Hello and welcome to Sportstar 's highlights of Day 1 of the fourth Test between India and England from the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
229 runs and 12 wickets fall on Day 1 and most of it has come to haunt the Englishmen once again. Winning the toss and electing to bat on a seemingly toned down surface, England's top-order came under the scanner once again as Axar Patel blunted the batsmen once again with his trademark straighter-one. The wily left-armer finished with figures of 4/68 and his senior man Ashwin picked up a three-wicket haul.
England's resistance was in flashes as Ben Stokes' 55 and Dan Lawrence's 46 helped the visitor move past 200 for the first time in three Tests. Skipper Joe Root, the lead act with the bat, was undone by a snorter from Mohammed Siraj who looked menacing in his brief spells.
India's reply began on the wrong note as young Shubman Gill was found wanting against the brilliance of Jimmy Anderson once again. Anderson's terrific spell of five maidens on the bounce made scoring difficult for Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara but the Indian camp would be relived that the senior batsmen saw off the day, unscathed. England will revel largely on the form of Dom Bess and Jack Leach as it will aim for a quick turnaround in the first session tomorrow to stifle Kohli and Co.
READ| Mohammed Siraj: Ben Stokes abused me, Virat Kohli handled it
India 24/1 after 12 overs: STUMPS| Rohit and Pujara see off the day after an excellent start by England with the ball.
Last over of the day with Leach running in to Pujara.
Dom Bess into the attack. Root employs spin from both ends in a bid to chip in one more wicket before stumps.
India 18/1 after 10 overs: Disciplined bowling with little rewards to show as Rohit and Pujara move through a dogged approach. Anderson's tremendous spell has five maiden overs to his name with Gill's wicket. Leach is on track too but Pujara has done well to see him off with some sturdy defense behind the line of the ball.
Five maidens on the trot for James Anderson. This is the longest spell for Anderson before conceding a run since he took 32 balls against India in July 2014.
India 7/1 after 7 overs: England's main man Jack Leach is into the attack and the left-armer and Anderson have strangled Rohit and Pujara. Anderson has put in everything as Rohit and Pujara failed to pierce the gaps. However, the bowlers have not managed to put the batsmen on a spot as well with the duo holding out some solid defense.
Early days but a paraodoxical dilemma
India 4/1 after 4 overs: Rohit opened his account with a boundary and some tight bowling from Anderson and Stokes kept him and Pujara quiet for the next two overs.
Ben Stokes up with the ball from the other end.
India 0/1 after 1 over: Anderson to Gill. OUT! Gill is sent back for a duck as Anderson strikes in the first over! The ball swings in to Gill who shuffles to the off-side misses the ball as he attempts a risk flick off Anderson. Gill goes for the review but the decision remains intact due to umpire's call on impact. Meanwhile, Anderson is on 899 international wickets. Shubman Gill lbw b Anderson 0 (3b)
Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill walk down much after England has taken the field. Jimmy Anderson is up with the new ball.
No harsh critics for the pitch this time as England falls prey to some shoddy approach with the bat. The top-order including Joe Root fell to some fine bowling by the Indians and save for a fight from Ben Stokes and Dan Lawrence. Axar Patel led the charge once again with a four-fer as the Indian spinners picked eight wickets between them. India's first innings to begin soon. Stay tuned.
England 205 all out after 75.5 overs: Ashwin to Leach. OUT! Ashwin comes from around the wicket and sends the drifter flying into hit Leach's pads. It was instant curtains calling as umpire Virender Sharma raised the finger in a flash. Another below-par batting effort from England has it packed up for 205.
England 203/9 after 74 overs: And Anderson sends England past 200 - the first time since the first innings of the 1st Test in Chennai - feels all so long ago!
England 189/9 after 71 overs: Axar snaps Lawrence and Bess! The dream run has a halt as Lawrence is foxed by a quicker one from Axar. Lawrence steps down for the slog with a pre-meditated shot and plays all around the ball. Pant has no trouble to shatter the bails as Lawrence departs after a fine but brief knock. Bess attains strike a couple of balls later and Axar brings the slider to hit the batsman's pads. Bess goes for the review but the replays suggest three reds as he is sent packing.
Dom Bess lbw b Patel 3 (16b), Dan Lawrence st †Pant b Patel 46 (74b 8x4)
England 183/7 after 69 overs: Lawrence continues with his aggressive approach and with his batting peers dwindling, that might just be the only call left to rake in some runs. Lawrence, however, will have to deal with a slightly better version of Ashwin and Axar who have found their rhythm.
England 170/7 after 66 overs: Ashwin to Foakes. OUT! EDGED AND GONE! Ashwin has two all of a sudden and the mighty Foakes is pinned down early. A regulation off-break drifts slightly into Foakes who pushes down but edges it. The ball flies low to Rahane who springs down to complete an excellent catch! England loses its teeth once again and it has none to blame save for some shoddy approach on a relatively decent track. Ben Foakes c Rahane b Ashwin 1 (12b)
England 167/6 after 62 overs: Ashwin to Pope. OUT! Pope's toil undone by an unfortunate dismissal and Ashwin finally gets his first of the day. Ashwin send in a flighted off-break as Pope steps down to work it through the on-side. The ball clips the inside-edge and hits his back leg and deflects straight to Shubman Gill at short leg. Unlucky for Pope who is in utter disbelief. However, the third umpire flashes the red on the big-screen as he departs. Ashwin has Pope's number for the third time in the series. Ollie Pope c Shubman Gill b Ashwin 29 (87b 2x4)
England 166/5 after 60 overs: Pope and Lawrence take on Ashwin with relative ease as the offie seems to be off radar today. A fine mix of cuts and jabs down the ground has unsettled Ashwin and Kohli will need to make a certain tweaks to put India back in.
England 149/5 after 57 overs: Siraj finds the edge off Lawrence! He survives as India does not field a gully. Siraj fires one just outside the off-stump and Lawrence went hard at it to find a thickish-outside edge that flew past Rohit Sharma in second-slip.
We are back for the final session. Mohammed Siraj up with the ball as Pope and Lawrence walk out to the middle.
England 144/5 after 56 overs: TEA | A sizzling drive down the ground from Lawrence to take England to tea. England has had to toil hard to survive till Tea after a massive blip in the first session. Ben Stokes led the rebuilding phase with a fine knock and a moment's misjudgement was cashed in by Sundar and India. Kohli has used resources well with the senior men, Ashwin and Ishant not upto their usual mark.
Ashwin has been troubled with a certain lack of drift and it was the younger offie Sundar who extracted the resources from the surface. England's young duo at the crease - Pope and Lawrence - have settled in with contrasting styles. While Pope employed the old-fashioned slug-fest, Lawrence has taken on the spinners for some sumptuous drives down the ground.
England 135/5 after 53 overs: Ashwin is back into the attack with Pope and Lawrence opting for a cautious approach. It has been a weird day for India's top-spinner in his den as Kohli has deployed him in short spells. Ishant is back into the attack from the end as well, giving Axar a deserved break.
England 130/5 after 50 overs: Lawrence gets a move on. He chooses the deserted route of aggression make a mark against Axar Patel and has begun well with two gorgeous boundaries. A calculated slog down the ground followed by a wristy drive through the covers has unsettled Axar, a rare occurrence in the series!
England 121/5 after 47 overs: Sundar to Stokes. OUT! Sundar nails in the arm-ball! The ball swirls in from the air as Stokes rocks back to play down a straighter line. He fails to judge the slider and the ball comfortably goes onto hit him plumb in front. Just when England was looking set for a tremendous return, India has dragged it back into the puddle. Ben Stokes lbw b Washington Sundar 55 (121b 6x4 2x6)
England 114/4 after 44 overs: Fifty for Ben Stokes! He brings it up with an audacious reverse-sweep boundary off Axar Patel. The England vice-captain has not floundered under the challenge and probably an early feud with Siraj and Kohli has brought out a better fight from the man.
England 110/4 after 43 overs: Fair to say that Sundar has extracted more turn than Axar and Ashwin on this pitch. Stokes, however, looked solid against the bowlers and has even lofted Sundar up and away over the boundary for a cracking six in his previous over.
England 101/4 after 40 overs: And a fine cut from Pope takes England past 100! Stokes has been the main man with some resurgence in his batting. His partnership with Bairstow propelled momentum for the visitor after three early blows. Pope on the other hand, has sluggishly worked through the early rough to aid his senior partner.
England 97/4 after 39 overs: Sundar gets some turn and bounce and also induces the edge off Stokes in his first over! No second-slip as Stokes pushes hard at the ball outside off-stump and a lucky break for England.
Washington Sundar replaces Mohammed Siraj
England 95/4 after 38 overs: Stokes looks in his element for the first time in the series and there's a flourishing drive off Siraj down the ground to let everyone know! Pope has been to the test first up by Axar at the other end with Ashwin being put off his wry spell.
England 88/4 after 35 overs: Siraj and Ashwin keep the pressure on the new-man Pope as the runs have immediately dried up. Siraj's fiery spell continues with some solid effort being put behind every delivery. Ashwin, on the other hand, has looked a tad pale in his short spell.
England 86/4 after 32 overs: Stokes charges against Ashwin. Ashwin fails to induce any drift and he strays one onto Stokes' feet. Stokes steps down and displays his wristy flair as he swivels the ball through the mid-wicket boundary for a stellar boundary.
England 78/4 after 29 overs: Siraj to Bairstow. OUT! Siraj breaks the partnership with another seaming-in delivery! Sharp and pacy from Siraj as the ball nips back in on the seam sharply to hit Bairstow's back-pad. Umpire Nitin Menon raised the finger and Bairstow's review went undone as the ball clips the top of middle-stump by a fraction. Excellent over from Siraj as he continues to trouble with a similar line of attack to the new man Ollie Pope as well. Jonny Bairstow lbw b Mohammed Siraj 28 (67b 6x4)
England 78/3 after 28 overs: India loses it second review. Ashwin hits Stokes' pads and goes straight up in a loud appeal. The umpire refuses to give it out and Kohli after a strong deliberaton with Pant and Ashwin went for the review. The replays suggest that the ball struck Stokes outside the off-stump and another review goes wasted for the host.
England 75/3 after 26 overs: Positive signs for the batsmen on return as they defend comfortably against Ashwin. Ashwin tries to lure Stokes onto the drive but fails. Stokes gets well behind the ball and pushes it forward.
We are back for Session 2! India takes the field as Stokes and Bairstow walk back out. Massive session on the cards.
England 74/3 after 25 overs: LUNCH! Stokes and Bairstow survive the first session.
No demons rising from the pitch, at least for the first session, but England found itself to another poor start. The demolition act began once again with the local lad Axar Patel removing the England openers, Crawley and Sibley. While Sibley was rocked by the typical 'Axar-straightener', Crawley's mistimed aggression cost him his wicket. Skipper Joe Root's stay at the crease was cut short with a snorter from Siraj and England found itself in troubled waters once again. However, a short recovery phase meant India's spinners failed to make further inroads in the session.
Bairstow braved through a tough start against Axar Patel and Stokes went on the aggressor against his nemesis Ashwin. The pair have put on 44 off 78 balls for the fourth wicket to instil some confidence in the batsmen to follow.
Can England retain composure? In perspective England was 74/3 in its first session of the Pink Ball Test before it lost the next 18 wickets for 119 runs!
It's boiling in Motera, we can tell.
England 72/3 after 23 overs: Stokes and Bairstow present more assured versions of themselves at the crease against Patel and Ashwin. The pair has narrowed the risky approach against the bowlers and the spinners are yet to extract some drift from the pitch. Funnily enough, it is the straighter one from the spinners that has made all the noise on the surface.
England 68/3 after 20 overs: Stokes takes on his nemesis, Ashwin! Not much assistance from the surface for Ashwin in his first over and Stokes is quick to take notice. Stokes pounces down and smashes Ashwin's loopy delivery over long-off for a massive six.
Ravichandran Ashwin into the attack. Here we go.....
England 55/3 after 18 overs: England crosses 50 as Bairstow and Stokes have managed a brief start. The pair removes absolutely crucial for England's chances on this deck as Kohli has pulled back Ashwin. Axar is steaming through his overs while Siraj seemed to be a little carried away with his mini contest with Stokes.
England 45/3 after 15 overs: Siraj and Stokes continue to chip in at each other. Siraj is surely fired up and attempts for that extra zip that has Stokes edge the ball twice to the boundary through a vacant spot through slips. Stokes adds a third boundary with a pull through the midwicket fence. The chirping between the two continues to brew.
England 32/3 after 13 overs: Siraj to Root. OUT! Cracker from Siraj. Hits the England skipper's pads and boy, he is a goner! He aces the inswinger and hits Root plumb in middle. The ball keeps a tad low as Root bows his head down the wrong line to defend. England is rocked early by some excellent bowling from the Indians. New man Stokes and Siraj share a brief exchange after the over and skipper Kohli intervenes too for a brief chat with Stokes. Joe Root lbw b Mohammed Siraj 5 (9b 1x4)
England 26/2 after 11 overs: Siraj extracts some extra bounce off the pitch to surprise Root. While Ishant surprised the batsmen with some movement, Siraj's pace has added some spice to it. Kohli continues with pace and Axar from either ends. No signs of Ashwin yet on this surface.
Siraj replaces Ishant.
England 15/2 after 8 overs: Axar to Crawley. OUT! 2 in 2 overs for Axar! A needless shot from Zak Crawley casts his downfall. Crawley began with a thumping straight drive down the ground off Axar and seemed to tone well to counter the spin. But in a moment of madness, he has come down the ground to loft Axar over mid-off and mistimes it. A reckless approach sends him back as England have put itself on the tough spot once again. Zak Crawley c Mohammed Siraj b Patel 9 (30b 1x4)
England to 10/1 after 6 overs: Axar to Sibley. OUT! First over and bang! There comes that dreaded straighter one and it smashes Sibley's stumps. Sibley anticipates the turn into him and plays down the wrong line as Axar's dipper takes the inside-edge onto the stumps. Dom Sibley b Patel 2 (8b)
Axar Patel into the attack.
England 10/0 after 5 overs: Some massive movement for Ishant! Sibley opts for an old-fashioned leave but Ishant brings one in sharply that misses the top of off by bare inches. The openers have fended off some serious threat from the Indian pacers early on.
England 6/0 after 2 overs: A fine start for Siraj as he nearly wraps up Sibley. Siraj has his outswinger on put as he beats the outside edge off Sibley with a stunner outside the off-stump.
Mohammed Siraj runs in from the other end.
England 0/0 after 1 over: Ishant to Crawley. Ishant hits the pads and there's a review second-ball! Umpire Nitin Menon is not shaken and Ishant prompts his captain to go for the review. Kohli goes for it and the replays show that the ball has missed the stumps by a fair margin. Excellent decision from the on-field umpire as India loses its first review. Ishant has managed to tail in the ball sharply early on here and Crawley has an uncomfortable start.
India vs England: Virat Kohli equals yet another record set by MS Dhoni!
We are nearly there! England openers Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley open the innings for England as India takes the field. Ishant Sharma with the new ball
So, a wary England goes batting heavy for the final Test while India does not tinker much. Umesh's staggering numbers not enough at the moment as Mohammed Sirah pips him for a spot in the XI.
TOSS: England wins the Toss and Elects to Bat
India: Out: Jasprit Bumrah, In: Mohd Siraj
England: Out: Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, In: Dan Lawrence, Dom Bess
Final preps in full swing
Root v Rohit with the bat. Ashwin v the rest with the ball.
Series so far
30 minutes away from the Toss. With the pitch touted to play on similar lines of the previous Test, Joe Root will be on a tough spot. Meanwhile, India's toss-up will be between Umesh/Siraj and Kuldeep/Sundar.
Rohit Sharma is 19 runs away from becoming the first opener and the second Indian to hit 1000 runs in the World Test Championship. Rohit could also become the fastest Asian opener to 1000 Test runs.
James Anderson is currently on 898 international wickets. He is two scalps away from being the third fast bowler after Wasim Akram and Glenn McGrath to bag 900 wickets. The veteran bowler will be the sixth overall to the feat.
Virat Kohli will equal MS Dhoni in leading India in most Test matches on Thursday - 60 .
Kohli needs 17 runs to become the third captain after Ricky Ponting and Graeme Smith to amass 12,000 international runs.
Over the course of this enticing four-match series, England and India have had their share of highs and lows. Individual brilliances have trumped the oppositions to put the respective sides in the fore on numerous occasions. From Joe Root's double-hundred and Jack Leach's improving numbers in the sub-continent to Rohit Sharma's commanding batsmanship alongside Ravi Ashwin and Axar Patel's sheer brilliance with the ball - the series has had it all. However, one element has taken away the spotlight by marring all the quality on display.
The pitches in Chennai and Ahmedabad have drawn criticism from different corners with it hitting the crescendo at last week's two-day affair in the Pink Ball Test. Take away all the noise and we have a tale of yet another fightback from team India when the chips were down.
India vs England fourth Test: The road to World Test Championship final
Joe Root and England have themselves to blame after their rotation policy cast a shadow on their best XI for the conditions. Clearly, the batsmen went in expectations of an unplayable dust-bowl and rather fell into the furrows of some clinical precision of Axar Patel and the guile of Ravichandran Ashwin while the Indian pacers took a chill-pill.
Thursday would be no different for Root and his men, for they need to get the basics right to stay in the game and stun the host with another fight-back to obstruct its way to the World Test Championship Final.
What is a good pitch? Daljit Singh spells out
While India would be eyeing another telling blow to England, a valiant draw would be the last resort to save the qualification for the inaugural final. As for the visitor, it will have the backing of arch-rival Australia for quelling India, for a England win could mean Australia qualifies for July's World Test Championship final. The stakes, as always, is high for a contest in whites.
What They Said
"There is always too much noise and too much conversation about spin tracks. I am sure if our media is in a space to contradict those views or present views which say that it is unfair to criticise only spin tracks, then it will be a balanced conversation. But the unfortunate bit is everyone plays along with that narrative (spinning tracks) and keeps making it news till the time it is relevant. And then a Test match happens, if you win on day 4 or 5, no one says anything but if it finishes in two days, everyone pounces on the same issue," Virat Kohli on the unwarranted criticism on spinning pitches.
Kohli says too much noise about spin-friendly pitches, urges to get on with the game e
"As batters, if you don't score runs, you'll always look at yourselves and find ways to improve - we've certainly done that. We've looked at our dismissals and how we can build big partnerships and get some significant scores if it is a similar surface this time around," Joe Root on the importance of building partnerships to put England back on track.
The teams (from):
India: Virat Kohli (Capt.), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Vice-capt.), K.L. Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (w.k.), Wriddhiman Saha (w.k.), R. Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj
England: Joe Root (Capt.), Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Dan Lawrence, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes (w.k.) Dom Bess, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Olly Stone, Mark Wood
On-field umpires : Nitin Menon and Virender Sharma; Third umpire: Anil Chaudhary; Fourth umpire: Shamshuddin; Match referee: Javagal Srinath.
Hours of play: 9.30am to 11.30pm; 12.10pm to 2.10pm; 2.30pm to 4.30pm (can be extended till 5pm)