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Indian pacers impress on opening morning of first Test against England


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NOTTINGHAM: The highly-rated Indian fast bowlers were up to the task on the opening morning of the first Test, reducing England to 61 for two at lunch here on Wednesday.

With the sun beating down on a packed Trent Bridge, Joe Root opted to bat on a dry pitch with a decent covering of grass on top.

Jasprit Bumrah, who was not at his best during the World Test Championship final, was back in his element as he trapped Rory Burns in front with a sharp inswinger in the first over of the match after setting him up with three outswingers.

Bumrah bowled his heart out in his six-over spell beating the batsmen multiples times.

Mohammaed Shami, who bowled seven overs first up, too troubled Zak Crawley (27 off 68) and Dom Sibley (18 batting off 67) on a number of occasions but as it often happens with him in England, the outside edge eluded him.

The pitch had enough for the pacers in the first hour of play with the ball swinging and seaming around.

Crawley, who averages little over 10 this year, batted well before being dismissed by Mohammad Siraj, who was picked ahead of Ishant Sharma.

After India wasted one review for a caught behind in the same over, Siraj finally induced an inside edge from Crawley's bat and this time skipper Virat Kohli reviewed it successfully.

With India going in with four pacers, Shardul Thakur came into the side but the one spinner picked was Ravindra Jadeja, who didn't bowl in the first session.

Dropping premier spinner R Ashwin was a big call as he had been well prepared for the series opener with his preparation including a county game.

Thakur, picked for his natural ability to swing the ball besides his lower-order batting, looked in good rhythm in the five overs he bowled.

Sibley survived a close lbw shot off Bumrah at the stroke of lunch but Kohli resisted the temptation for another review and rightly so.

Twenty five overs were bowled in the session with skipper Joe Root (10 off 12) batting alongside Sibley at the break.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)