Axar Patel (6/38) weaves magic as India take control of pink ball test 

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  • Axar Patel (6/38) takes his 2nd successive fifer since debut as England were bundled out for 112 
  • Ishant Sharma completes 100th tests and provide India their opening wicket 
  • Ashwin (3/26) continues his dominance over England since Chennai test 
  • India lose Kohli before close to end at 99/3 with Rohit 57 notout 

It was all India on the 1st day of the much awaited pink ball test at the gigantic Motera Stadium at Ahmedabad redesignated only today as ” Narendra Modi Stadium ” .

After losing the toss India bowled first and soon had their opening success through Ishant Sharma playing in his 100th test.  His beautiful away going delivery had Sibley (0) caught at 2nd slip by Rohit Sharma . However Zak Crawley , who was playing his first test of the series after recovering from injury , started to play sublime shots all round the ground captivating the fans . Some of his driving both on the off and onside were gorgeous as he timed the ball beautifully. 

However England’s joy was shortlived as wickets started to fall rapidly and soon the innings was reduced to a highlights package by the Indian spinners. Bairstow (0) back in the team after rest was lbw to a straight one from Axar Patel . Root (17) after scratching around for some time was lbw to Ashwin . Crawley (53) after a fine fifty  was lbw to another straight one from Axar . Stokes (6) who is having an awful series ,was lbw playing ungainly to Axar . Pope (1) was brilliantly bowled by Ashwin to a ball that went other way and missed his outside edge . Leach was caught at gully by Pujara off Axar , Archer (11) was bowled showing no defence to Axar. Broad swept Axar into orbit to be caught near the boundary by Pujara and finally Foakes (12) after his long vigil played on to another straight one from Axar and England were allout 112 in little over 3 hours — surely not the score Root was looking for after winning the toss .

Axar Patel with his accuracy and nagging stump line has taken full toll of England batting. Since he is quicker through the air he is difficult to sweep as the tourists are finding from 2nd test onwards.

It seems that after the 2nd test debacle , the England batting have developed mental scars and not sure how to tackle the situation specially with Joe Root not getting runs since 1st test. 

India batted in the twilight hours and deep into the evening under lights. To their credit the England bowlers bowled very well  getting a scratchy  Gill (11)  out as he was trying to pull Archer. Pujara (0) fell cheaply lbw  to a straight ball from Leach that spin very little which  made Rohit and Kohli bat together in a solid partnership.

Rohit Sharma (57 notout)  looked in control and played the swing of Anderson , Broad and Archer  in the difficult twilight phase very well .  He looked intent on getting a big score and played sparkling shots whenever loose balls came around . He pulled and drove well and looks good for a big score. Kohli by contrast was a little scratchy and survived few close calls including a straight forward slip chance off Anderson who is still looking for his wicket since 2014. Finally Leach slipped in a straight one which Kohli (27) chopped onto the stumps trying to cut leaving India at 99/3 by close .

India brought in Jasprit Bumrah and Washington Sundar in place of Siraj and Kuldeep while England brought in Bairstow , Anderson , Archer and Crawley for Lawrence , Moeen , Stone and Burns for this test where a decent attendance watched day one. 

Brief Scores :

England  112 ( Crawley 53, Axar 6/38, Ashwin 3/26) 

India  99/3 ( Rohit Sharma 57* )

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