India’s seamers ran amok on the first morning at the Ageas Bowl to leave England’s batting line-up in turmoil and Joe Root pondering his decision to bat first.
The England captain opted for first use of a good batting surface in Southampton with few doubting the validity of the decision. But the potent new-ball combination of Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma made life very difficult for the home side’s top order.
Bumrah in particular was a considerable handful, swinging the ball both ways and hitting the seam at high pace. Having pushed a number of balls away to the left-handed Keaton Jennings, the first ball of his second over hooped back into the Lancashire opener, who, completely bamboozled, offered an ungainly leave and was struck plumb in front.
Cook’s loose edge finds Kohli and England are once again relying on Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes to save an innings.
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) August 30, 2018
Root himself was handed a reprieve when Bumrah – who would have had the England No. 3 lbw on review – was judged to have overstepped. But Root was soon out leg before at the other end, when a review could not save the England captain from the accuracy of a Sharma inswinger.
Bairstow nicked an excellent Bumrah delivery to Rishabh Pant behind the wicket, before Alastair Cook, whose form had been under so much scrutiny coming into the game, eventually succumbed to first-change Hardik Pandya. England’s record run-scorer looked to late cut a shortish ball from the Indian all-rounder but managed only to angle it into the hands of Virat Kohli, who took a wonderful catch at third slip.
India head coach Ravi Shastri had said after the Trent Bridge game that this was India’s best-ever seam attack and on the evidence of the first morning it would be hard to argue with him.