India vs England, 3rd Test: Visitors stumble after winning toss, crawl to 92/4 at lunch
England were 92 for four at lunch on the opening day of the third Test against India in Mohali on Saturday.
England were 92 for four at lunch on the opening day of the third Test against India in Mohali on Saturday. they stumbled to the score after India struck crucial blows in the first session, despite a couple of fielding lapses. Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin and Jayant Yadav claimed a wicket each.
Jonny Bairstow on 20 and Ben Stokes on five were at the crease after the visitors, who trail the five-match series 1-0.
England endured a torrid first session, after winning the toss and electing to bat first. The loss of their top four wickets, including danger man Alastiar Cook, dented their momentum and nullified the advantage of the toss.
Youngster Haseeb Hameed was the first to fall, as the ball deflected off his glove to reach Ajinkya Rahane at gully dismissing him on 9 in the 10th over as Umesh Yadav's gritty spell was rewarded.
Joe Root fell soon after in the 15th over as Jayant Yadav caught him plumb. Root, who has looked strangely uncomfortable against spin, was out on 15 to the first delivery of a spinner he faced in this match.
Captain Cook was next to be dismissed, in exactly the next over, as Ravichandran Ashwin made up for his shoddy fielding by having him caught behind. Cook, who was dropped once again, couldn't make much of his lifeline as was out on 27.
Newly-promoted Moeen Ali couldn't do much as he went for the bouncer. Kohli had brought back Mohammed Shami into the attack and the change worked as Ali got a top edge to Vijay at fine leg. Earlier, Ali had shown aggressive intent, coming down the track to hit Jayant for a 4 and 6 off consecutive balls. It may have been this that prompted the bowling change as Shami hit home.
England have some hope though, as both Bairstow and Stokes on crease are both solid batsmen and can turn things around after a disastrous first session.
The visitors have made three changes to their starting lineup from their previous loss in Visakhapatnam. With England having already announced the inclusion of Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes in the team, off-spinner Gareth Batty comes in as the sixth bowler.
The Virat Kohli-led side has also made two changes to its team that beat the visitors by 246 runs in the second Test. Wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel returns to the side after eight years while top-order batsman Karun Nair has been handed his Test debut in place of injured opener KL Rahul.
"There was never too much doubt that everyone was keen to go and play," Woakes told reporters.
England's men's and women's white ball teams were due to tour this month but the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) pulled out of both because of concerns over "mental and physical well-being".
Jos Buttler could be the only England player not to agree to travel to Australia.