England off-spinner Dom Bess enjoyed a great day at the office as he returned with figures of 4/55 in 23 overs which included the wickets of skipper Virat Kohli, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, the ‘immovable force’ Cheteshwar Pujara, and the swashbuckler Rishabh Pant.
However, the wicket that would have given Dom Bess a lot of confidence was of Indian superstar Virat Kohli. Kohli, who was averaging a mind-boggling 344 against spinners in Test cricket in India since 2018, became the off-spinners’ first wicket of the day.
It was a typical off-spinners dismissal where Bess surprised Kohli with the amount of drift that he got. Kohli lunged forward and pushed at the ball but he was taken aback by how the delivery came back into him. He pushed at the delivery and ended up giving an easy catch to Ollie Pope at short-leg.
Speaking to the host broadcasters after the end of the day’s play, Dom Bess said that he was aiming to constantly land the ball on a particular spot and build pressure on the Indian batsmen, which ultimately resulted in the dismissal.
‘2, trying to build pressure for a long time, and I guess it just happened. It wasn’t like I was trying to bowl that magic ball. It was really just about hitting that box. I saw the replay and it seemed to [drift] a little more, and got him playing at a wider line, and I’m glad Popey took a great catch at short leg,” said Dom Bess.
Bess also went on to hail Indian swashbuckler Rishabh Pant for his counter-attacking knock of 91 off 88 balls. Pant took the attack to the English bowlers, especially Jack Leach, who bore the maximum brunt of the onslaught.
Jack Leach might have endured a tough day but according to Dom Bess, his partner bowled better than what the figures suggest. He pointed out the fact that the left-arm orthodox bowled consistently on the same spot against the likes of Washington Sundar.
The off-spinner added the pitch has started to break up and his side will be looking to take the last four Indian wickets as early as they can and then assess the things as they stand.
”He’s a phenomenal talent. We saw him in the Australia Tests, and that ability. At four down, he’s charging at Leachy and going hard. Very bold innings. I thought Leachy bowled really well today. You saw the spot map, and from him to Sundar, I guess he had 20 balls on the same spot, but I guess it was just a different innings [from Pant]. We’ve seen today how much the pitch has broken up, how much it’s started spinning. We’ll come back tomorrow, try to get these four wickets, and assess where we stand,” Bess added.