Home » India vs England: Kuldeep Yadav rips through tourists in Dharamsala

India vs England: Kuldeep Yadav rips through tourists in Dharamsala

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India vs England: Kuldeep Yadav rips through tourists in Dharamsala

India’s Kuldeep Yadav (middle) reached 50 wickets in his 12th TestEngland 218: Crawley 79; Kuldeep 5-72, Ashwin 4-51India 135-1: Jaiswal 57, Rohit 52*India trail by 83 runsScorecard

England’s hopes of salvaging a final victory from their tour of India are already in grave danger after an awful batting collapse on day one of the fifth Test in Dharamsala.

The tourists were spun out for 218, losing their last eight wickets for 81 runs and at one stage a calamitous 5-8 in 37 deliveries.

Opener Zak Crawley made an attractive 79, surviving the exaggerated movement found by the India new-ball bowlers in the mountain air after England won the toss.

Crawley’s dismissal, bowled by a sharp turner from the magical Kuldeep Yadav, preceded the real carnage. Jonny Bairstow, playing his 100th Test, Joe Root and Ben Stokes were all dismissed in the space of 13 balls for no addition to the score.

On a good batting surface, albeit one offering turn, all 10 England wickets fell to spin. Left-armer Kuldeep bewitched England for 5-72, while Ravichandran Ashwin marked his own 100th Test with 4-51.

Any suggestion of a swift England fightback with the ball was snuffed out by an opening stand of 104 between Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma.

Jaiswal was stumped off Shoaib Bashir for 57, but Rohit remained on 52 not out, guiding his team to 135-1, only 83 behind.

England risk ending with a whimper

England may feel this Test could have been a decider, and captain Stokes is insistent his team have made progress despite the 3-1 scoreline. A final result of 3-2 would be creditable and support the skipper’s assertion, but instead the tourists are heading for a 4-1 defeat and a battle to justify any talk of progression.

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The setting could not be more picturesque. The snow-capped mountains, brightly coloured seats and stands of Dharamsala hint at a cricketing Disneyland. Rather than take inspiration from their surroundings or a meeting with the Dalai Lama on Wednesday, England put on an end-of-tour showing lacking in steel.

This is a match of milestones. Bairstow was emotional as his family joined him in the England huddle before play, while Ashwin was given a guard of honour as India took the field. James Anderson is two short of 700 Test wickets. Ultimately, the most important number is England’s 218 – their lowest first-innings total since September 2022.

Some of the batters were reckless, others simply undone by the skilful Indian spinners. Three of Kuldeep’s wickets came from England not being able to pick his googly.

Off-spinner Bashir at least recovered from illness to take his place in the XI, only to be hit for three sixes in his first over by Jaiswal.

Ollie Robinson is still ill, leaving England with 13 fit players and resulting in assistant coaches Marcus Trescothick, 48, and Paul Collingwood, 47, named as fielding substitutes. England might have been better calling on them to bat too.

England fall apart after promising start

Shubman Gill took a superb catch over his shoulder to make the breakthrough for India

Crawley and Ben Duckett did well to come through a testing first hour, even if the India seamers wasted the movement by bowling too short.

England’s openers added 64 for the first wicket, only for Kuldeep’s introduction in the 18th over to change the course of the day. Duckett, on 27, miscued an attempted loft down the ground and was well caught by Shubman Gill running back from cover.

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Another skittish Ollie Pope innings resulted in him charging at Kuldeep to be stumped by a distance in the final over before lunch, but even then 100-2 represented a solid morning.

Crawley, England’s leading runscorer since last year’s Ashes began, played gorgeous drives and a languid loft off Ashwin for six. He survived being caught at bat-pad off Kuldeep, with India failing to review, but after he missed another drive at Kuldeep’s ripper, England unravelled.

Bairstow’s 18 balls yielded 29 runs, two sixes, a drop and finally an edge behind off Kuldeep. Root was lbw on the front foot to Ravindra Jadeja, Stokes leg before on the back foot to Kuldeep. England’s guts had been ripped out.

Tom Hartley holed out, Mark Wood edged to slip, Ben Foakes tried to guide the tail for 24 before dragging a sweep on to his stumps and Anderson slapped straight to mid-wicket.

India finishing strongly

India have completely turned this series around since their defeat in the first Test. They dominated this opening day to get on course for a huge win.

Kuldeep’s spell of 15 consecutive overs was wonderful. He bowled with unerring control, arcing flight and disguised variations. Pope, Bairstow and Stokes all fell to the googly.

The wrist-spinner took five of the first six wickets to fall before being withdrawn for Ashwin to torment the tail, the off-spinner claiming the final four.

England needed a strong start with the ball, but Rohit and Jaiswal put the visitors’ batting into context. Rohit pulled Wood for six, while Jaiswal treated Bashir with disdain.

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Rohit overturned being given out caught down the leg side off Anderson on 20 and Jaiswal, at the age of 22, reached 1,000 runs in his 16th Test innings – the second-fastest by an Indian man.

Jaiswal passed 50 and was just starting to motor when he ran past Bashir and was stumped, but Gill arrived to accompany Rohit, who carries an ominous presence into the second day.

‘A seriously chastening day’ – reaction

England batting coach Marcus Trescothick on TNT Sports: “A challenging day. We had some good moments. We just didn’t get enough partnerships together in the middle, to put the total on the board.

“You never look at a game like you’re dead and buried.”

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew: “A seriously chastening day in which the lessons England have been dealt in this series regarding prizing your wicket were ignored again.

“England appear to be down and out already.”

Former England captain Alastair Cook on TNT Sports: “The only way England can win this game is by matching India’s first-innings score in their second innings and then setting them 200 to win. That is the mentality England’s batters will have to have.”

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