Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 4 (ANI): The English batsmen showed grit and determination against the Indian bowlers in the post-lunch session on the opening day of the fourth Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday. While the hosts are still pretty much in the driving seat, the visiting batsmen have looked to apply themselves and not thrown away their wickets.
At the Tea break, England’s score read 144/5 with Ollie Pope (21) and Daniel Lawrence (15) at the crease. While it was Mohammed Siraj who picked the all-important wicket of Joe Root in the first session, Washington Sundar sent back dangerman Ben Stokes for 55 in the second session. Siraj also added to his tally as he dismissed Jonny Bairstow (28) after the batsman had put in the hard yards.
If the first session saw three wickets fall, the second session saw the visitors add 70 runs for the loss of two wickets as the host bowlers kept piling pressure on the English batsmen. But the likes of Bairstow and Stokes showed fight and did not succumb to the constant pressure from the Indian bowlers. While Bairstow and Stokes both fell against the run of play, the duo of Pope and Lawrence showed that they are here to compete and make the hosts bowling attack earn their wickets.
Earlier, electing to bat first, England openers Dominic Sibley and Zak Crawley saw off the first five overs bowled by the Indian pacers — Ishant Sharma and Siraj, who has come into the side in place of Jasprit Bumrah. However, the introduction of Axar in the sixth over brought immediate reward for the hosts as the spinner clean-bowled Sibley (2), reducing England to 10/1.
The 27-year-old struck again in his second over as he had Crawley (9) caught at mid-off. The right-handed batsman tried to go over the top to create more pressure on the bowler, but ended up mistiming the ball and handed a simple catch to Siraj. Immediately after the first drinks break, England skipper Root (5) was trapped in front by Siraj and the visitors got reduced to 30/3 in the 13th over.
Brief Scores: England 144/5 (Ben Stokes 55; Axar Patel 2-48, Mohammed Siraj 2-34) vs India (ANI)