After reducing England to 86/6, India fail to clean up the tail thanks to all-rounder’s 78-run knock
Pacer Jasprit Bumrah took 3/46 as India dismissed England for 246 on the opening day of 4th Test in Southampton
Southampton: All-rounder Sam Curran rescued England after its latest top-order collapse by scoring a careerhigh 78 to push the team to a potentially competitive 246 all out on day one of the fourth test against India on Thursday.
The visitors reached stumps on 19-0 after getting through the final four overs of the day unscathed, but will rue not taking fuller control of a match they need to win to level the five-match series at 2-2.
England was 86-6 at one stage at Southampton, but Curran and Moeen Ali (40) put on 81 for the seventh wicket to lead a recovery. Curran, a 20-year-old rising star of the English game, swept a six to bring up the second half-century in his three-test career and was the last man out.
Paceman Jasprit Bumrah was the best of India’s bowlers, finishing with figures of 3-46 off 20 overs.
Earlier, England had struggled to 139 for six at tea after India’s pace attack proved too good for their top order at the Ageas Bowl.
Moeen Ali (30) and Sam Curran (27) provided some much needed stability after England had slumped to 86 for six but they will need to bat deep into the evening session if the tourists are to be made to work for a first innings lead.
England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat in glorious sunshine and with a track that looked nicely prepared for batting.
England lead the five-test series 2-1 but were outplayed in the third test at Trent Bridge and once again on Thursday the tourists’ bowling attack combined aggression, movement and consistency as they removed the top order cheaply.
Jasprit Bumrah continued where he left off at Trent Bridge, getting the early breakthrough in the third over with an unexpected delivery bamboozling Keaton Jennings.
Bumrah produced rare inswing to the left-hander which struck Jennings, who had opted to leave the ball, on the pads and the England opener was removed without scoring.
Root was also trapped lbw by Ishant Sharma with a full length ball which moved in late.
England’s gamble to include Jonny Bairstow as a specialist batsman even though the regular wicketkeeper is nursing a fractured finger on his left hand also backfired.
Batting on six, Bairstow edged another fine delivery from Bumrah to keeper Rishabh Pant as England floundered on 28 for three.
Alastair Cook made 17 before an attempted late cut off Hardik Pandya flew to skipper Virat Kohli who pocketed the chance at third slip. His 55-ball knock included three boundaries.
England’s Sam Curran celebrates his 50 as India’s wk Rishabh Pant looks on on Day 1 of the fourth Test in Southampton on Thursday; (Left) India’s Jasprit Bumrah celebrates Keaton Jennings’s wicket