Pant-Jadeja stand rescues India against England

Rishabh Pant combined with Ravindra Jadeja in an unbroken 76-run partnership for the sixth wicket to arrest India's slide in the opening Test against England at Edgbaston on Friday.

>>Reuters
Published : 1 July 2022, 03:27 PM
Updated : 1 July 2022, 05:24 PM

Put into bat, India had lost both their openers in the morning session and they slumped to 98-5 after lunch with stalwart Virat Kohli among the batsmen dismissed.

They rallied, however, reaching 174-5 at tea with Pant leading their recovery with an unbeaten 53 off 52 balls.

All-rounder Jadeja was on 32 at the other end with India scoring at five-runs-an-over in the second session despite losing three wickets.

Earlier, James Anderson (3-41) gave England a strong start on his return from an ankle injury that had kept him out of the third Test against New Zealand.

The veteran seamer drew first blood when he had opener Shubman Gill (17) caught at second slip by Zak Crawley.

The same Anderson-Crawley combination went on to remove Cheteshwar Pujara who made 13.

It was an atonement of sorts for Crawley who had dropped Hanuma Vihari in the previous over from Matthew Potts.

Vihari could not capitalise on the reprieve though.

Potts removed Vihari and, in his next over, struck a bigger blow when Kohli, in two minds whether to leave or play, dragged the ball onto his stumps to depart for 11.

Anderson dismissed Shreyas Iyer with a short ball when Sam Billings flew to his left to take a stunning catch.

Pant gave an early indication of his intent when he stepped out against Anderson to hit England's most successful Test bowler ever for a boundary.

Pant's best was reserved for Jack Leach though. Pant hit the left-arm spinner for back-to-back boundaries and followed it with a six en route to a 51-ball fifty.

India captain Rohit Sharma missed the match after Testing positive for COVID-19 and seamer Jasprit Bumrah has been put in charge.

It also forced the tourists to tweak their opening pair with number three batsman Pujara moving up to partner Gill at the top of the order.

India are 2-1 up in the series which could not be completed last year following COVID-19 cases in the India camp ahead of the final match at Old Trafford.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher