While the series is currently in level position at 1-1, the hosts India totally dominated over the visitors England on the very first day of the day/night pink-ball Test match at the newly re-build Narendra Modi Stadium (Motera, Ahmedabad).
England captain Joe Root chose to bat first after winning the toss in this crucial pink-ball Test. However, England were bundled out for just 112 runs. In reply, India ended the day on 99/3 while they are trailing by 13 runs.
India vs England 2021, 3rd Test: Day 1 – Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin completely overpowered the English batting line-up
Playing his 100th Test, the tall Indian right-arm pacer Ishant Sharma provided a superb start for the hosts as dismissed the opener Dom Sibley for a duck in the third over of the day while Rohit Sharma took a simple catch at the second slip.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel was introduced for the first time in the 7th over of the day and he dismissed Jonny Bairstow (0) on his very first ball of the match by successfully trapping him to lbw. At that time, England were struggling on 27/2.
However, another opener Zak Crawley, who just returned to the game after recovering from the injury, started the day with a better approach as he maintained the attacking batting that was easing the early pressure for the visitors. In-form captain Joe Root was also providing the strong support to Crawley. Crawley completed his half-century in 68 balls.
Just when everyone was thinking that England had got the control of that innings, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin provided the crucial breakthrough by dismissing the English captain Joe Root (17) through the lbw. Before that dismissal, Crawley and Root had the 47 runs partnership for the third wicket. Soon after that, Patel trapped Crawley to lbw, who scored 53 off 84 balls (10 fours). At tea break, England were struggling on 81/4.
In the second session, the hosts India completely controlled the game, thanks to their spinners. Apart from wicket-keeper Ben Foakes (12) and Jofra Archer (11), all other batters failed to reach the double-digit scores in that innings.
While it was his third Test innings as a bowler, Axar Patel recorded his second Test five-wicket haul, which came in consecutive innings. In fact, Patel picked up 6 wickets as he had the bowling figures of 21.4-6-38-6. It was the second best bowling figures for a spinner in the day/night pink-ball Test history (Caribbean leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo managed the record bowling figures of 8/49 against Pakistan at Dubai, DSC in October 2016).
Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin had the bowling figures of 16-6-26-3.
India vs England 2021, 3rd Test: Day 1 – Rohit Sharma scored an unbeaten half-century
India started their first innings just before the dinner break as they scored 5/0. The openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill set up the 33 runs partnership for the opening wicket but Jofra Archer broke that partnership as he dismissed Gill for 11 runs. Five balls later, Jack Leach trapped Cheteshwar Pujara for a lbw, who was yet to open his account.
While India were struggling on 34/2, opener Rohit Sharma and captain Virat Kohli controlled the innings very well. They set up the 64 runs partnership for the third wicket while Rohit completed his fifty in 63 balls. In the final over of the day, Leach bowled Kohli for 27 runs. Rohit (57*) and Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (1*) were batting at the stumps of the day.
Brief Scores: England – 112 (Zak Crawley 53, Joe Root 17; Axar Patel 6/38)
India – 99/3 (Rohit Sharma 57*, Virat Kohli 27; Jack Leach 2/27)
Latest Status (at the stumps of day 1) – India are trailing by 13 runs