The dismissal of England all-rounder Ben Stokes has led former cricketers Marcus North and Mike Atherton to question the role of the non-striker batsman Sam Curran in the opening day of the first Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham,.
Meanwhile, England started off well after Joe Root opted to bat first following an overcast morning on Wednesday (August 1). England openers Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings smashed loose deliveries to the boundary to give somewhat a cautious start.
Pace spearhead Umesh Yadav for India was erratic to make it too easy for the England batsmen.
However, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin drew the first blood when Virat Kohli brought him at one change. Since then, England batsmen dominated the proceedings throughout. But, an unfortunate dismissal brought India back into the game as Mohammed Shami dismissed Jennings.
Dawid Malan was soon to follow as Shami trapped him right in front of the stumps.
England skipper Joe Root once formed good resistance backed by the in-form Jonny Bairstow. The duo added 103 runs for the fourth wicket and looked well set for a massive score. But against the run of play, a moment of brilliance from India skipper Kohli got his counterpart via run-out at the score of well-made 80.
North, Atherton, and Jones question Sam Curran
Things started to shift quickly and India made a comeback into the game late in the evening session. The bowlers bowled some tight line and length to make life difficult for the English batsmen.
After Root’s dismissal, Ben Stokes, who is returning from an injury, came to the middle to take guard. He scored 21 runs off 41 balls and looked confident to see off through the day.
However, an untimely shot found his bat and lobbed straight into the hands of Ashwin, who bagged his third.
Meanwhile, many former cricketers like Marcus North, Michael Atherton, and Dean Jones pointed out a bizarre aspect to the dismissal of Ben Stokes. When Ashwin took the catch stretching on to his left, Sam Curran, at the non-striker’s end, moved away and made it easier for the bowler to hold onto the leather.
The cricketers questioned Curran for not standing his ground, which would’ve made the catch much more difficult.
Here are the tweets from the three former cricketers:
Just seen Stokes dismissal for the first time…why didn't S.Curran stand his ground at the non strikers!? Instead he moved out of the way to give Ashwin a clear right of way to catch the ball. 😞
— Marcus North (@Marcus_North) August 1, 2018
Absolutely. Should have stood his ground
— Mike atherton (@Athersmike) August 1, 2018
The non striker always must hold his ground… but if he makes one movement towards the bowler.. then it’s deemed as obstruction.. then the question is .. which batsman is out? https://t.co/PTA74P0vSg
— Dean Jones AM (@ProfDeano) August 1, 2018