James Anderson Shines in Rain-Affected First Session as India Lose Openers

James Anderson once again brought his A-game on the table as he got the better of the Indian openers in the first session of rescheduled fifth Test match. The English bowlers took complete advantage of the overcast conditions but it was only Anderson who got wickets under his kitty by dismissing Shubman Gill (17) and Cheteshwar Pujara (13). The rain forced an early lunch on Day 1 as India were 53/2 in 20.1 overs at that time.

On Day 1, England skipper Ben Stokes won the toss and chose to bowl first which indicated that the hosts are going to play an aggressive brand of cricket in the series decider. In the absence of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, who opened the innings in first four Tests of the series last year, Gill and Pujara were designated as the Indian openers.

Gill started on a positive note with a couple of glorious drives which moved him quickly to 17 but a lapse of concentration forced him to edge a ball outside off stump which went straight to Zak Crawley at slip. He scored four boundaries during his short knock but his dismissal brought Hanuma Vihari into the middle early. Anderson and his bowling partner Stuart Broad tested Indian batters’ patience by pitching the majority of balls outside off stump, but Vihari and Pujara stood strong to show some resilience. Matty Potts caused some troubles for Vihari and almost got the better of him but Crawley dropped a tricky catch at second slip to give him a lifeline.

While Anderson in his second spell troubled the Indian duo with his outswingers and finally he broke the deadlock to get the better of Pujara. The veteran English pacer got some extra bounce from the surface on that delivery and Pujara failed to check his defence and edged it to Crawley who took his second catch of the match.

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli (2*) and Hanuma Vihari (14*) were in the middle when the rain stopped the play in the 21st over of the match which forced an early lunch break.

Earlier, at the toss, stand-in India captain Jasprit Bumrah said that he was happy with the team’s preparation in the warm-up match.

“It’s a good feeling (to be captain) and is a big privilege. Can’t get better than this. Excited and looking forward to this. Very happy with the preparation. Wanted to spend a lot of time and get used to the English conditions, as we came back from T20s. Happy with the preparation, now it’s for the mental side to take over. Four bowlers – myself, Siraj, Shardul and Shami along with Jaddu as the all-rounder,” Bumrah said at the toss.

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