Updated: August 2, 2018 10:23:55 am
R Ashwin played only two Test matches when India last toured England in 2014. In those two matches he managed to pick only three wickets at the Oval. But four years later, Ashwin returned as the star for India on the first day of the five-match Test series that India and England began at Edgbaston on Wednesday. The off-spinner picked up four wickets, including that of Alastair Cook with a beauty as England collapsed from 216 for 3 to end day one of the first Test at 285 for 9.
Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow were scoring comfortably for England since they joined hands with England at 112 for three. The two shared a 104-run stand for the fourth wicket off just 128 balls and led England to 216 in the final session before a moment of brilliance from Virat Kohli turned the day in India’s favour.
Root and Bairstow, both from Yorkshire, threatened to take the game away from India but Root, batting on 80, was run out by a direct him from Kohli from deep midwicket.
That triggered the collapse which was scripted by Ashwin who finished with four wickets for 60 runs from 25 overs. Ashwin removed the dangerous looking Ben Stokes and then Jos Buttler for a duck as England slumped. He picked up Stuart Broad towards the end of the day. With one more wicket left, Ashwin can become the first Indian spinner to pick a five-for in England since 2002.
England won the toss and elected to bat against India and were off to a decent start with Keaton Jennings and Cook opening the batting. In the host country’s 1,000th Test match, opener Keaton Jennings was dropped on nine but managed to add only 29 more runs before Mohammed Shami dismissed him for 38.
While Indian pacer looked ordinary in the first session, Ashwin produced a ripper to castle Cook. Coming around the wicket, Ashwin pitched one at good length. It drifted into Cook before straightening after pitching and hitting the off-stump past Cook’s outside edge.
Ashwin moved closer to his five-wicket haul by removing Broad plumb in front. India could have bowled out England when Ishant induced the outside edge of James Anderson’s bat but wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik put down the catch.
Hardik Pandya was the only wicketless bowler for India as all other four bowlers picked wickets. Sam Curran and Anderson will resume the play for England on day two in Birmingham.
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