England's decision to bat first backfires, Sam Curran the saving grace

Sam Curran in action
Sam Curran in action
©Reuters/Paul Childs
 

Although India would have expected to skittle out England for much less after having them six down for 86, they would still be happy with where things stand. The favourable batting conditions on Day 2 will present the best opportunity for the team to bat England out of the match.

FULL SCORECARD

ENG - 246

IND - 19-0 (4.0 Overs)

Joe Root won the toss and happily decided to bat first on a pitch that looked quite hard. The conditions were suitable for batting as the sun was out. If only the side batting first could see off the initial burst of the quick bowlers, the bright conditions were ideal for batting long.

However, it was not to be as Indian new ball bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma were right on the money from ball one. Despite the sun being out, the ball was moving around a bit, enough to keep the bowlers interested.

It was not long before Jasprit Bumrah set up Keaton Jennings with away moving deliveries. He caught him plumb in front of the sticks with one that came back sharply at close to 90 mph. Bumrah had almost dismissed English captain Joe Root as well but his perpetual habit of stepping over the line cost him. Though the cost was not dear for the team as Ishant Sharma soon dismissed the skipper on a delivery that came back in sharply.

After surviving for more than 50 deliveries, Alastair Cook threw his wicket away as he tried to glide one down to third man and was caught at slips. Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes then scored 20s to put a brake on the periodic wickets. This partnership was followed by the stand between Moeen Ali and youngster Sam Curran.

By now, the ball was not doing as much and the pitch also slowed down. This along with some counter attacking batting took England past hundred. Sam Curran's 78 helped the side to creep towards 250. Although the 246-run total is not what they would have wanted, the team could have been bundled out much cheaply if not for the young bowling allrounder.

Jasprit Bumrah (20-46-3) showed yet again that he has all the makings of a good Test bowler. Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami also bowled probing spells to pick up two wickets each.

With four overs to survive, India did it successfully. The opening partnership of Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul took India's score to 19 for no loss at the close of Day 1.

Although India would have expected to skittle out England for much less after having them six down for 86, they would still be happy with where things stand. The favourable batting conditions on Day 2 will present the best opportunity for the team to bat England out of the match. 

© Cricket World


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