Home » Fifth Test: England endure torrid day one as batsmen flop and bowlers toil against India

Fifth Test: England endure torrid day one as batsmen flop and bowlers toil against India

An age old problem unfolded. Once bowlers in a Test series in India have a batsman’s number it is very hard to find an escape route. The relentlessness wears down everyone. Before the match Stokes said he was on guard against ‘departure lounge syndrome’ but the end for some cannot come quick enough. 

The sight of 48 year-old batting coach Marcus Trescothick in his whites and ready to be a sub fielder because of illness to others summed up how this tour is ending.

England lost seven wickets for 43 in 14.1 overs, the fourth successive match a batting collapse has changed the game, to be all out for a well below par 218.

With India putting up their first century opening stand of the series and closing on 135-1 at 4.5 an over, Rohit Sharma ominous on 52 not out after Yashasvi Jaiswal’s almost run a ball 57, it feels England are on a long and winding road to 4-1.

The last Ranji Trophy match played here, on the same pitch in February, saw 36 wickets fall to seam. All 10 here went to spin, proving the beauty of India’s myriad of possibilities as country is reflected in its cricket.

This was not really conditions based though. In Kuldeep, India have a wrist spinner who could turn the ball on an icy mountain top. His five for 72 on day one is ominous for later in the game when there will be more spin on offer.

Since his recall following the Hyderabad defeat, Yadav has turned the series with 17 wickets at 20. After a long spell out the team, when he was thought to be too predictable and lacked fizz off the pitch, Kuldeep has worked hard on his fitness to put more energy into his action. He is more experienced too and better at disguising his wiles. England have failed to pick his codes, struggling to spot his googly and after four Tests still deceived by his flight and turn off the pitch.