Ind vs Eng: Brilliant Virat Kohli too quick for Joe Root
Virat Kohli sparks off England collapse with Joe Root's run-out; hosts 285-9 at Stumps on Day 1
The first stride seemed to be out of fatigue, the second stride seemed laborious, the third stride had the desperation and by the time Virat Kohli took his fourth stride, he had already deceived Joe Root in his judgment of a second run. By the time Root realised his mistake, the Indian skipper had picked up the ball at square-leg and threw the stumps down at the non-striker's end. Root was run out for 80.
In four steps and a throw, Kohli had turned the course of the day in his team's favour. He even ensured Root knew about it, by blowing a kiss towards the dressing room and imitating the Root's 'bat drop', a gesture the England captain had made after reaching a ton in the recent ODI series. Root's wicket triggered a collapse, as England went from a commanding position of 216 for three to end the day on 285 for nine. Sam Curran was batting on 24 at stumps.
India would have been disappointed at the way the day started, with Umesh Yadav spraying the new ball and Ajinkya Rahane spilling a catch in the slips. The off-colour bowling led to Kohli turning to Ravichandran Ashwin as early as the seventh over. The move proved to be a masterstroke as Ashwin produced a jaffa from around the wicket to knock over Alistair Cook.
As the moisture disappeared and the sun broke through the clouds, batting had become relatively easy. The surface had lost its pace and Root had an abundance of time to stay deep in his crease and manoeuvre the ball behind point at ease. Along with Keaton Jennings, he took the score to 98, before the opener dragged a harmless ball from Mohammad Shami on to the stumps.
Shami was easily India's best fast bowler as his pre-dominantly fuller length had the English batsmen pushing unconvincingly at balls on the line of the stumps. Throughout the day, Shami's pace hovered around 140kmh and his beautiful release ensured the ball continued to hoop through the air. The right-arm seamer might have a tough time off the field in recent times, but the way he charged in and delivered for his side had to be credited.
Shami was well complemented by Ashwin, who hit back at his critics by finishing the day with 4-60. At the end of the day, India will be happier of the two sides, but a lot of that credit has to go their skipper. It was his sheer brilliance that tilted the day in India's favour.
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