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India vs England 1st Test: Sans Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, India lack leadership in attack


india vs englandindia vs england India pace attack picked only three England wickets out of the nine that fell on day one. (AP Photo)

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In the practice match against Essex, a week before the start of the first Test between India and England, the problems in India’s bowling attack became all too visible. The bowling line-up that allowed South Africa to cross the 300-run mark only once in six innings in Test cricket earlier this year, saw an unrecognised line-up of Essex surviving the visibly lack-lustrous bowling attack. Much of the similar was witnessed on Wednesday as India seamers struggled against England’s strong batting unit at Edgbaston on the first day of the first Test.

The hotly-debated topic of heat wave in England was wiped out with a cloudy morning starting the day off. It promoted India skipper Virat Kohli to be confident to be asked to bowl first by the home side, as he hoped his bowlers can use the conditions to their advantage and get a bit of swing on the ball. But Joe Root’s judgement on the pitch proved to be bang on, as the hard and dry surface left little for Indian seamers to bowl with on the first session.

India truly missed their primary bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been known to swing both ways in hot and humid conditions in India. Jasprit Bumrah, who is known for speed and accuracy with the new ball, was another quick bowler who was missed. With both players out due to injuries, India had to depend on Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma to lead the charge. The duo, to say the least, failed to impress.

WATCH: Virat Kohli responds to Joe Root with his own mic drop moment

Kohli was quick to introduce the only spinner in the playing XI — R Ashwin. He was into the attack in the seventh over and picked the first wicket for India. Alastair Cook was castled by a ripper from the off-spinner. Fast bowlers, however, still failed to build on the early wicket.

While Umesh tried to threaten the Three Lions with speed, he could not garner as much accuracy with line and length. Yadav managed to get the big wicket of Johnny Bairstow, who was looking dangerous in the middle. But it took a silly short from the wicketkeeper, who chopped after a wide delivery, only to allow the ball to knock down the stumps. Ishant Sharma tried to use bouncers, but his ineffectiveness saw England getting off to a strong start.

india vs england liveindia vs england live Kohli will be all too aware of the problems staring at him early on in the series. (Source: AP)

Mohammed Shami was impressive as he dismissed Keaton Jennings and Dawid Malan in quick succession. But it was not enough to add much fire to India’s insipid bowling attack.

Ravichandran Ashwin remained the pick of the bowlers for India and appeared to be more effective than the seam department. He picked up four wickets on day one including that of Alastair Cook, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Stuart Broad.

A bit of luck – a run out, a loose shot – and Ashwin magic, turned the tide in India’s favour in the final session. England were nicely placed at 216 for 3 but Kohli ran out Root and that triggred a collapse. England ended the day at 285 for the loss of nine wickets. Sam Curran and James Anderson will resume play on day two but India need their pacers to be more effective.

Kohli will be all too aware of the problems staring at him early on in the series. He would want to address the issues as quickly as he can, with plenty of cricketing action still to be played.

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