England bowls India for 152, makes 113-3 in reply
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Stuart Broad ripped through India’s batting order with six wickets as the tourists were bowled out for just 152 on day one of the fourth test against England at Old Trafford on Thursday.
England reached 113-3 in a shaky reply before stumps as Alastair Cook’s woes with the bat returned, with the captain making only 17 before falling to Vuran Aaron.
Cook, who had looked comfortable at the crease following scores of 95 and 70 in England’s series-leveling third test victory at the Rose Bowl, pulled Aaron to Punkaj Singh at long leg.
But the day still belonged to Cook’s side, with Broad embarrassing India’s batting order with 6-25 after Mahendra Singh Dhoni had won the toss and elected to bat on a hard wicket.
It was a decision that Cook said he would have taken too, but with the start delayed by 30 minutes due to light rain and heavy cloud cover remaining for an hour when play began, Broad and James Anderson seized the advantage for the hosts.
They demolished India’s top order, leaving the touriwsts on 8-4 after 5.1 overs.
“I must admit I was a little bit disappointed when we lost the toss,” Broad said. “That first hour, the overheads made a big difference. It just felt like every ball was nick-able really and there is decent pace in the wicket, so the nicks would carry. You saw when the blue sky came out and the sun showed its face, it got a bit better for batting.”
Broad and Anderson’s blitz began when Gautam Gambhir (4), called into the starting side in place of Shikhar Dhawan as one of India’s three changes from the third test, edged Broad to Joe Root at gully for a routine catch, before Murali Vijay (0) nicked Anderson to Cook at first slip.
Virat Kohli (0) followed in the exact same manner two balls later as Anderson enforced England’s advantage, before Chris Jordan dived to his right and held an edge from Cheteshwar Pujara (0) at fourth slip for Broad’s second wicket.
Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane offered some resistance and made the scoreboard slightly more respectable for India with a partnership of 54, before Rahane (24) edged Jordan to Ian Bell at second slip shortly before lunch.
Anderson then trapped Ravindra Jadeja (0) lbw swiftly after the interval before Broad took the next four dismissals.
Ravichandran Ashwin (40), replacing Rohit Sharma in India’s team, was tempted by a short delivery from Broad and hooked high but not far as Sam Robson came in from deep square leg to catch.
In Broad’s next over, he bowled Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0) with a delivery that crashed into off stump.
Dhoni, who had made a defiant 71 as the only batsman pass 50, then picked out Jordan at deep backward square leg.
Broad ended the innings three balls later, clean bowling Punkaj Singh for India’s sixth duck and sealing his six wicket haul. Varun Aaron, replacing Mohammed Shami, was unbeaten on 1.
England’s reply did not begin strongly, as Robson’s poor form continued when he fell for 6 to Kumar. The opening batsman failed to protect his off stump, leaving a delivery that weaved inwards and sent his bails flying.
Cook then fell and England were wobbling on 36-2. Gary Ballance and Bell looked to have thwarted India’s early momentum with a third-wicket partnership of 77, but there was still one wicket left to fall.
Ballance, who appeared comfortable on 37, was dismissed lbw to Aaron in the final over of the session.
“Overall we’ve had a fantastic day,” Broad said. “Losing Gary in the last over was disappointing but you’d take 39 short with seven wickets in hand.”
Nightwatchman Jordan saw out the final three balls without scoring alongside Bell, who was not out on 45.