Evergreen Jimmy Anderson dismisses both India openers to leave the visitors 53-2 in flying start to the first day of the rearranged final Test – but England’s momentum is halted by a downpour at Edgbaston
- England reduced India to 53-2 at lunch on the first day of the rearranged Test
- James Anderson got opening batters Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara out
- But England’s momentum was halted by a downpour at Edgbaston on Friday
England reduced India to 53-2 at lunch on the first day of the rearranged Test at Edgbaston on Friday.
The recalled James Anderson, who turns 40 at the end of the month, returned from a sore ankle to take two quick wickets, dismissing visiting openers Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara.
With captain Virat Kohli at the crease, rain in Birmingham caused early lunch to be taken.
The match is the fifth Test from the 2021 series against India, which the south Asian country lead 2-1 after four games.
For England, evergreen seam bowler Anderson came in after recovering from injury for Jamie Overton, while Sam Billings replaced Ben Foakes as wicketkeeper after the Surrey star had a positive Covid-19 test.
James Anderson (centre) struck twice to leave India 53-2 at lunch on the first day at Edgbaston
Anderson (right), recalled after recovering from injury, took the wicket of opener Shubman Gill
For India, fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah captains the side with red-ball captain and opening batter Rohit Sharma missing.
Play was brought forward to 10.30am BST to help sub-continental viewers.
England captain Ben Stokes won the toss and put India in to bat, sticking with the tried-and-trusted tactic of chasing successfully three times in the recent 3-0 win against New Zealand.
And Anderson, who turns 40 in July, opened the bowling as usual and struck early, drawing the edge from Shubman Gill.
Gill, 22, had looked fluent, with four boundaries in his 17, but edged to Zak Crawley at second slip.
Zak Crawley (left) then shelled a chance at second slip, failing to catch Hanuma Vihari’s edge
But Crawley had redemption the next over when he pouched the edge from Cheteshwar Pujara
Crawley had another chance when No 3 Hanuma Vihari tentatively prodded at a Matthew Potts ball outside off stump on seven, but the chance, fast and low to his right, was shelled.
The ball actually looked to be lodged in his right hand, before his grasping left hand knocked it out.
However, the 24-year-old Kent batter had redemption an over later when a full ball from Anderson drew the edge from Cheteshwar Pujara and Crawley held onto the chance.
Pujara, back in the side following some fine form for Sussex in county cricket after being dropped, had earlier overturned a caught-behind decision on review after a Stuart Broad snorter narrowly missed his inside edge and brushed his pocket.
But with two new batters at the crease, England’s efforts were thwarted by rain at the Edgbaston ground, umpire Richard Kettleborough bringing the players off under gloomy skies in the Midlands.