England are nicely set to win the 5-match Investec Test Series 3-1 as Indian batting once again crumbled to post a poor first innings total this time at The Kia Oval in London. India asked to bat first were shot out for an embarrassing 148 all out on what was their 68th Independence Day. England sustained their domination by closing the opening day’s play of the 5th Investec Test at 62 for no loss.
Above pic: Gautam Gambhir dismissed for a first ball duck to James Anderson in the very first over of the 5th Investec Test at The Kia Oval
At stumps on Day 1, Alastair Cook has got to 24 while his partner Sam Robson has gained a lot of confidence through his unbeaten 33 with 5 fours. India bowled 19 overs and should have got the wicket of Alastair Cook who had a great escape thanks to poor umpiring from former Australian fast bowler Paul Reiffel. A full length inswinger from Bhuvneshwar Kumar had struck the pad of the England Captain very low in line of middle and leg and that was just plumb in front. However, it was not a Stuart Broad appealing which otherwise would have influenced the Umpire to lift his finger. India also had a half chance dropped by Virat Kohli at gully offered by Sam Robson.
Well overcast conditions prevailed at The Kia Oval and it was a perfect toss to win for Alastair Cook. The pitch had everything on offer for the seam bowlers and the weather conditions were assisting big swing bowling. While England kept faith in its winning side, India made two changes with Stuart Binny and Ishant Sharma replacing Ravindra Jadeja and Pankaj Singh.
Gautam Gambhir chickened out in the very first over of the Test when he was late in withdrawing his bat to James Anderson’s outswinger to get caught behind for a first ball duck!
Wannabe Rahul Dravid – Cheteshwar Pujara wasn’t good enough to defend on the frontfoot to a Stuart Broad indipper which nipped back to strike middle. Virat Kohli continued to be good for nothing on this tour and got out for 6 when he was given lbw for not offering any shot on the backfoot to an inducker from Chris Jordan.
India continued to be derailed and by lunch, the score read a disastrous 43 for 5 in 25 overs. Ajinkya Rahane was caught and bowled by Chris Jordan after the right hander attempted his trademark push on the up straight down the ground. Replays very late in the day raised suspicion of the catch not being clean as Jordan seemed to be having the ball touching the turf! The fifth and final wicket to go down before lunch was opener Murali Vijay dabbing Chris Woakes on the backfoot and edging him to Joe Root who was strategically placed very close to the bat at gully.
Post lunch was no different for India although it was slightly better with four wickets going down. Staurt Binny was continuously beaten and eventually he had to nick a Jimmy Anderson outswinger straight to first slip. England ensured that there was no nuisance from R Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar this time around. Ashwin was caught at gully jabbing Stuart Broad away from his body while Bhuvneshwar chased a rank long hop from Chris Jordan with a cut and edged it behind.
Above pic: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India’s Captain was the lone man putting up a fight
India were soon 90 for 9 when Varun Aaron was bounced out by Chris Woakes. MS Dhoni was left all alone but he finally got some solid support thanks to Ishant Sharma’s stubborn defence. After Tea, India got bowled out but before that stretched its total by 58 runs thanks to the last wicket. MS Dhoni scored a heroic 82 from 140 balls with 15 fours and a six off Chris Jordan over long off. Ishant Sharma remained unbeaten playing out 42 balls for his 7.
England’s heroes with the ball were surprisingly Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes who took three wickets each. There were a couple of wickets each for James Anderson and Stuart Broad. The hosts needed only 61.1 overs to bundle out India.