Just like the previous two Test matches, Indian spinners once again shined with the ball as they dominated proceedings on Day 1 of the ongoing fourth Test against England at Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad.
The pair of Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin shared seven wickets, with Axar taking four and Ashwin picking up three scalps as the visitors got bundled out for 205 runs in 75.5 overs.
England started the day pretty poor after losing three wickets for 30 runs, with Axar removing both the openers Zak Crawley (9) and Dom Sibley (2), followed by Mohammed Siraj sending English captain Joe Root (5) back into the pavilion.
Ben Stokes (55) and Jonny Bairstow (28) held the innings after adding 48 runs for the fourth wicket before Siraj broke the partnership by dismissing Bairstow. Stokes continued scoring runs from the other end and formed another short but crucial partnership with Ollie Pope (29) for the fifth wicket.
The English all-rounder reached his half-century and was looking settled to add more runs for his team, but Washington Sundar deceived him by trapping in front. Pope formed a 45-run stand with Dan Lawrence (46) before becoming the victim of Ashwin once again in the series.
The bottom four players only made 21 runs as England got all out for 205 in their first innings. In reply, India also had a terrible start as they lost opener Shubman Gill in the very first over bowled by veteran English paceman James Anderson. At stumps, India scored 24/1 with Rohit Sharma (8 no) and Cheteshwar Pujara (15 no) at the crease.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
England’s batting so far worse than any of the last few Tests … This Pitch is a perfect surface to get a big first innings score … No spin … Ball coming onto the Bat … Very poor Batting so far … #INDvENG
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) March 4, 2021
The way both the England openers got out this morning,it’s fair to say the scars from the last two matches are still fresh in their minds. #INDvsENG
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) March 4, 2021
Sunil Gavaskar is one of the goat commentators. Love listening to him. 🇮🇳🏴 #INDvENG
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) March 4, 2021
Every time Siraj has played for India, he has looked like he knows how to get Test wickets. #INDvENG
— Sambit Bal (@sambitbal) March 4, 2021
Fewest runs conceded to reach 20 wickets in Tests:
167 RAL Massie (Aus) 1972
174 AR Patel (Ind) 2021
181 CTB Turner (Aus) 1887-88
— Andrew Samson (@AWSStats) March 4, 2021
Reminder, we still live in a world where Axar Patel's Test bowling average is under 10.
— Jarrod Kimber (@ajarrodkimber) March 4, 2021
Love and respect Murali – how can you not? But Ashwin is the best finger spinner I’ve seen. On every level, what a master. #INDvENG
— Adam Collins (@collinsadam) March 4, 2021
England all out for 205. Axar beats Ashwin 4-3.
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) March 4, 2021
England's unworthy batting this series now bears comparison with some of the ignoble horrors of the past. Totals of 205 or under:
8 v S Africa 1905-06, West Indies 1985-86
7 v Australia 1997
6 v West Indies 1988, Australia 2013-14, India 2020-21
— Simon Wilde (@swildecricket) March 4, 2021
Five maidens to start for James Anderson. This is the longest into an innings he's taken to concede a run since he took 32 balls against India in July 2014. #INDvENG
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) March 4, 2021
For the first time in his Test career, Ben Foakes' batting average is less than Jos Buttler's
— Ben Jones (@benjonescricket) March 4, 2021
— OptaJim (@OptaJim) March 4, 2021
205 is more than England have managed in recent times but this is below par on the surface as it is playing now
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 4, 2021
Ashwin denies Axar Patel his 4th 5-for in his first 5 innings in Tests. Tom Richardson (England, 1890s) and Rodney Hogg (Aus, late 1970s) remain the only two bowlers with four 5-fors in their first 5 Test innings. Just the 22 wickets at 10.8 for Axar. Tidy start.
— Andy Zaltzman (@ZaltzCricket) March 4, 2021
Siraj is one of the most exciting bowlers in world cricket at the moment #INDvENG
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) March 4, 2021
This Test cricket malarkey looks to be a doddle for Axar Patel. #INDvENG
— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) March 4, 2021
James Anderson is such a champion bowler. Gets Shubman Gill in the first over. 612 wickets and counting. Playing his 160th Test
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) March 4, 2021
India’s day, again. They bowled superbly on a decent surface. High-class bowlers doing high-class things. But England’s batsmen helped them plenty too #INDvENG
— Rob Johnston (@RobJ_Cricket) March 4, 2021
Sad to see Bess bowling before Root. No respect for England's highest wicket taker from last match. #ENGvIND
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) March 4, 2021
— Sreedhar Pillai (@sri50) March 4, 2021
Pant – Someone is getting angry, Some is getting angry now.
Kohli – Bad shot coming boys.
Next ball, Crawley hits an aerial shot and given another wicket to Axar Patel.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) March 4, 2021
Axar Patel last 3 Test innings:
Took Wicket in first Over
Took Wicket in first Over
Took Wicket in first Over
— Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) March 4, 2021
— Dr. Gill 2.0 (@ikpsgill1) March 4, 2021