Indian seamer Umesh Yadav provided the visitors with a vital breakthrough in the closing stages of the opening day of the Oval Test as he picked up the wicket of Joe Root (21 off 25 balls) with a brilliant nip-backer.
It all happened on the third delivery of the 16th over when Umesh Yadav got a delivery to move sharply into the England skipper. The ball was pitched at a good length and it breached the gap between Root’s bat and pad to knock the stumps.
Watch Joe Root’s dismissal here:
Umesh Yadav dismissed Joe Root in the dying moments of Day One
The wicket of Joe Root couldn’t have come at a better time for Team India as the English skipper was once again looking set to play a long innings. Root came to the crease after England lost both their openers – Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed – in just the 4th over of the innings.
Root, along with Dawid Malan, weathered the storm with some exquisite stroke play.
It was business as usual for Root as he kept chipping away at his favored third-man position. India’s second-choice combination of Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj helped the England duo’s cause as they kept bowling short to give the batsmen ample time to take them for easy runs.
Just as it looked as if Root and Malan would steer England to safety at stumps, Umesh Yadav produced a beauty in the penultimate over of the day to make India sigh in relief.
Earlier, India’s batting unit once again put up a poor display as they had no answers to the tough questions that the English seamers posed to them. Virat Kohli scored a half-century, but it was Shardul Thakur’s whirlwind knock of 57 that lifted the visitors to a dependable total of 191.
England sent out Craig Overton ahead of a specialist batsman and the tall pacer did well to see off the final over and ensure the home side did not lose another wicket before the end of Day One.