Axel Patel took a six-for as England were dismissed for 112 and India gained the ascendancy in the first Test in Ahmedabad.
Patel’s dream introduction to Test cricket appears far from ending after the spinner excelled to put his side in complete control of the pink-ball Test.
He was introduced in the seventh over of the match, and took a wicket with his first ball. From that point on he was absolutely irresistible, finishing with figures of 6-38.
England won the toss and hoped to get the most out of the pitch by electing to bat first. Instead, the innings lasted just over three hours, the majority of that time spent trying to repel Patel’s brilliance.
Of the England batters, only Zak Crawley showed the requisite application and technique to negotiate India’s skillful, disciplined and tactically astute bowlers. The opener scored 53 and was one of only four batters to get into double figures. He was the only one to go beyond 20.
The spin combination of Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin never gave England’s batsmen any room to breathe. The pressure built gradually as runs proved incredibly hard to come by, as shown by the tourists’ premier batsmen Joe Root and Ben Stokes, who managed strike rates of just 45 and and 25, respectively.
Ashwin accounted for Root, Patel for Stokes, and from there on it was a slow but certain march to rolling England for their third-lowest total after winning the toss and electing to bat since 1950.
India lost two early wickets, Shubman Gill and Cheteshwa Pujara removed for 34. However, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli established some stability, sharing a 64-run partnership before the India captain chopped a Jack Leach delivery on to his stumps with two overs left in the day.
Sharma was unbeaten on 57 at stumps, and India were just 13 runs shy of England’s total going into day two.