Indian pace attack rattle England in fourth test


SOUTHAMPTON: England fell to 57 for four at lunch on the first day of the fourth test after India's pace attack produced an outstanding session of bowling at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday.


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 before Bumrah made it 28 for three with another fine delivery which straightened and Jonny Bairstow edged it to keeper Rishabh Pant.

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.

The only blemish in an otherwise perfect session from India came when Jos Buttler was dropped on 11 when he edged the ball to offer a low catch to Pant off Mohammed Shami.

At lunch Buttler was unbeaten on 13 and Ben Stokes on 12. England badly need that pair, who combined for a 169 partnership in the second innings in the last test, to build another serious contribution.

India had named an unchanged team while for England, batsman Ollie Pope was left out and seamer Chris Woakes was missing with a thigh injury.

England have a change at wicket-keeper where Bairstow's finger injury means he will play as a specialist batsman with Buttler taking over behind the stumps.