharma at slip to send him back.
And then Axar had fun with Zack Crawley bringing him forward and pushing back with spin and arm-balls. England’s 81 on the board is courtesy a really good fifty from young Crawley in testing conditions.