England in driving seat after India fold up for 78

On the first day of the third Test at Headingly on Wednesday, England great James Anderson blasted through India’s top order, reducing them to 78 all out.

England had already built a 42-run advantage by stumps, as Rory Burns (52) and Haseeb Hameed (60) played through 42 overs to take them to 120 for no loss at 21-0 at tea.

Anderson had earlier taken 3-6 in eight overs, including the prize wicket of India captain Virat Kohli, the toss winner. After lunch, Sam Curran and Craig Overton both got two wickets in two balls, with Overton finishing with 3-14 in 10.4 overs after replacing injured fast bowler Mark Wood.

India, who were 56-4 at lunch, lost their final six wickets for 22 runs, and the innings was concluded in just over three hours and 41 overs.

Since being dismissed for 42 at Lord’s in 1974, this was India’s lowest Test total against England.

It came after a 36-run Test innings total against Australia in Adelaide in December, during a series India subsequently won 2-1.

Rohit Sharma (19) and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (18) were the only India batsmen to make it into double figures on Wednesday, with 16 runs coming in extras.

An unchanged India came into this match 1-0 up in the five-Test series after a superb 151-run win at Lord’s last week.

England, by contrast, recalled Overton after Wood, joined fellow quicks Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer and Olly Stone on the sidelines.

Kohli won the toss and despite the overcast conditions that promised to aid Anderson, already the most successful quick bowler in Test history, decided to bat.

But India, having seen Rahul and Rohit share a century opening stand at Lord’s, were 1-1 off just the fifth ball of the day.

Following several inswingers, Anderson pitched one up that moved less and Rahul, fresh from his 129 at Lord’s, fell for a duck when he edged a booming drive to wicket-keeper Jos Buttler.

The often-gritty Pujara lasted just nine balls for one, undone by a superb Anderson delivery that both swung away and seamed off the pitch.

Anderson and Kohli had exchanged angry words at Lord’s after the England tailender had been subjected to a bouncer barrage from Jasprit Bumrah.

But there was little time for any more ‘sledging’ as Kohli, without a Test hundred in two years and averaging just 23 since January 2020, fell for seven when he tried to drive an Anderson ball, he might have defended to give Buttler another catches.

Rahul, Pujara and Kohli managed just eight runs between them.

Ollie Robinson then struck with what became the last ball before lunch when Rahane (18) also nicked behind.

The dangerous Rishabh Pant fell for just two when, playing a loose shot off Robinson, he too became one of Buttler’s five catches in the innings.

Rohit, who made a fine 83 at Lord’s, fell next when he mishooked a looping bouncer from Overton to Robinson at mid-on Next ball India were 67-7 when Mohammed Shami, who had defied England with a Test-best 56 at Lord’s, was out for a duck when he edged Burns into the slips.

Curran then took two in two balls as well, with Ravindra Jadeja and Bumrah lbw to the left-arm swing bowler.

The innings ended when Mohammed Siraj was caught head-high in the slips by England captain Joe Root off Overton.

A measure of England’s dominance so far was that Ishant Sharma conceded nine runs in his first over, more than Anderson gave up in his spell.

Zainab Murtaza

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