India vs England, 1st Test: Mohammed Shami credits bowlers for England’s collapse

India’s hopes of breaching England’s Edgbaston fortress – nine wins and only one defeat there since 2001 – were given a major boost when they limited the hosts to 285/9 at the end of day one, courtesy a flimsy collapse of six wickets for 69 runs during the last session on Wednesday.

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India’s comeback came after Virat Kohli’s rather spectacular run-out of England captain Joe Root, with the host slipping from 216/3 to 285/9. One of India’s stars of the day, the returning Mohammed Shami, gave credit to the bowlers for chipping away at England on a surface that was not naturally conducive to pace bowling.

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“As you have seen the wicket is a little slower, there is hard work for sure, we have to maintain good line and length all day. It was a little tough initially because it was slow and a little damp. As the day went on, the wicket came good. As a bowling unit we have stopped them well from 216/3, you can see what we have done,” Shami, who took 2/64 in 19 overs, told reporters at the end of the day.

“Initially when you bowl on such wickets here you get an idea how it will behave and what you need to keep doing. So there weren’t many changes in our approach during the day but we tried to control line and length through the day, and try not to give any width. The lesser the width to batsmen, the better.”

According to Shami, who is playing his first Test match since January, India did not get ahead of themselves on the field; rather, they kept their plans flexible.

“If you see in a Test match, there is a lot of time and you can come back if there is a good partnership. You bowl according to the wicket and batsmen, so as a captain or as a bowler, you get to think,” he said. “You can assess situations as per the wicket, how much grass is there or not, and that’s how you choose your bowling unit and then work on the basis of that. You have to work within that unit and believe that you can win.”