Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 24 (ANI): Hometown boy Axar Patel and seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had a field day as India bundled out England for a paltry 112 in the first innings on the opening day of the pink-ball Test here at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Wednesday.
Axar, playing in just his second Test, scalped six wickets while Ashwin returned with three wickets as the visitors were bowled out in just 48.4 overs. This was Axar’s second five-wicket haul in a row as he had scalped five in the second innings of the second Test as well.
Resuming the second session at 81/4, England got off to the worst possible start as both Ben Stokes (6) and Ollie Pope (1) were sent back to the pavilion. Stokes was trapped plumb in front of the wickets and as a result, Axar was rewarded with his third wicket. Ashwin on the other hand sent Pope packing for just 1.
If the former England players were critical of the Chepauk wicket, the lack of application from the English batsmen in the first innings of the third Test can have no excuses. Playing down the wrong line was the crux of the story and just like the top-order batsmen, Jofra Archer (11) too tried to cut a straight delivery and was clean bowled by Axar as the visitors were reduced to 93/7. This was Axar’s fourth scalp in the innings.
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan after the first session had tweeted that England was trying the best to bowl with the pink ball under lights and his assessment was proved right by Joe Root’s side.
Jack Leach (3), Stuart Broad (3), and Ben Foakes (12) all failed to stay at the crease for long and as a result, the hosts have given themselves the best possible chance to make this contest a one-sided affair.
Earlier, England opener Zak Crawley’s dismissal at the brink of the tea break handed India the honours in the opening session of the pink-ball Test. Skipper Virat Kohli might have lost the toss, but his bowlers ensured that the hosts dominated the first session.
Brief Scores: England 112 (Zak Crawley 53; Axar Patel 6-38) vs India (ANI)

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