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As it happened - India vs England, 3rd Test, Ahmedabad, 1st day

Updates, analysis and colour from the first day of the third Test

Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller
Welcome to day one of our live report of the third India-England Test from Ahmedabad. Join us for updates, analysis and colour. You can find our traditional ball-by-ball commentary here
*Most recent entry will appear at the top, please refresh your page for the latest updates. All times are local

Stumps: India 99 for 3 (Rohit 57*, Rahane 1*) trail England 112 (Crawley 53, Patel 6-38) by 13 runs

That will be stumps after an eventful close to an eventful day with England finally getting a much-needed breakthrough after being denied on three earlier occasions, no less.
First, Rohit top-edged Leach, and Pope, leaping high to his right from short leg, couldn't quite hold on with his outstretched left hand to what would have been a breath-taking catch. A short time later, Kohli, on 24, sent an Anderson delivery straight to gully, where Pope got his hands to it and put down a straightforward chance. As the claret spurted from Pope's split right index finger, it was fair to say blood was spilled, pride was hurt and England's task became ever tougher. England then appealed for the stumping of Rohit after some swift work by Foakes off the bowling of Leach. It was tight, but the batsman was given not out.
Leach finally had Kohli out, chopping onto his stumps for 27 with just two minutes left to play on this opening day. With that, India ended the night just 13 runs in arrears with plenty of first-innings wickets in hand.

Another first-day fifty for Rohit

Very different conditions, a very similar upshot. Rohit Sharma brings up his fifty from 63 balls with a flick through midwicket off Ben Stokes, as India march ever closer to first-innings parity. He's been made to work more visibly than was the case in his remarkably transcendent century at Chennai, particularly while Anderson and Broad were in partnership, but there's no slowing him down when the opportunities arise - as they have done with mounting frequency now that the lacquer has gone off the ball. England are still grumbling about the footmarks - they are forming deep craters in the landing zone now - but they could and should still have been India's problem had their batting endured for longer than 50 overs. Not a lot the umpires are going to do about that.

Archer and Leach make the incisions

It took him 27 balls in the end to get off the mark, and it seemed he'd done the hard work to bed into a long and fruitful innings. But in the end, Jofra Archer's extra pace lured Shubman Gill into an awkward flapped pull at a bouncer outside his eye-line, and Zak Crawley trotted in from square leg to complete a simple steepling catch - or as simple as such things get out of the night sky.
And then, one over later, Jack Leach emulated Axar Patel and found the same means of extracting even Indian batsmen well used to such conditions. Round the wicket to Cheteshwar Pujara, who poked forward and played for the spin, only to be clobbered on the pads by the one that skidded on through. No review, and suddenly one had brought two. England aren't out of their hole, but at least they've found a stepladder.

Shades of Adelaide (no, not that match...)

Uncompromising signs for England after the early exchanges of India's innings. The eagle-eyed Matt Roller has sensed a familiar story unfolding...
"The first 10 overs of India's innings have worrying parallels to a previous day-night Test, from an England perspective, Matt writes.
At Adelaide in 2017, they won the toss and opted to bowl first, but bowled too short with the new ball: in the first 10 overs of Australia's innings, 35% of balls were back-of-a-length, and 65% on a good length - England didn't bowl a single full ball. Australia racked up 422 for 8 declared, and won by 120 runs.
In the first 10 overs of this innings, there has been a similar issue. According to ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball data, exactly half of the balls Broad and Anderson have bowled have been short or back-of-a-length, with 43% on a good length and four full balls. Given their need for early wickets, the scarcity of full balls seems like a surprise.
I asked Anderson in a press conference on Sunday where the likely absence of reverse swing with the pink ball would prompt England to attack more with the new ball. "I don't think we'll bowl any differently to how we normally bowl with the red ball," he said. "We'll be assessing conditions as we do and bowl accordingly. If it's swinging around we'll be more attacking, bowl a fuller length, have extra catchers in; if not, we'll go a little bit more defensive."
Clearly, the ball has swung, and England have set attacking fields. To me, that suggests this has been a failure of execution rather than one of planning."

Broad and Anderson probe without effect

It's been metronomic, and the pressure on Shubman Gill in particular has been ramped up like never before, but Broad and Anderson haven't yet managed to break India's opening stand, and that ten-over window of excess lacquer is fast closing. Broad, for the second time, thought he had his man when he pinned Gill on the knee-roll but couldn't extract the lbw - DRS showed it would have been clipping leg - and Gill still hadn't got off the mark by the end of the ninth over, with 24 dot-balls to his name.
For all their length-hitting diligence, Jofra Archer might appreciate a go while the ball is still hard, and before the dew gets too embedded in the leather. Rohit, with 10 from 28, is steadfast at the other end, with the mood of England's bowlers not helped by the state of their landing zones - the groundstaff have twice been called out to give the footholes a pummelling.

India head to supper with all ten intact

India 5 for 0 trail England 112 (Crawley 53, Axar 6-38) by 107 runs
Anderson and Broad prove a handful under lights, but nothing more than that as India's openers chip off five runs in as many overs. From 74 for 2 to 112 all out, and now a lead of 107. It's not looking pretty for England. A penny for Jofra Archer's thoughts, who may well feel his recent new-ball efforts ought to have earned him a shot at rattling the top-order, not least Rohit Sharma. It'll take some serious rattling now to prevent India striding into the distance in this contest...

Early drama as Gill is reprieved

Bowling in the twilight, with 1100 wickets' worth of nous sharing the pink new ball, and it looks as though Broad has claimed a key early wicket as Shubman Gill fences low to Ben Stokes in the slips. The silence of the 50,000 crowd is astonishing - quieter even than an empty stadium - but the third umpire has one look at the replay and deems the ball has bounced! Root is fuming, clearly signalling that you can't judge such a decision from one replay - the soft signal was out - and there's certainly a good chance his fingers are under the ball on that angle. But on we go... later replays may have well have proven more conclusively not-out, but either way, England's twilight revival will have to wait a while.

Axar applies the final swing of the axe

England 112 (Crawley 53, Axar 6-38) vs India
Another perfectly pitched non-spinning brain-melter of a delivery from Axar Patel, Ben Foakes rocks back for a cut but the ball skitters under his blade. Here endeth an abject England performance, and a gleeful rampage from India's spinners. Imagine how they might fare when the conditions are in their favour in the second innings...
Here's S Rajesh with the stats of doom. "In the last 50 years, only the 6th time that England have lasted fewer than 50 overs in the first innings after winning the toss and choosing to bat". It ain't pretty, that's for sure.

5.53pm: Stuart Broad is not batting any more

Down on one knee, a languid sweep-flog down the throat of deep square leg, and in his third Test innings, Axar Patel has his second Test five-for! Easy come, easy go. At least he hauled England into triple figures. And, given the balance of England's attack, at least the sun is likely to be setting when their turn comes with the ball. The witching hour approacheth... but they may need necromancy from Anderson, Archer and Broad to revive this corpse of a contest...

5.53pm: Stuart Broad is batting.. this is not a drill

5.24pm: Use your feet, people!

England's innings is in freefall, and Nagraj Gollapudi is fairly sure he's spotted the reason why:
"Will the ball spin or not? That is the key question any batsman asks when batting on a dry turner like in Ahmedabad, Nagraj writes. That doubt clearly has plagued all England batsmen including Joe Root, who had dominated Indian spinners in the first Test of this series with a masterful double century. Root showed not just self-confidence but the art of reading spin. Of course, that was a flat pitch. But the basics of playing spin do not change much regardless of the surface, as good batsmen will tell you.
One of the basics is using your feet. By stepping out of the crease, using the feet, the batsman can not just smother the spin, but also play the ball before it pitches on difficult pitches which can create that doubt. Jonny Bairstow, Ollie Pope and Root will look at their dismissals today and tell themselves why, why did I not jump out of the crease and defend.
By the time Jofra Archer was bowled, England's batsmen had stepped out a mere 5 times while playing off the back foot 49 times in a total of 137 deliveries as per ESPNcricinfo's bbb logs. Those numbers clearly indicate England's batsmen were left in doubt big time on how to play."

5.18pm: Axar to Archer - bullseye!

Well, it was resistance of sorts while it lasted. Archer actually unfurled the lesser-spotted sweep on a couple of occasions, nailing one through midwicket off Ashwin to get off the mark, and he even cut another four through backward point off Axar. But, as with so many of his colleagues, the threat of big spin made him extra vulnerable to the one that didn't do a lot. A floppy drive off a full length, feet going nowhere, and back goes his off stump as Axar wriggles a length ball through his defences.

5pm: Ping! Next batsmen please ...

Ollie Pope joins the procession, and it's another beauty from Ashwin. Flighted, dipping, tricksy off the pitch, bursting past a lunging forward push and pegging back the off stump. Foakes and Stokes have a job and a half to do now, for India's spinners are weaving a web.
And moments later, it's all on Foakes! Stokes plays back to Axar, and is struck in line with off stump. Up goes the finger, it's clipping the top of middle. He's missed a fairly regulation back-foot block there.
As Sampath, our newest recruit to the stats-cave, noted at the break: "Three wickets by Indian spinners in the first session today. The previous 15 D/N Tests saw a total of three wickets going to the spinners in the first session on day 1." It's fair to say there's a new day-night record in the offing here...
And Rajesh, our uber-statsgruppenmeister, has been playing around with control percentages, just to add to the sense of swirling doom that is enveloping England's campaign:
Control percentages in the first 27 overs in the first innings in each of the three Tests:
1st Test: 90.3 (Eng 67/2)
2nd Test: 84.5 (Ind 106/3)
3rd Test: 80.5 (Eng 81/4)
It's getting harder and harder to keep a handle on these surfaces ...

Lunch (or tea, or elevenses or whatever)

England 81 for 4 (Stokes 6*, Pope 1*) vs India
Well, that was riveting, fluctuating, and agenda-setting. Plenty evidence that the new ball will talk while the lacquer is in situ, but also oodles of evidence that India's three-pronged spin attack will dominate all other iterations of the pink ball. Zak Crawley produced a masterful half-century in the circumstances, but even he was becalmed when Ashwin joined Patel in a twin-spin assault. Ishant Sharma struck early in his 100th Test, and Root's lbw to Ashwin completes a difficult first session for the visitors.

4.25pm: Crawley nailed by one that skids straight on

So, about that selection of a solitary spinner then? At least in England's defence they've gone for the left-armer, for Axar Patel has been India's biggest menace this morning, and his second scalp of the session is an innings-wrecking blow. Zak Crawley's tremendous innings is ended as he plays forward to two consecutive deliveries - the first rips past his edge, the second pitches on an identical length but skips straight on. Ben Stokes winces at the non-striker's end as he tells his team-mate not to bother with the review. That smacked the knee-roll and was going nowhere but into the stumps. It's going to be a challenge to scrape past 200 now ... anyway, about that new ball under lights?

4.10pm: Fatal misjudgement from Root

Ashwin's trickery extracts the key quarry! The longer Joe Root endured, the more ominous his innings was looking, especially with Crawley showing no signs of easing up his tempo. But on 17, he plays back to a dipping delivery from round the wicket, and is pinned on the crease as Ashwin finds some extra bite from an off-stump line. The finger goes up straightaway, and though Root reviews, it's more in hope than expectation. Sure enough, it's umpire's call, flicking the top of leg stump, and that's a massive, massive blow to England's hopes. Had these two endured to lunch, they could have claimed the session spoils. Instead, Ben Stokes is out to face his nemesis ...

4pm: Fifty for Crawley, from 68 balls

Remarkable stuff from Crawley, who is leaving Joe Root for dead as he keeps the runs pounding, in spite of an increasingly threatening spell of left-arm spin from Axar Patel. But the manner in which he reaches his fifty is typical of the innings so far. A sumptuous open-faced drive through the covers is followed by a wickedly biting ball that moves like a chevron from middle-and-leg past the groping outside edge. But then, one ball later, Axar loses his length and gets clobbered through extra cover for his sins.

3.43pm: Crawley in no mood for creeping

This innings from Crawley is just beginning to evolve from fluent cameo into something really rather significant, as he brings up England's fifty with yet another effortless, under-played flick off his legs as Ishant strays a touch too full. After the stodgy but valiant fare on offer from Sibley and Burns in the first two Tests, England seem now to have an opening batsman with the game to make the running in tricky conditions, much as Rohit Sharma did on the first day at Chennai.
And as the data below from our ball-by-ball analysis shows, that full length is travelling today, to all parts of that 225-degree arc in front of square.

3.08pm: Jonny be gone ... for a duck

It's a game of two halves right now, one replete with creamy, dreamy drives and clips from Zak Crawley. whose defensive prod clean through mid-on to get off the mark was a thing of wonder, and whose timing off the seamers has been auspicious from the outset. But, India have three spinners in their line-up too, and Axar Patel needs just a solitary delivery to make his mark on the game!
Jonny Bairstow's reputation against spin was enhanced by some telling dlsplays in Sri Lanka, but he got in a right tangle as Axar came round the wicket, nailing the perfect in-between length on middle and off, and thumping his shin past the inside edge as Bairstow poked uncertainly forward. He goes for the review, out of bewilderment and mild embarassment more than anything, but India's celebrations are uninterrupted. That is smashing the timbers, and England's No.2 and 3 are gone without opening their account. Lively times!

2.50pm: Stokes, Foakes ... Woakes? Nope ...

Fans of rhyming tercets, look away now. Even in an age of random-team generation, England still can't get their cause celebres inked onto the same scorecards.

2.40pm: First impressions are everything, right?

... in which case, don't go making too many plans for cricket-watching on Sunday! Two overs down, and no runs on the board, and already Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah have extracted some startling movement with their shiny pink orb. Ishant's first delivery simply launched itself at Rishabh Pant's gloves, from a good-to-full length, while his fifth of the same over scuttled through to the keeper as if it had been stunned with a mallet in mid-air. A couple of deliveries wobbled off the seam too, though nothing like as extravagantly as Bumrah's heat-seeking inswinger at the end of his first over. Dom Sibley dabbed it away with insouciance, but battle has been joined.
... too right it has! A leg-bye (and no-ball) to rotate the strike for the first time in this match, and Ishant's opening delivery to Sibley is perfection. Hitting the seam, straightening off the angle into the right hander, hitting the splice, flying comfortably to Kohli at second slip. He's gone without scoring, and into the fray comes Jonny Bairstow, fresh from his break back in the UK. Hope his visualisation went well during quarantine ...

2.30pm: England win the toss, changes galore

Good afternoon all, and welcome to a whole new ball-game. In Chennai last week, England endured a familiar fate in Asian conditions, as R Ashwin spun a web around their techniques to deliver India a series-levelling 317-run win. But we've crossed the country from East to West now, and fast-forwarded the hours of play by five hours too, to bring the brand-new floodlights of Ahmedabad's 120,000-seater stadium into play. Oh, and there's a pink SG ball in the mix too, which England's bowlers are "licking their lips" to get hold of, according to Ben Stokes. I imagine Ishant Sharma, in his 100th Test, and the fit-again Jasprit Bumrah might be feeling similar sentiments. Whatever happens over the next five days, I daresay it won't be standard Test fare.
And as if to prove the point, we have wholesale changes on both teams, as England win a very useful toss, and get first use of the pitch while the afternoon sun is at its brightest. England, as expected, have made four changes - James Anderson and Jofra Archer return to lead the attack, although Stuart Broad retains his place, which is intriguing. Olly Stone and the home-again Moeen Ali make way, as do Dan Lawrence and Rory Burns with the bat. Jonny Bairstow and Zak Crawley are in. Crawley's top score on tour so far is 13... a big ask to open up today.
India have two changes, Bumrah is joined by the spin-bowling allrounder Washington Sundar, in place of Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammad Siraj.
"It looks pretty dry, hot and humid," says Virat Kohli, who is full of praise for the new stadium - which may only be half-full but 60,000 fans is still a larger capacity than pretty much every venue outside of the MCG.
India 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rishabh Pant (wk), 7 Washington Sundar, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Axar Patel, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Jasprit Bumrah.
England 1 Zak Crawley, 2 Dom Sibley, 3 Jonny Bairstow, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Ollie Pope, 7 Ben Foakes (wk), 8 Jofra Archer, 9 Jack Leach, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @miller_cricket