IND vs ENG: Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah's strikes rock England on Day 1
England collapse to 198-7 on Day One after opener Alastair Cook falls for 71 in his farewell Test
For a period of 25 minutes after lunch, England had not scored a run. India had bowled five maidens on the trot. The packed crowd at the Oval was getting restless as the scoreboard was motionless on 68-1. Then, finally the opportunity was created. Ishant Sharma squared up Alistair Cook, found the edge, but Ajinkya Rahane standing at gully spilled the low chance. Next over, another chance was created by Jasprit Bumrah. This time, Virat Kohli was the guilty party as he dropped Moeen Ali on two.
It was such moments that India had failed to capitalise on throughout the series and England finished the opening day of the fifth Test on 198-7 which they will surely be unhappy about.
England opener Alastair Cook receives a guard of honour from Indian players as he walks out to bat on Day One at the Oval yesterday
Moeen and Cook would make India pay dearly, adding 73 for the second wicket as England went to tea at 123-1. It was an absorbing second session as the Indian seamers finally found the perfect length after being slightly wayward in the opening session. It finally took Ravindra Jadeja to break the opening stand of 60, as he had Keaton Jennings guiding one straight to leg-slip for 23.
Meanwhile, Cook, playing in his final Test match, accumulated runs in his typical manner. A large proportion of his runs were got by the flick of his pads or the hips. In between, there was the sweetly-timed straight drive along with the firm push through the covers. As he passed 50, he became the first opener from either side to cross the milestone in the series. Bumrah finally dislodged the former England skipper by having him chop one onto his stumps for a well-made 73. Cook left to a warm applause and his wicket also seemed to bring the best out of the Indian bowlers.
Bumrah trapped Joe Root leg before wicket for a duck and in the next over Ishant had Jonny Bairstow edging behind for zero, as England slipped from 133-1 to 134-4. The triple strike brought India back into the match. With the second new ball looming, Ben Stokes fell trying to work one across the line from Jadeja, as the England middle order failed to cash in. Moeen, in the meantime, frustrated the daylights out of the Indians as he brought up the fifty in 167 balls, the slowest in his Test career.
The elegant left-hander was beaten over 25 times in the day, but dug in for over three hours. Ishant finally found the edge of Moeen's bat on 50 and, two balls later, removed the dangerous Sam Curran for a duck as India finished the day with all the momentum.
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