Sport

Curran rocks India top-order, visitors struggling at 76/3 at lunch

Curran rocks India top-order, visitors struggling at 76/3 at lunch

India have always been criticised for their poor close catching but England, with the tourists still on 100 for five, dropped two slip chances of their own, with Malan reprieving Kohli off Anderson.

That was the last delivery of the over and the next ball saw all-rounder Hardik Pandya missed on nought when Cook dropped a routine first-slip chance off Stokes. It is a manifesto of what they are going to achieve, by bending opponents to their will; and, unlike politicians, they usually adhere to it. Kohli announced that he can score red-ball runs in England in spite of James Anderson's stated belief.

The first of three wickets to fall for eight runs as he side slipped 3-216, Root's misfortune was accompanied by a full-house "send-off" from his opposite number Virat Kohli.

Curran gave the hosts a huge boost as he dismissed India's top three batsmen, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and Lokesh Rahul, in the space of nine runs.

But Curran returned to have Pandya lbw for 22 with an inswinging yorker.

Vijay and Dhawan provided a good start seeing off the new ball pair of James Anderson (0/20 in 10 overs) and Stuart Broad (0/22 in 4 overs) for nearly an hour.

The opener managed only to push the ball down into his crease off back-foot defence, then onto his foot before it trickled back onto the base of the stumps. It didn't help matters that England lost an early review as Anderson's loud appeal was turned down, with DRS ruling in favour of the umpire's decision. Curran hit the ideal length as first-change bowler and immediately trapped Vijay lbw in the 14th over. Curran made it a quick triple blow as Dhawan was caught at second slip in the 16th over.

Anderson improved his length and troubled Kohli for the next two overs, before Adil Rashid (0-5) brought things to a close in this session. India still trail by 211 runs. Mohammed Shami (3-64) had Sam Curran (24) caught behind in the second over of the morning to put the Indians in a driving seat.

Ravichandran Ashwin, who ended the day with four wickets, inflicting the bulk of the damage for the visitors.


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