Axar shines for India as England fall for 112 on Day 1

Axar shines for India as England fall for 112 on Day 1

India continued its momentum from the 2nd Test Match to dominate day one of the pink ball test against England. In the historic Day-Night Test match played at the newly christened Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, India managed to get England all-out for just 112 runs on Day one. This was the first international game played at the new stadium which has a capacity of 110,000 people, making it the largest cricket stadium in the world. The day’s play belonged to Axar Patel, who ran through England’s batting line-up in the first innings to pick up six wickets.

England got off to a horror start after winning the toss and choosing to bat with two of their top three being dismissed on nought. Dominic Sibley was removed in the third over of the day by Ishant Sharma who was playing his 100th Test Match while Jonny Bairstow – who replaced Daniel Lawrence at number 3 – was trapped LBW by Axar Patel. After the early dismissals, Joe Root and Zak Crawley put on a good partnership for the 3rd wicket. Crawley was particularly impressive after missing the first two test matches. He continued to take the aggressive route on this pitch and played some sublime drives against both the spinners and seamers.

Following a brisk partnership of 47 between the Root and Crawley, India managed to take the crucial wicket of the England captain thanks to a lovely piece of bowling by Ravichandran Ashwin. Zak Crawley was also dismissed on the stroke of Tea for a well compiled 53. Unfortunately for the visitors, the carnage continued post the Tea break with the Indian spinners running through the English batting line-up with relative ease. Ashwin bowled the ball of the series to dismiss Ollie Pope while the rest of the English batsman kept falling to Axar Patel deliveries that did not turn and crashed into the stumps. England crumbled from 74-2 to 112 all-out, which is their fourth consecutive innings below 180 in this series.

The star of the show with the ball was Axar Patel, who picked up his second consecutive five-wicket haul and his first at his home ground of Ahmedabad.

India came out to bat in the tricky twilight period having to face two of the finest swing bowlers in world cricket, Anderson and Broad. The Indian openers were able to see out Broad and Anderson’s first spell but Shubman Gill fell inside the first 15 overs after top edging a Jofra Archer delivery to be dismissed for 11. Uncharacteristically, Cheteshwar Pujara didn’t last too long either and was dismissed for a duck after being adjudged LBW off Jack Leach. At 34-2, England had a chance to comeback into this game if they could pick up a few more wickets. Unfortunately for them, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were able to steady the ship for the hosts and put on a well compiled 50-run partnership.

India were set to end the day with the loss of only two wickets but England were able to land one last punch late on in the day. Kohli chopped on a Jack Leach delivery onto his stumps in the last over of the day to end a fine day’s play for India on a sour note. India finished the day trailing England by only 13 runs with Rohit Sharma still at the crease after a fine half-century.