Eng vs Ind, 5th Test, Day 1, Top Performances: Rishabh Pant's 146, Ravindra Jadeja's 83* and James Anderson's 3-52 are top three performances. India at 338-7 at the stumps of Day 1. Rishabh Pant-Ravindra Jadeja add 222-run off 239 balls for 6th wicket.
Brief Scores: India 338-7 (Pant 146, Jadeja 83*, Anderson 52/3) at Stumps on Day 1
India and England are at odds with each other at Edgbaston in Birmingham to complete their five-match Test series which commenced last year. The series was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As Virat Kohli gave up captaincy in all formats of cricket, Rohit Sharma was the official captain of India for this Test, however, Rohit missed this game after he contracted the virus recently. Thus India’s premier seamer Jasprit Bumrah assumed leadership duties for India for the first time in Test cricket. England skipper Ben Stokes won the toss and chose to field first.
India go in with four-pronged pace attack
India went with Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara as openers, followed by Hanuman Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant in the batting line-up. Also, India are playing four pacers in the playing eleven - Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur - along with spin-bowling all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
England have Alex Lees and Zak Crawley as openers and their middle-order comprises of Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Sam Billings. They included three pacers in the playing eleven - James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Matthew Potts along with one pace-bowling all-rounder, Ben Stokes and one spinner, Jack Leach.
Let’s gauge the top three performances from Day 1 of the 5th Test between England and India.
James Anderson picked three wickets to break many records
England old guard James Anderson, who has taken 651 wickets in his 19-year-old glorious Test career, is probably playing the last time against India at home. The 39-year-old veteran displayed the finest specimen of swing bowling early in the morning to trouble India openers Gill and Pujara. He beat Gill a few times before dismissing him in the seventh over. He bowled close to the off stump and took it away from the Gill which was edged by the batter and Crawley made no mistake at second slip. Gill cracked a few boundaries before getting out on 17 off 24 balls.
Anderson threatened next batter, Hanuma Vihari in the initial phase of his innings, but the batter managed to survive against the finest exponent of swing bowling in his den. Anderson and other England pacers bowled intimidating bowling to Pujara and Vihari and checked the run-flow from the batters. Pujara was playing too cautiously against Anderson, however, extra bounce generated by the latter drew the edge from the blade of Pujara and Crawley grabbed the catch at the second slip. Pujara made only 13 runs off 46 deliveries in his laboured innings.
Anderson’s bowling partner Matthew Potts took two big wickets of Vihari and Kohli in back-to-back overs and put India on the backfoot. Next batter Shreyas Iyer tried to milk quick runs with the help of a few boundaries, however, he got out by playing an odd shot on a personal score of 15. He played a leg glance but edged straight to wicketkeeper Billings. These wickets by Anderson and Potts demolished half of Team India with just 98 runs on the scoreboard.
James Anderson has bagged 172 wickets after turning 35 in Test cricket, only West Indies legendary player Courtney Walsh has taken more wickets (180) than the former.
Also, Anderson became the only bowler in the world to take 100 Test wickets against one opponent at home by dismissing 102 India batters on England pitches.
Rishabh Pant lights up the stadium with a whirlwind century
India’s wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant has tasted huge success on his previous tours to England, Australia and South Africa. On Friday, when India were in trouble, Pant checked in on the pitch. He came on the wicket when India lost three wickets with just 64 runs on the scoreboard, which became 98 for five in the next few overs.
India desperately needed a stable partnership in the middle and that is when Pant and Ravindra Jadeja came to the rescue for their side. They didn’t play too cautiously even if India were five down. They counterattacked against host pacers by slamming boundaries early in the innings against the famous swing bowling duo of England - Anderson and Broad. However, it was an over bowled by spinner Jack Leach in which Pant went on a rampage by cracking two boundaries and one gigantic six.
The batting pair of Pant and Jadeja helped India reach 150 in just a few minutes with their attacking batting. Pant completed his fifty in just 51 deliveries, by playing an elegant boundary off Leach. India reached 174 for five till Tea.
After the break, Pant hammered two boundaries in one over bowled by pacer Potts. Both batters continued to smash boundaries in every over. Every England bowler looked clueless against them. Pant clobbered two more boundaries against Potts to take India to 200 quickly. Jadeja also followed Pant by smashing two boundaries in the next over of newbie Potts.
This counterattack by Pant and Jadeja overpowered England bowlers. Pant struck two more boundaries against spinner Leach to reach nineties and completed his fifth Test century in the next over in just 89 deliveries, which is the fastest hundred at Edgbaston in 120 years of Test history at this venue. The previous record-holder was England batter Kevin Pietersen who scored a century in just 115 balls at this venue.
Pant played his out-of-the-box shots against leading England pacers. He hit a one-handed six over long-on which went 101 metres, and also reverse swept legendary pacer Anderson over the third man boundary. No England bowler could stop Pant from striking boundaries at will.
After reaching 100, Pant continued to bash host bowlers. He went berserk against Leach to pummel two fours and two sixes to gather 22 runs in one of his overs. Pant also clobbered two boundaries against part-time bowler Joe Root. In the meanwhile, India reached 300-5 due to a double-century partnership between the batting duo of Pant and Jadeja. A 150 was in sight of Pant, however, Joe Root dismissed him when he was only four short of the figure.
Pant played a destructive knock of 146 runs off just 111 deliveries to rescue his side from the precarious condition. Pant’s stupendous knock was studded with 20 fours and four towering sixes.
Rishabh Pant became the only third Indian player to score a hundred in Tests in Edgbaston after Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. Rishabh Pant also struck the fastest century by an India wicketkeeper batter in just 89 deliveries by breaking the previous record made by MS Dhoni against Pakistan in Faisalabad when he scored a hundred off 93 balls. Rishabh Pant now has 2000+ runs in Test cricket in 31 games at an average of 43.04.
Ravindra Jadeja played another fine innings in England
India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been known for his vital knocks in away conditions for his side. Once again, Jadeja proved his mettle by smashing a fifty in tough conditions at Edgbaston. The 33-year-old batter suffered few close calls early in the innings, however, after striking a boundary off Broad through mid-on, he never looked back and continued to milk runs at will.
At the other end, Pant broke England's bowling attack into pieces with his furious batting. Jadeja was happy to play second fiddle to Pant till the latter was on the pitch. The left-hander completed his fifty off 109 deliveries after Pant completed his century. It was Jadeja’s boundary with which India reached 300. Jadeja added 222 runs with Pant for the sixth wicket to help India to consolidate in this series-decider after a poor start.
After the wicket of Pant, India lost another wicket as Shardul Thakur was bounced out by Stokes on just one. Though Jadeja took India to 338 without losing another wicket. Jadeja was unbeaten on 83 off 163 deliveries at the end of the first day.
This 338 is the highest India have ever scored on the opening day of a Test match in England.
What to Expect on Day 2
India will look forward to reaching close to 400 in the first innings to put scoreboard pressure on the hosts in this all-important series-decider Test, whereas England would want to wrap up India’s innings below 350 and bat the whole of next day to reach a good total.