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PIX: England on top after pacers demolish India for 78

Last updated on: August 26, 2021 00:00 IST
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Images from Day 1 of the third Test between England and India, at Leeds, on Wednesday.

James Anderson celebrates with his England teammates after capturing the wicket of K L Rahul.

IMAGE: James Anderson celebrates with his England teammates after capturing the wicket of K L Rahul. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

James Anderson's artistic morning spell in an inspired English bowling performance blew away India for an inexplicable 78 before the hosts took complete control by stumps with a dominant batting show on the first day of the third Test, in Leeds, on Wednesday.

 

If England’s pacers got their bearings right after the fifth day brain fade at Lord's in the second Test, the Indians’ batting unit's technique against swing bowling was laid bare by Anderson and his band, which skittled them in little over 40 overs.

Then it was the turn of local boy Haseeb Hameed (60 not out, 130 balls) and Rory Burns (52 not out, 125 balls) to get back to form and end the day on 120 for no loss, as batting got easier as the day progressed.

England now lead by 42 runs.

England batsman Rory Burns drives towards the boundary during Day 1 of the third Test, at Emerald Headingley stadium in Leeds, England, on Wednesday.

IMAGE: England opening batsman Rory Burns drives towards the boundary during Day 1 of the third Test, at Emerald Headingley stadium in Leeds, England, on Wednesday. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Skipper Virat Kohli won a rare toss and despite the overcast conditions decided to bat first, which turned out to be a not-so-great decision, as Anderson's injured new ball partner Stuart Broad tweeted about how the Headingley track has behaved over the years.

Anderson (3/6 in eight overs) then did what he does best -- messed with the minds of the top-order batsmen in a sharp eight-over morning spell, getting three wickets and then passing on the baton to the younger lot which didn't disappoint him.

Craig Overton (3/14 in 10.3 overs), Ollie Robinson (2/16 in 10 overs) and Sam Curran (2/27 in 10 overs) then tightened the noose, with even Rohit Sharma (19 off 105 balls) finding it difficult to get a move on even after playing 100 balls.

Ajinkya Rahane scored 18 but had it not been for 16 extra runs, the embarrassment would have been more like the Adelaide Test match.

Haseeb Hameed waves to the crowd after posting 50.

IMAGE: Haseeb Hameed waves to the crowd after posting 50. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

It was a shoddy performance as the pitch, although termed "tacky" by England skipper Joe Root, did not have any exaggerated off-the pitch movement that could  have troubled the batsmen.

It was just that Anderson turned his stock ball -- the outswinger -- into a shock ball during that dream spell which left Indians gasping for breath.

Credit should also go to the English bowlers who extracted every bit of juice that was available during the 40.4 overs. India lost their last six wickets for 22 runs and this time, the Indian tail had no pleasant surprises in their kitty.

This had more to do with sensible bowling from England pacers, who bowled fuller length to bowl out India for their second lowest first day score in the last 34 years.

The batting performance certainly increased pressure on the bowlers and it didn't help that veteran Ishant Sharma looked completely out of sorts as Kohli gave him the new ball. He ran in gingerly and there was no sting in his bowling, helping Hameed and Burns to settle down quickly.

Once the sun started beating down and made batting easier, they played some lovely shots square off the wicket, helping themselves with half-centuries as India will have a huge task of saving the Test match from hereon.

Morning session:

England pacer James Anderson celebrates taking the wicket of India's Virat Kohli on Day 1 of the Third Test, at Emerald Headingley stadium, in Leeds, on Wednesday.

IMAGE: England pacer James Anderson celebrates taking the wicket of India's Virat Kohli in the morning session on Day 1. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

James Anderson regained his mojo after a forgettable fifth day in the Lord's Test, rattling India’s top-order with three quick strikes and reducing the visitors to 56 for 4 by lunch on the opening day of the third Test, at Leeds, on Wednesday.

England’s senior-most pacer was once again back at his best, using his lethal outswingers to good effect to get the wickets of K L Rahul (0), Cheteshwar Pujara (1) and rival skipper Virat Kohli (7), all caught by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, for figures of 8-5-6-3 at the break.

Rohit Sharma, batting on 15 after 75 balls, once again showed enormous patience while leaving most of the deliveries outside off-stump.

Ajinkya Rahane (18 off 54 balls) was also back in the pavilion after edging one off Ollie Robinson (5.5-1-13-1) at the stroke of lunch.

The best part about the 39-year-old Anderson's bowling during that opening session was masterful use of strategy.

For someone who primarily relies on outswing as his stock ball, he changed tactics and used the outgoing delivery as a "shock" ball after pegging back the batters with incoming deliveries.

Rahul, the in-form batsman, went for an expansive drive early to a delivery that moved a shade in the air with a wobbly seam and took his outside edge into Buttler's gloves.

 James Anderson celebrates taking the wicket of Virat Kohli.

IMAGE: James Anderson is ecstatic after having India skipper Virat Kohli caught by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Pujara, who is going through the worst phase of his international career, got a conventional outswinger after a few in-cutters, and Anderson forced the batsman to have a feel for the delivery.

Kohli hit an off-drive for three runs but it was amply clear that India’s captain was suffering from both technical and mindset issues with Anderson, picking him once again like it has been his day job for several years.

Kohli slightly tweaked his front-foot movement but he dangled his bat away from his body to offer Buttler his third catch of the innings.

At 21 for three, Rahane came in and was in a bit of trouble against Moeen Ali despite the fact that he got a few boundaries to keep the scoreboard ticking.

That allowed Rohit to maintain his composure and there was only one drive that Rohit played for a couple of runs during that session.

However, Robinson bowled one on the off-stump channel and it moved a shade to evade Rahane's defensive jab but did enough to get that faint outside edge into Buttler's gloves for his fourth catch.

Post-Lunch session:

England pacer Ollie Robinson celebrates taking the wicket of India's Rishabh Pant during Day 1 of the third Test, at Emerald Headingley stadium in Leeds, England, on Wednesday.

IMAGE: England pacer Ollie Robinson celebrates taking the wicket of India's Rishabh Pant. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

James Anderson rocked the top-order in an early morning spell as India got a rude jolt from a disciplined England pace attack, which shot the visitors out for a paltry 78 on the first day of the third Test, in Leeds, on Wednesday.

At tea, England were 21 for no loss and in control of the proceedings after Virat Kohli's decision to bat under overcast conditions backfired badly.

Craig Overton celebrates taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma.

IMAGE: Craig Overton celebrates with his England teammates after dismissing Rohit Sharma. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Haseeb Hameed was batting on 15 at the break and Rory Burns was on three, denying India an early breakthrough.

This is the second time in nine months that India was bowled out for less than 100, after their Adelaide debacle of 36 all out in December last year.

After the Lord's high, it was an absolute low for Kohli and his men. This is India's lowest score on a first day track in the past 34 years.

Sam Curran celebrates after taking the wicket of Jasprit Bumrah

IMAGE: Sam Curran celebrates after taking the wicket of Jasprit Bumrah. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

The last time India was all-out for less than 100 on the first day of a Test was back in 1987 when fiery Jamaican Patrick Patterson scared the hell out of Dilip Vengsarkar's team, skittling them out for 75 at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi.

On Wednesday, Rohit Sharma (19 off 105 balls) and Ajinkya Rahane (18 off 54 balls) were the only batsmen to post double digits scores. The third highest contribution was 16 extra runs.

Once Anderson (8-5-6-3), who is back at his best, used his lethal outswingers to good effect and dismissed K L Rahul (0), Cheteshwar Pujara (1) and rival skipper Virat Kohli (7), all caught by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, there was no resistance as India lost six wickets for 22 runs in the post-lunch session.

Craig Overton celebrates after dismissing Rohit Sharma.

IMAGE: Craig Overton celebrates after dismissing Rohit Sharma. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

His new-ball colleague Ollie Robinson struck either side of the lunch break, dismissing Ajinkya Rahane for 18 and removing the dangerous Rishabh Pant, with Jos Buttler taking his fifth catch on a busy morning.

India went on to lose four wickets in a span of six balls without adding a run in a spectacular batting collapse.

Opener Rohit survived 105 balls for his 19 but threw away his wicket after all the hard work.

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