The long awaited Test series between England and India finally got underway. It was a cooler morning at Edgbaston, and Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat first.
Some wayward bowling and dropped catches meant England got off to a solid enough start. They reached 26 before India’s only spinner, Ravi Ashwin was brought into the attack, in the 7th over, in a Test in England, and struck in his 2nd over, bowling an absolute beauty of a ball to dismiss Alistair Cook for 13. England were 26-1.
Joe Root and Keaton Jennings put on a 72 run stand which took England to 83-1 at lunch, with Jennings going strong on 38* and Root 31*.
India’s bowling was a bit disappointing, full and wide deliveries gave easy runs to England’s batsmen, but a fortunate piece of luck for Mohammad Shami saw Keaton Jennings bowled, as he tries to defend the ball that trickled back onto his stumps for 42.
Dawid Malan continued his low scores, given out LBW for 8, and Shami had his second wicket.
Joe Root brought up his 6000th Test run throughout the course of this innings as he and Jonny Bairstow put on a fantastic 104 run partnership as the game was starting to get away from India. They needed a bit of brilliance, make something out of nothing to break this stand.
Virat Kohli duly obliged. He pulled off a magnificent off balance direct-hit run out to dismiss Joe Root for 80. Root was found wanting, miles out of his crease, the dive didn’t even help and he was gone. Kohli in typical Kohli fashion, lets his emotions get the better of him and blows some kisses to the departing English batsman and offers him his own mic drop moment, as Root knows that he misses out on yet another century. This is starting to become a problem for Root, failing to convert his 50s to 100s. England were now 216-4.
There was some outrage after Kohli’s reaction, and honestly I don’t see a problem with it, just like I didn’t see a problem with the “send-off” Kagiso Rabada gave Shikhar Dhawan in the one-day series in South Africa earlier this year. But if we want consistency in Cricket, which I think we all do, then if Rabada gets sanctioned for his send-off, Kohli should also, right?
Root’s dismissal sparked the typical English collapse, they lost their next five wickets for 69 runs. Bairstow who was rollicking along, dragged on for 70, England’s newly appointed vice-captain, Jos Buttler, came and went for a duck, and Stokes went for 21 just lobbing the ball back to Ashwin, who by this point was having a remarkable day of Test match Cricket. He finished the day with figures of 4-60, on day 1, in England, in a Test. He was by far, the pick of the bowlers.
Adil Rasid and Stuart Broad got out in quick succession to leave England on 285-9, but a dropped catch in the final over of the day saw Sam Curran given a life.
India should have had England all out, the dropped catches might come back to hurt them. They need to bowl England out early on Day 2 and set themselves in to bat.
One thing’s for sure though, it’s going to be a good day of Test match Cricket!