An unbeaten fifty-plus stand between Moeen Ali and Sam Curran helped England recover from another batting collapse and close the second session with a respectable total. At the end of the second session, the hosts were 139 for 6.
England or rather Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes had their task cut out when the second session began. England were reeling at 36 for 4 when the two joined hands in the middle. England would have definitely loved another fighting partnership from the two after their heroic display at Trent Bridge.
But it took India only 14 balls after the restart to send back last match’s centurion Buttler. Mohammed Shami was rewarded for his disciplined bowling with an edge from Buttler and Virat Kohli made no mistake in pouching it at the slip. With wickets kept falling at regular intervals, England batsmen never got the chance to free their arms. What made their task even more tougher was the fine bowling from the Indian pacers. Shami was particularly impressive in the tea session and soon dealt another blow to England by dismissing Stokes and reduce them to 86 for 6.
That's Tea on Day 1 of the 4th Test.
In 27 overs bowled in the second session, India conceded 82 runs and took 2 wickets.
England – 139/6
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 30, 2018
But before India could make further inroads in the game, Ali and Sam Curran steadied the ship. The duo took the score past the 100-run mark and continued to build the innings.
They stitched together an unbeaten stand of 53 to revive England’s hopes of posting a respectable total.
Earlier in the first session, the Indian pacers did not take long to prove Joe Root’s decision of batting first wrong. Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma gave the hosts a tough time with the new ball, bowling probing lines to leave them almost clueless. And so by the time the session ended, the hosts were reeling at 57 for 4.
England’s top-order’s wretched time with the bat in the series continued. Keaton Jennings could not even open his account before being sent back by Bumrah in the third over.
Bumrah and Ishant then shifted the spotlight onto Joe Root’s poor series during the English skipper’s painful short stay at the crease that lasted just 14 deliveries. The under-pressure skipper had already survived a leg before reprieve in the fifth over, thanks to Bumrah’s overstepping.
Root was completely plumb but was saved by the no-ball after India reviewed the on-field umpire’s initial not-out verdict.
However, Root faile to capitalise on the reprieve and fell to a big inswinger from Ishant, thus departing after scoring just 4. England then suffered yet another setback that not only put them on the backfoot but would have also given the team-management a lot to think about after yet another batsman failed to deliver at number 4. Jonny Bairstow was promoted to number four but he failed to justify the decision. Selected in the team just as a batsman, Bairstow could score only 6 before edging a Bumrah delivery behind the stumps.
And, that's Lunch on Day 1 of the 4th Test with England 57/4.
A fine display of bowling by the Indian seamers and there has been no let up for England.
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 30, 2018
The three wickets had very taken the focus off Alastair Cook who is under immense pressure to deliver. But the former England skipper also did not last long, departing after scoring 17. The southpaw managed to survive 55 balls before undoing his hard work. He tried to cut a delivery from Hardik Pandya late but ended up with an edge off the toe-end of the bat to third slip. Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes then took the score past the 50-run mark and ensured England head to lunch without suffering any further setback.
England (Moeen Ali 30, Sam Curran 27; Shami 2-35, Bumrah 2-35 ) vs India.