Indian left-arm orthodox Axar Patel had once again proved to be England batsmen’s nemesis on the first morning of the fourth Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Having won the toss and decided to bat first, England’s hopes of getting off to a good start were ripped to tatters by the local boy.
Axar had struck on the very first ball of his first over- which also happened to be the first over of the innings- during the second innings of the last Test, and while he may not have opened the bowling for India, he once again got into the act in just the second delivery of his spell.
After the English opening duo of Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley had safely negotiated the first five overs bowled by the pacers, Virat Kohli introduced Axar Patel in the attack.
And, just like the last Test, where a majority of batsmen fell to a ball that did not turn, a similar sort of thing happened on the second delivery of Axar Patel’s second delivery as the ghosts of pink ball returned in crimson disguise, drenched in clotted blood.
The victim was Dom Sibley, who took his stride out and played for the non-existing turn. The ball moved past his inside edge before the death rattle signaled the end of his innings.
Patel struck again in his very next over as Zak Crawley fell to the left-arm orthodox for the third time in as many innings after the Kent batsman mistimed the attempted lofted drive to give an easy catch to Mohammed Siraj to mid-off.
At the time of writing, England had lost another wicket in the form of their skipper Joe Root, who missed a nip-backer from Mohammed Siraj and was trapped plumb in front of the wicket.
Watch the dismissal here: