India’s premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin drew the first blood in England’s innings when he castled Three Lions’ opener Alastair Cook’s stumps with a perfect ripper.

Meanwhile, England got off to a good start when Joe Root opted to bat first after winning the toss at Edgbaston in Birmingham. However, the main surprise came when India dropped their Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara from the first XI. Instead, they picked KL Rahul to bat at one drop.

Pujara is going through a bad patch as he has managed to score only a handful of runs. He scored only 172 runs from 12 innings at an average of 14.33 for Yorkshire.

Pujara struggled against the swing and the overcast conditions which also made it tough for him. In the practise game against Essex, he registered only 24 runs from two innings.

However, Cook and Keaton Jennings negated some brilliant bowling by Ishant Sharma to give their side a steady start. The tall and lanky pacer asked some serious questions but the England batters held their composure well.

Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates the wicket of Alastair Cook. Getty Images)

Much to the surprise, skipper Virat Kohli brought in Ashwin as the first change bowler. He didn’t disappoint his skipper as he provided the much-needed breakthrough.

It was the ninth over of the morning session when Ashwin delivered one slow from his hands. However, the ball drifted in after pitching around the leg and then turning right across Cook’s defending bat to hit the top of off.

It was a perfect off-spinner’s wicket as Cook had nothing much to do. He wasn’t allowed to get fully forward to smother it.

As a result, England lost their first wicket of this innings at the score of 26 runs. The Indian players were jumping in joy to get the wicket of Cook who can be dangerous.

David Warner
David Warner tops the list. Getty Images

Cook becomes the second-most dismissed batsman

Meanwhile, with this wicket, Alastair Cook became the second batsmen in the list of batsmen dismissed most by Ravichandran Ashwin. However, suspended Australia batsman David Warner occupies the first place.

While Warner has got out nine times to Ashwin, the off-spinner dismissed Cook eight times. Ed Cowan finds himself in the third spot with seven dismissals.

Moreover, the fourth spot is occupied by four batsmen with six dismissals; Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Mitchell Starc, and Morne Morkel are the four batsmen. Interestingly, among all these, only one batsman is right-handed.

India will want Ashwin to continue this form throughout the Test series.