Southampton: Indian speedsters rocked the England top order with an inspiring spell as the home team were left reeling at 57 for 4 at lunch on the first day of the fourth Test.
Jasprit Bumrah took 2 for 21, while Ishant Sharma (1/7) and Hardik Pandya (1/16) shared the spoils as the English top-order looked clueless against a sustained lateral movement generated by the trio. At the break, Jos Buttler was batting on 13 not out, while Ben Stokes was unbeaten on 12 runs, with the pair adding 21 runs for the fifth wicket.
This was after England won the toss and opted to bat. India fielded an unchanged eleven from Nottingham, bringing an end to the 45-match streak of constant chopping and changing. It was the first time in 39 Tests as captain that Virat Kohli fielded the same team as the previous match.
Bumrah was handed the new ball and he posed problems from the very beginning. Keaton Jennings (0) shouldered arms to an ugly fashion to an incoming delivery across the stumps, and was adjudged leg before in the third over.
England should have been two-down in the fifth over, when Bumrah also trapped Joe Root (4), on 2, plumb lbw. When the on-field umpire didn’t agree, DRS review showed that the bowler had over-stepped. Root didn’t survive for long though, adding only 14 runs for the second wicket. He was out leg before, this time to Ishant, who bowled his stock delivery, the off-cutter. England did lose a DRS review at that instance.
Even as skipper Alastair Cook (17) toiled on, the top-order had no answer to this sustained pressure built up by the Indian attack. Runs came in a trickle, and even after the drinks’ break, the pacers attacked relentlessly. Bumrah returned to further peg England back as Jonny Bairstow (6) was caught behind in the 13th over, nicking him off with an unplayable delivery outside the off stump.
Pandya then got rid of Cook, with Kohli taking a brilliant low catch at third slip as England were reduced to 36 for 4 in the 18th over. England barely managed to crossed 50 in the 20th over. It could have made for an even more miserable score for the hosts as Buttler, on 11, had an under-edge off Mohammed Shami (0-9) just ahead of lunch. But the ball died on the way to keeper Rishab Pant, who didn’t get down well on time.
Scoreboard at lunch on the opening day of the fourth cricket Test between India and England here today.
England First Innings
A Cook c Kohli b Hardik Pandya 17
K Jennings lbw b Bumrah 0
J Root (c) lbw b Ishant 4
J Bairstow c Pant b Bumrah 6
B Stokes batting 12
J Buttler (wk) batting 13
Extras: (b1, lb3, nb 1) 5
Total: (for 4 wickets, 24 Overs) 57
Fall of Wickets: 1-1, 15-2, 28-3, 36-4.
Bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah 10-2-21-2, Ishant Sharma 6-3-7-1,Hardik Pandya 4-0-16-1, Mohammed Shami 4-0-9-0.