Debutant Axar Patel has his maiden Test wicket in his second over. And it is the opposition captain Joe Root who fell prey to the left-arm spinner. Root who has been in fine touch lately had to depart as he mistimed the sweep shot, one he fancies the most against spinners. The credit here is to Axar who bowled it a touch fuller, outfoxing the English captain.
The ball landed into one of the roughs and turned away massively. Root, who was going again for the sweep, lost balance and offered a top edge to short fine leg. The field was perfectly set and it was a sitter for Ravichandran Ashwin.
England in serious trouble
On a typical Chennai pitch, the visitors are in huge trouble having lost four wickets by lunch. Having put a respectable score of 329 on the board, India has been right on the money with the ball. With the pitch-perfect for spinners, Ashwin has scalped a wicket after Ishant Sharma removed opener, Joe Burns, for a duck.
The onus is now on the star all-rounder Ben Stokes and young Ollie Pope to stable the ship. As of now, it seems impossible for England to take a first-innings lead. With the pitch perfectly poised to suit the hosts, England will be looking to hang in there as long as possible. And cut down India’s first-innings lead to the lowest possible. With the likes of Moeen Ali and Ben Foakes still to come, the visitors still have a glimmer of hope.