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IND vs ENG 4th Test – Day 1: England Build On After Broad Dismantles India

By on August 8, 2014

England 113 for 3 (Bell 45*, Jordan 0*) trail India 152 (Dhoni 71, Ashwin 40, Broad 6-25) by 39 runs…

England asserted their supremacy on the opening day of the fourth Test at Old Trafford as they closed the day on 113/3 after Stuart Broad’s 6 for 25 bundled India out for 152.

India equalled the record of six ducks in a Test innings and despite a gritty half-century from skipper MS Dhoni, the Indian batting surrendered to some quality seam bowling from the Englishmen.

IND vs ENG 4th Test - Day 1: Stuart BroadEngland skipper Alastair Cook could not have chosen a better toss to lose after his Indian counterpart Dhoni opted to bat on a lively Old Trafford pitch, which as it would turn out, have more than just a handful for the medium-pacers.

Amid all the speculation surrounding the Playing XI heading into Manchester, India rang in three changes. Gautam Gambhir replaced the out-of-form Shikhar Dhawan; Ravichandran Ashwin was selected in place of Rohit Sharma and the much-talked about Varun Aaron was picked ahead of Mohammed Shami.

Dhoni’s decision backfired as Broad and James Anderson (3 for 46) shredded India to 8 for 4 inside the first six overs giving England their best start of the series. Comeback man Gambhir’s (4) stay at the middle was short-lived after he fended at a length ball to Joe Root at gully from Broad.

Murali Vijay was the next to go for a duck, seven balls later to Anderson. Vijay, who has been good at leaving balls outside his off-stump in this series, played and nicked to skipper Cook at first slip.

Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara failed to impress yet again and went without troubling the scorers. While Kohli tickled an exceptional outswinger from Anderson, Pujara edged a full-length delivery from Broad to a diving Chris Jordan at third slip leaving India reeling at 8 for 4.

Ajinkya Rahane – who has by far looked India’s best batsman on the tour – and Dhoni weathered the storm and decided to leave more balls. Both gutted it out and strung together an dogged 50-run stand.

Once Anderson and Broad were taken out of the attack, run-scoring became comparatively easier. Jordan, however, ended the promising stand with the wicket of Rahane in the penultimate over of the session.

India started the second session losing the wicket of Ravindra Jadeja to his ‘friend’ Anderson in the second over after the lunch interval. Anderson set the trap nicely following back-to-back away going deliveries with an inswinger that jagged back in and caught the Indian allrounder stone dead in front of the stumps.

At 63 for 5, Ashwin joined his skipper in the middle and the pair batted with precaution to slowly take India forward. Ashwin’s near-clean batting technique played a perfect second-fiddle to Dhoni, who at the other end, took calculated risks and kept the scoreboard ticking.

Ashwin had a slice of luck on 25, when he was dropped by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler off Anderson in the 35th over. He and Dhoni put together 66 runs for the seventh wicket before the offspinner mistimed a pull off Broad to Sam Robson at deep-square leg.

Ashwin’s 42-ball 40 was laced with three fours and a six over deep fine leg. Broad then cleaned up Bhuvneshwar Kumar two overs later for 12th five-wicket haul. His dismissal exposed the Indian tail which managed to survive just seven more overs.

Dhoni played a few unorthodox shots and reached his 32nd half-century with a four and casually edged and pulled his way to 71 before eventually finding the fielder at deep-square leg.

England’s hopes of a good beginning was tarnished by Robson – who battled for 24 balls and scored six runs. Bhuvneshwar once again removed him – third time in the series, castling his off stump with an inswinger.

Cook’s twin fifties at Southampton seemed to have done him a world of good – he cracked two fours off Pankaj – but against the run of play he fell to his favourite shot, a pull off Aaron for 17.

Southampton centurions Ian Bell and Gary Ballance took over and played with authority. Both took a specific liking towards Pankaj, who conceded 50 runs off his 11 overs.

With run-scoring becoming easy with every over bowled, Dhoni introduced Ashwin in the 21st over. Bell welcomed him by dancing down the wicket and hitting him over his head for the first six of the English innings.

Bell pounced on anything slightly short and made most of anything offered on his pads. Ballance and Bell added 77 runs before Aaron would strike again, this time trapping the dangerous Ballance leg before for 37 in the final over of the day. Nightwatchman Jordan (0) and Bell (45) were at the crease when the stumps were drawn.

Source: gocricket

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