Cook misses out on a ton as Indian bowlers pull it back at the Oval

Cook misses out on a ton as Indian bowlers pull it back at the Oval

Who says dead rubbers are boring? Day one of the last match of the series was as interesting and as attritional a day of Test cricket as you would see!

ENG - 198-7 (90.0 Overs)




England stepped out with an unchanged side while India made two changes to their playing XI. Ravindra Jadeja replaced an unfit Ravichandra Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari made his international debut in place of Hardik Pandya.

Joe Root won the toss for the fifth time on the trot in the series. He did not have to think much as he decided to bat first. Bright sunshine and a dry pitch offered optimum batting conditions.

Contrary to the prediction that the first one hour would be a little tough to negotiate as the ball will do quite a lot, it actually turned out to be the easiest phase for batting. Openers Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings cashed in until Jennings (23) played a poor shot and was caught at leg slip off Ravindra Jadeja.

However Alastair Cook (71) and Moeen Ali (50) were persistent and England did not lose any more wickets till Tea. Although there were a lot of plays and misses and a couple of chances dropped, the duo hung around. To India's credit, they did not allow England to run away with the game as runs were very hard to come by.

It was when Alastair Cook dragged on an inswinger from Jasprit Bumrah on to the stumps, the floodgates opened. Cook missed out on a century which would have been nothing short of a dream run in his penultimate innings.



Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow were then dismissed for ducks. Stokes also hung around for some time but was wrapped on the pads by Ravindra Jadeja. Quite surprisingly, Sam Curran for once did not go big as a delivery from Ishant Sharma took his bottom edge.

With one minute to go in the extended period of 30 minutes, 90 overs were completed for a change. When play was called off, Jos Buttler (11) and Adil Rashid (4) were at the crease with England 198 for 7 in the first innings.

On day two, India would try to skittle out the hosts for as less as possible while Buttler would try to take the attacking route with some support from the tail-enders.

©Cricket World 2018

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