Picture: 123RF/RICHARD THOMAS
Picture: 123RF/RICHARD THOMAS

Spinner Axar Patel claimed a career-best 6/38 as India bundled out England for 112 on the opening day to put themselves in the box seat in the day-night third Test in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

Rohit Sharma then helped the hosts weather a top-order wobble of their own and finish an eventful 13-wicket day on 99/3. Rohit was batting on 57 at stumps with Ajinkya Rahane on one at the other end with India eyeing a handy first-innings lead.

Earlier, Joe Root’s decision to bat backfired as the tourists folded in 48.4 overs inside two seasons despite Zak Crawley’s stroke-filled 53. On a track where the ball spun from the first session, the English batsmen repeatedly played for the turn and got beaten by the straight ball instead.

They made four changes to their playing XI but their rejigged top order let them down. Playing his 100th Test, seamer Ishant Sharma dismissed Dom Sibley in the third over before the spinners took over.

Left-arm spinner Patel trapped Jonny Bairstow lbw for nought with his first delivery. At the other end, Crawley appeared to bat on a different pitch, dealing mostly in boundaries and bringing up his 50 off 68 balls. Before his partnership with Root could really flourish, Ravichandran Ashwin (3/26) intervened. The wily off-spinner dismissed Root lbw for 17.

The England captain reviewed the decision but could not get it overturned. Patel ended Crawley’s knock in similar fashion to trigger a batting collapse and England lost their last eight wickets for 38 runs.

Reuters

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