India Off To a Satisfying Start Courtesy to Kohli and Rahane

After getting 0-2 down in the five-match Test series and a poor show in the Lord’s Test, India had to put on a brilliant show to stage a comeback in the do-or-die match.

Cricket news: India came back after Woakes took three wickets in quick succession

This is why the management decided to go with three changes in the match and hoped that those changes proved fruitful in the match.

Jasprit Bumrah returned from his finger injury and replaced Kuldeep Yadav. Murali Vijay, who scored a pair in the Lord’s Test, made way for Shikhar Dhawan, who did not play in the previous game.

Dinesh Karthik was also axed because of his poor performance and in his place came the promising debutant Rishabh Pant. The changes made some effect as India are now 307/6 in 87 overs at the end of the first day.

England won the toss and put the visitors to bat which suited the Men in Blue as they had also wanted to bat first.

Openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul took off brilliantly as they scored 60 runs in 112 deliveries which did not let the English bowlers settle down.

It was Chris Woakes who drew the first blood by picking Dhawan, who scored 35 which included seven boundaries. Woakes then took the wicket of Rahul for 23 runs and later Cheteshwar Pujara got out, as he tried for a pull shot but unfortunately was caught by Adil Rashid at fine leg.

Woakes’ three wickets in a gap of 8 overs slumped the visitors’ good start of 60/0 to 82/3 in 26.4 overs and lunch was taken at that stage.

Post-lunch everything depended on skipper Virat Kohli and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and much to the Brits’ despair, the pair delivered.

Both of them pulled India out of the slump as they ended the second session at 189/3, completing their respective half-centuries on the way.

In the final session it seemed that the pair would play out the remaining overs but managed to give a blow as Rahane got out on 81 runs, courtesy to a superb reflex catch from Alastair Cook at first slip.

Kohli was looking determined to get his 23rd Test century, but fell three runs short, as he nicked a delivery from Adil Rashid on 97 to Ben Stokes at slips.

Debutant Rishabh Pant started his innings with a belligerent six over long on while Hardik Pandya got out for 18 runs which signaled the end of the day’s play with India crossing the 300-run barrier for the first time in the series.

Brief Scores

India: 307/6 in 87 overs; (Virat Kohli 97, Ajinkya Rahane 81; Chris Woakes 3/75, Adil Rashid 1/46)

Close of Play: Day 1