THE lesser-spotted Chris Woakes emerged from hibernation and confirmed England what they’ve been lacking.
Woakes, enjoying his first Take a look at match for greater than a yr, captured 4 wickets as England rolled out India for simply 191.
It was a joyous return for Woakes after a yr of frustration, distress and freakish disappointment.
He struck immediately – with a wicket in his opening over – and bowled with management, ability and loads of motion.
England’s place could be even stronger if India’s No.8, Shardul Thakur, had not ransacked the quickest half-century ever scored in a Take a look at in England.
Thakur reached fifty from simply 31 balls – a ball faster than Ian Botham managed towards New Zealand in 1986.
Then England misplaced three wickets – openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed and, remarkably, Joe Root for simply 21 – and had been 53-3 by the shut of day one of many Fourth Take a look at.
Woakes won’t have needed to introduce himself to his team-mates however, contemplating he was England’s Participant of the Yr in 2020, it’s exceptional that is the primary time he has pulled on a white shirt since final August.
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Since then, Woakes has been quarantined as a detailed contact of Covid sufferer Moeen Ali, rested, rotated, omitted, missed matches following his stint within the IPL and, most not too long ago, suffered a one-in-a-thousand heel harm when he fell down the steps at dwelling.
His preparation for this Take a look at has been a second XI sport for Warwickshire and a T20 Blast match. However he displayed no signal of rustiness.
And England’s assault actually possessed extra penetration with Woakes as an alternative of Sam Curran.
Root selected to bowl once more in overcast situations. England routed India for simply 78 within the earlier Take a look at and, after they slumped to 127-7, the script was following an analogous path.
Woakes’s first wicket got here when Rohit Sharma edged a ball that bounced after which KL Rahul was lbw to Ollie Robinson.
England bowled seven maidens on the trot at one stage and, earlier than lunch, Jimmy Anderson had additionally produced a cracker that swerved in, seamed away and induced an edge from Cheteshwar Pujara.
I cherished it, nice to be again within the whites. It feels prefer it’s been a very long time coming nevertheless it was nicely well worth the wait.
India shuffled their batting order in an try to halt England’s seam bowling juggernaut. That meant Ravi Jadeja coming in at No.5 – two locations greater than ordinary – however the transfer didn’t work and Jadeja was well-held by Root low down at first slip.
Virat Kohli had earlier survived an opportunity on 22 when an edge flew between Root and Burns however, contemplating the extravagant motion from England’s bowlers, he coped nicely, reaching a half-century from 85 balls.
However then he aimed in the direction of the legside and nicked an edge to Jonny Bairstow off Robinson, who was once more spectacular.
Ajinkya Rahane was given out lbw to Woakes for one however a evaluation confirmed the ball going over the stumps. Rahane perished quickly afterwards, nevertheless, when Moeen Ali held a effective diving catch at third slip off Craig Overton.
Rishabh Pant was spilled on 9 by Overton at third slip, diving in entrance of Burns at second. However, in the identical over, India’s idiosyncratic – some may say idiotic – wicketkeeper gave Woakes the cost and toe-ended a catch to Moeen at mid-off.
England may need thought Pant’s departure signalled the final of India’s huge hitters. However they had been in for a shock as Thakur began pummelling the bowling.
I’ve been determined to play cricket once more. I’ve been watching from dwelling whereas I used to be injured and I all the time thought I’d play an element at some stage.
He blended the orthodox with the agricultural and peppered the boundary. His half-century from simply 31 balls contained three sixes and 6 fours and he and Umesh Yadav placed on 63 for the eighth wicket in simply eight overs.
He was leg earlier than to Woakes on evaluation after which Bumrah was dropped by Overton at first slip. Burns picked up the free ball, hurled in the direction of the stumps and, amid the confusion, Bumrah was out of his floor.
Umesh was final man out, caught by Bairstow.
England’s reply started disastrously when Burns deflected a defensive shot onto his stumps and Hameed edged an bold minimize shot.
Root and Dawid Malan appeared in management however then, to everybody’s shock, Root was bowled by a nip-backer from Umesh Yadav ten minutes earlier than stumps.
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