Stuart Broad was the highlight of the English bowling attack with figures of 6 for 25, helping England dismiss India for a paltry total of 152 © Getty Images
India created a forgettable world record while England dominated the day’s play. Abhijit Banare looks at the key moments of the opening day of the fourth Test at Old Trafford.
Stuart Broad and James Anderson shared nine for 71 to rip the Indian batting apart as they dominated India and are on the verge of running away with the match. With England just 39 runs behind on Day One with seven wickets in hand, England couldn’t have asked for a better result. But India are to blame for a horror display with the bat scoring just 152. While losing four wickets for eight runs virtually took the match away from them, the lead pacers ensured that there was no respite or scope of a comeback. Here’s how the day unfolded:
The Toss: It was supposed to be a toss where both captains wanted to bat first. Eventually MS Dhoni won the toss. It was a bit of record in itself as India had lost six out of the eight tosses here. It was also the first time since 1946 an Indian captain had won a toss at Manchester. The pitch wasn’t a threat as such unlike in Lord’s where it was a lush green wicket and things could proceed smoothly if the batsmen saw out the first hour of play.
India trend with ‘8-4’: It was catching practice for the slips and gully early in the morning under overcast skies for England. Comeback man Gautam Gambhir along with Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara ensured that the topic ‘India 8-4’ started trending on Twitter. It was a reminder of ‘Summer of ’42 ‘ as the batsmen kept the pavilion route busy.
MS Dhoni’s valiant effort: This was one of the better overseas innings from Dhoni. The skeptics were hounding him for lack of technique to bat in these conditions. But at the end of the day, he showed that it’s grit and determination which matter in scoring runs. Dhoni was composed and took some hits on the body and continued to resist the instinctive swipe at balls pitched just outside off. His 71 included 15 boundaries (60 runs in fours). Dhoni shared two partnerships in a short innings, 54 with Ajinkya Rahane and 63 with Ravichandran Ashwin.
James Anderson: Anderson showed his class once again, this time in front of his home crowd. On a pitch that didn’t have any tricks in store, Anderson had his own games to play, making the Indian batsmen look like bunnies. In fact Virat Kohli appeared to be one, having been dismissed by Anderson thrice facing 23 balls and scoring only two runs in this series. He looked unplayable in the first hour of the day as Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane somehow battled it out. And he had his sweet revenge coming back from lunch removing Ravindra Jadeja for a duck.
World Record ducks: With Pankaj Singh castled for a duck, India bettered their previous record of most ducks in an innings (5) and got one better making it the world record. Six ducks in an innings have been previously achieved by Pakistan, South Africa and Bangladesh. But on a positive note, this is the most runs scored by a team with six ducks in an innings.
Stuart Broad cleans India up: Broad picked six wickets conceding below 50 runs four times in his Test career, which goes to show that when he gets threatening he capitalises to push the opposition out of the game. Broad didn’t look as threatening as Anderson but he managed to clean up the tail and Ravichandran Ashwin gifted his wicket away to Broad after a solid 40.
Varun Aaron’s pace: Though is not an accurate bowler, but Aaron’s pace still unsettled the England batsmen. Alastair Cook couldn’t control the short ball and Gary Ballance was done in by one as well. He touched the 145 kph at ease. Meanwhile, Pankaj Singh is pleading and begging for his maiden wicket as he got close to picking one again here.
England dominate for 16th session in a row: India have not just put themselves in a losing position, they could as well lose this series. Losing 16 sessions in a row shows that team has been totally outclassed psychologically as well.
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(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)