Cricket

India hits back after being skittled out for a modest 191

England captain Joe Root is bowled by India's Umesh Yadav on the first day of the fourth Test against England at the Oval on Thursday, September 2, 2021 in London.   | Photo Credit: Gareth Copley

Shardul Thakur marked his return to India duty with a record-breaking fifty that saw the visitors fight back on the first day of the fourth Test against England at the Oval on Thursday.

Shardul made 57, including a fifty in just 31 balls — the fastest in terms of balls faced in a Test in England — as he revived India from 117/6 to a total of 191 all out after the team had lost the toss in overcast, bowler-friendly conditions.

England captain Joe Root tosses the coin alongside India captain Virat Kohli ahead of Day 1 of the fourth Test Match between England and India at The Kia Oval, in London, England on September 02, 2021.

England captain Joe Root tosses the coin alongside India captain Virat Kohli ahead of Day 1 of the fourth Test Match between England and India at The Kia Oval, in London, England on September 02, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

 

Prize wicket

Jasprit Bumrah then removed both the hosts’ openers in the same over before Umesh Yadav captured the prize wicket of England captain Joe Root for 21 after the star batsman, now top of the world rankings, had made hundreds in the first three Tests of a five-match series all square at 1-1.

At stumps, England was 53/3, a deficit of 138 runs, with Dawid Malan 26 not out and nightwatchman Craig Overton on one.

Shardul’s innings surpassed England great Ian Botham’s 32-ball fifty against New Zealand, also at the Oval, in 1986 as the quickest in a Test in England.

India captain Virat Kohli, who made exactly 50, was the only other India batsman to pass 17.

England all-rounder Chris Woakes, playing his first Test in over a year because of injuries and Covid complications, took 4/55 in 15 overs.

But the Warwickshire paceman, who replaced left-arm swing bowler Sam Curran, would have had even better figures had not two catches been dropped off his bowling.

England, having seen its openers share a welcome century during last week’s innings and 76-run win in the third Test at Headingley, then found itself 6-2 in four overs.

Bumrah had Rory Burns playing on for five on the Surrey left-hander’s home ground and four balls later he had Hameed, trying to get off the mark with a flamboyant square-cut, caught behind for a duck.

It was not long, however, before Root hit two fours in three balls off Umesh Yadav — a leg-side clip followed by a stylish late cut.

But Umesh had his revenge when he bowled Root between bat and pad with a ball that seamed in off the pitch.

Earlier, first-change Woakes struck with his sixth ball Thursday when Rohit Sharma (11) fended a steeply rising delivery to Jonny Bairstow, back keeping wicket after Jos Buttler missed this match due to paternity leave.

Cheteshwar Pujara, the promoted Ravindra Jadeja and the struggling Ajinkya Rahane were all caught behind the wicket cheaply as they failed to deal with the moving ball.

England 53/3

Jasprit Bumrah’s dismissals of the two openers and Umesh Yadav's key wicket of Joe Root was the highlight as India pegged England at 53 for 3 at the end of the day’s play.


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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 6:19:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/england-vs-india-4th-test-match-day-1-at-the-oval/article36247246.ece

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