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England well and truly put the scars of the Lord’s Test behind them as they pulverized the Indian team into submission on Day 1 of the Headingley Test. Coming into the match with plenty of demons on their back, England buried them after putting up a brilliant all-around display.
The visitors won the toss for the first time in eight attempts in England, Virat Kohli opted to bat first. The decision came as a surprise considering the amount of cloud cover on a gloomy Wednesday morning and the weak English top-order.
Openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul had done to deal with the England new bowlers in the first two Tests but everything came undone on Day 1. Rahul was dismissed for a four-ball duck while Cheteshwar Pujara followed him to the hut soon. Out came Kohli to vindicate his decision but he fell to James Anderson, who got his third wicket of the first hour.
Ajinkya Rahane showed glimpses of rebuilding the innings with Rohit but he fell at the stroke of lunch. Rishabh Pant’s wicket soon after triggered a stunning lower-order collapse, which saw India get bowled out for 78 in under 41 overs. Heroes with the bat at Lord’s, Mohammad Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah fell for golden ducks as England seized the initiative.
It was a combined effort from the hosts in the bowling department. While Anderson picked up the first three wickets in his first spell, he didn’t have to come back again as the rest chipped in. Ollie Robinson, Sam Curran, and Craig Overton picked up the rest of the eight wickets.
The job wasn’t done yet for the English. Their openers have struggled in every innings so far but without the pressure of the scoreboard, there was a different side to them. Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed played watchfully, putting the bad balls away while leaving the innocuous ones.
For the first time since Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss’ 186-run partnership in 2011, England’s openers brought up a hundred-run partnership against India. Haseeb played in his inimitable style and notched up a fifty while Burns, who was slow off the blocks, caught up with his partner.
By the end of the day’s play, England was in the driver’s seat. They had a lead of 42 runs, having reached 120 with all ten wickets intact. They will be looking to get back at India by inflicting an innings defeat on them. Twitter was unimpressed with India’s showing but lauded England for fighting back after the Lord’s defeat.