On a day the conditions looked somewhat opposite than what it was the night before, Mohammed Shami rallied hard to keep India still alive with two wickets that included the important scalp of England captain Joe Root. It kept England down to 89/4 at the end of the first session on day 3 at the Lord’s Test on Saturday.
The fast bowler was in top-form extracting seam movement from the pitch that still was conducive to fast bowling and reaped rewards in the eight over, trapping opener Keaton Jennings plumb in-front of the wicket to get the first breakthrough.
He was also supported by Ishant Sharma and Hardik Pandya, both of whom chipped in with a wicket each.
England had begun well and scored quick runs as both Shami and Ishant Sharma plotted to bowl down the leg side. But things started to change for the better when they came round the wicket. And just an over after Shami had sent Jennings back, Ishant struck. With little movement still available off the pitch, the lanky-fast bowler hurried Alastair Cook (21) into playing with a straight bat as the ball edged his willow and went straight into wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik’s gloves.
Cook looked in fine touch during his short stay at the crease and played some gorgeous cover-drives off Sharma, before getting out to the same bowler.
Hardik Pandya then castled debutant Oliver Pope (28) to leave England with three wickets down at the score of 77. Pope, 20, looked completely in brilliant form in his first ever Test match forcing Indian skipper Virat Kohli to take Kuldeep Yadav off the attack after getting most of his runs off the chinaman.
Shami the returned in the final minutes of the first session to take the prized wicket of Root (19) who struggled with his feet movements while playing the Indian fast bowlers. After bowling a wonderful second spell to the England skipper, Shami sent one inside into Root’s pads to trap him right in-front the stumps.
Meanwhile, in a strange decision, India’s lead bowler at Edgbaston Ravichandran Ashwin didn’t get a single over to bowl in the opening innings. After taking seven wickets in the first match which India lost by 31 runs, the off-spinner was not given a single over before lunch.
Earlier, helped by the overcast conditions James Anderson wreaked havoc in the Indian batting order taking his sixth five-wicket haul at the “home of cricket” to bowl India out for a paltry 107.