Spin provides India advantage

24 February 2021 21:44:39 GMTPlus10

England again find themselves on the back foot after struggling to 81-4 at Tea after the opening session of their Day-Night Test against India.

With the series tied at 1-1 following two games in Chennai, the teams have decamped to Ahmedabad for the first of the final two Tests and the hosts already look to have a foothold.

Joe Root won the toss and chose to bat but raised eyebrows in selecting only one spinner in Jack Leach, as James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer were all named in the team, with Zak Crawley back in to open the batting.

India didn't take long to get going, Dom Sibley squirting an edge to Rohit Sharma off the bowling of Ishant Sharma for a duck to see another returnee in Jonny Bairstow make his way to the crease.

Bairstow resisted the urge to play any shots in the frantic Ahemdabad atmosphere but also failed to get off the mark before being trapped lbw following a straight ball by Axar Patel.

That left England at 27-2 but Joe Root's arrival added some stability. However, his decision to select just a single slow-bowler further came into question when he fell to another spinner. Ravi Ashwin trapped him leg before for 17, although there was a feeling the call was a touch harsh after being referred.

Crawley continued to hold his end but he too fell to the turning ball, Axar outfoxing him to beat the bat and hit the pad for the hosts' third lbw dismissal.

The 23-year-old's 53 was constructed with poise otherwise unseen from his team-mates in the rampant heat.

Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope will resume on six and one respectively following the tea break, with England 81-4.

India are 1.001 to win the third Test, with the draw 251.00 and England 51.00.

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