London– England pacers came to the party as they took the top three Indian wickets in the first session of the fourth Test at the Oval on Thursday. India went to lunch at 54/3 with Virat Kohli (18 not out) and Ravindra Jadeja (2 not out) at the crease.
The Indian openers started well to reach 28/0 in first seven overs, especially with K.L. Rahul playing some lovely drives. But Chris Woakes, introduced in the ninth over, dismissed Rohit Sharma (11) with an absolute peach of a delivery. Nipping off the pitch with extra bounce from short of length, Woakes forced Sharma to play at it. The ball took the outer edge of the shoulder of the bat to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.
Rahul (17) became the second wicket to fall in the 14th over when a full nip-backer from Ollie Robinson crashed high into the back pad. Rahul took the review but replays showed the ball hitting the top of middle-stump.
Cheteshwar Pujara stopped a run of seven maidens with a flick through square leg. But he couldn’t last long as James Anderson dismissed him for the 11th time in Test cricket. Anderson got the outswinger to move away in the 20th over. Pujara (4) charged down to prod but nicked behind to Bairstow.
Kohli looked focused during his 29-ball stay, scoring three boundaries, one of which made him the fastest man to reach 23,000 international runs. Jadeja, a surprise promotion at five, is surviving despite looking in trouble over deciding which deliveries to leave or play.
Scores: India 54/3 in 25 overs (Virat Kohli 18 not out, KL Rahul 17, Chris Woakes 1/4, Ollie Robinson 1/8) vs England (IANS)