Zee Media Bureau/Suyash Srivastava
London: Despite a fighting half-century from MS Dhoni, English bowlers put England in the driver's seat on Day 1 by bowling India out for just 148 runs in the first innings of the fifth Test at The Oval. In reply, England were in a commanding position at 62/0.
England, 1st innings:
Over 19 || Score 62/0
Stumps: They have had their share of luck, but Cook and Robson walk off the field with their heads held high. India were unlucky as that lbw appeal against Cook was refused by the umpire. Robson, on the other hand, played some magnificent cover-drives on the off-side to keep the scoreboard moving. Indian bowlers have bowled a fuller length to Robson, as a result of which they have leaked plenty of runs. England now trail by 86 runs and in total command of the game.
Sam Robson 33* (65b) Alastair Cook 24* (49b)
Over 15 || Score 48/0
Sam Robson has grown in confidence with some superb cover-drives which went for boundaries. Cook too, isn't in a defensive mode and is playing his shots off anything which is slightly loose. This has been an excellent start from England, not the kind Dhoni would have wanted for his team. England now trail by exactly 100 runs.
Over 10 || Score 20/0
Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a brilliant delivery which pitched on middle-stump and moved away to hit Cook on the pads. There was a huge appeal but the umpire was of the opinion that it had an inside edge. That looked plumb and the England skipper survives on 9.
Over 5 || Score 8/0
English openers have made a cautious start as the wicket seems to have nothing for the English seamers. Bhuvan and Ishant began the proceedings and they are yet to cause any sort of trouble for these two batsmen. MS Dhoni would be desperate to get some early wickets considering the paltry total they have put on the board.
India, 1st innings:
Over 61.1 || Score 148/10
After tea, MS Dhoni seemed to be batting with a more positive intent. He scored four boundaries off Anderson and quickly moved into his eighties. But he hasn't scored a century overseas and even today wasn't his day as he hit a short ball from Broad straight into the hands of Woakes at deep fine leg. Nonethless, it has been a stupendous knock from the Indian skipper. Dhoni and Ishant added a 58-run partnership for the tenth wicket, useful runs for the Indian team which would be very frustrating for Alastair Cook.
MS Dhoni c Woakes b Broad 82 (140b)
Over 55 || Score 124/9
Tea: Dhoni took a single off Woakes towards fine leg to reach his fifty off 107 balls. It has been a special innings from the skipper considering the kind of situation his team was in. He hasn't looked too keen on retaining the strike every now and then and has shown full faith in Ishant Sharma. Soon after reaching his half-century, Dhoni played some big hits, including a six off Chris Jordan. Moeen Ali was given the last over before tea which was easily defended by the Indian skipper, though he took a single off the last ball to retain the strike after tea.
MS Dhoni 65* (124b) Ishant Sharma 2* (27b)
Over 50 || Score 103/9
Ishant Sharma was given two lives by the generous hosts. Broad first missed a throw at the non-striker's end when Ishant went for a quick single and on the second occasion, Ian Bell dropped a sitter off Chris Jordan at slips. MS Dhoni saved India from the ignominy of being dismissed for 100 runs by smashing Jordan towards third man for a boundary to take India's total into three figures. Dhoni is batting on 43 and his next target would be to score at least seven more runs, which will get him his fourth half-century of the series.
Over 45 || Score 90/9
Varun Aaron was the ninth batsman to be dismissed he hit one back straight to Woakes. Woakes, like most of the English seamers has been brilliant with his line and length and was rewarded with the third wicket. Ishant Sharma is the new man in and Dhoni would now attempt some big hits to get his team past 100 runs.
VR Aaron c & b Woakes 1 (17b)
Over 40 || Score 79/8
Ravichandran Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar – two of the better tail-enders in the Indian squad have succumbed to the pressure. While Ashwin edged one towards the slip cordon where Jo Root held on to an excellent catch, Bhuvan went after a ball pitched way outside the off-stump and was caught by the keeper. Varun Aaron is the new man in and Dhoni could probably shift gears now considering India have just two wickets remaining.
B Kumar c Buttler b Jordan 5 (11b)
R Ashwin c Root b Woakes 13 (17b)
Over 35 || Score 65/6
Ashwin and Dhoni have added 21 – the highest partnership of the innings so far. The English seamers have still managed to beat them every now and then with swing, but the CSK team-mates for sure are putting a fight for India.
Over 30 || Score 44/5
Broad and Anderson began a fresh spell post lunch and Anderson picked his second wicket of the match when his delivery shaped away from Binny and he edged it straight into the hands of Alastair Cook at first slip. India are now under immense pressure to cross the 100-run mark. Ravichandran Ashwin is the new man in. He score two 40-plus scores in the previous Test and MS Dhoni would want him to play a similar sort of innings.
STR Binny c Cook b Anderson 5 (30b)
Over 25 || Score 43/5
Lunch: Another session goes England's way. Bafflingly, the Indian batsmen once again surrendered before the seamers and showed no positive intent whatsoever. Nothing is going India's way and their last hope is on MS Dhoni and Stuart Binny – the last established batting pair.
Over 20 || Score 36/5
Ajinkya Rahane was the fourth Indian batsmen to be dismissed, caught and bowled for third consecutive time in the series. Jordan picked his second wicket in the second over without conceding a run. After playing a patient knock, Vijay edged one towards the slip cordon, the catch kept low and it was taken by Joe Root who was probably put into that position just for that catch. So all the bowlers used by Cook have got him wickets. India are wobbling once again.
M Vijay c Root b Woakes 18 (64b)
AM Rahane c & b Jordan 0 (8b)
Over 15 || Score 28/3
Chris Jordan struck in his first over for England when he bowled an inswinger to Kohli, who didn't offer a shot and was hit on the pads, Dharamsena took his time but raised the finger much to the delight of the hosts. Ajinkya Rahane is the new man in.
V Kohli lbw b Jordan 6 (18b)
Over 10 || Score 18/2
Broad and Anderson had been bowling a brilliant line to Pujara moving the ball both ways. Broad pitched one which swung into the batsman, there was a huge gap between the bat and pad and the stumps have been rattled. Virat Kohli is the new man in. He got off the mark with a quick single off the seventh ball.
Over 5 || Score 10/1
The English seamers continue to bowl a probing length and Pujara has been beaten on more occasions while Vijay has negotiated with the swing well so far. The sun is shining at the Oval and despite an early loss, it looks a good batting wicket.
Over 2 || Score 3/1
James Anderson struck for England in the first over of the day, when he bowled an away swinger to Gambhir, who edged it to the keeper while trying to let it go. After scoring 4 and 18 in the two innings of the fourth Test, it's another poor show from the veteran southpaw. Cheteshwar Pujara is the new man in.
G Gambhir c Buttler b Anderson 0 (1b)
India XI: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vihay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Varun Aaron.
England XI: Alastair Cook (C), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan, Joe Root and Chris Woakes.
MS Dhoni called head and lost the toss. Alastair Cook invited India to bat first at The Oval. England are unchaged but India have brought in Ishant Sharma and Roger Binny for Pankaj Singh and Ravindra Jadeja.
England are in a comfortable position as they head into the fifth Test match against India at the Oval today. The hosts lead the series 2-1 and their last two victories came in a convincing manner where they dominated from all fronts.
For India they have failed to win sessions in almost both the previous two Test matches. MS Dhoni has lacked a clear plan and the batsmen have looked clueless. Going into today`s Test, India need a mammoth effort to produce any spark of good cricket which they showed in Lord`s.
The momentum is with England and India look far from convincing to do anything special to level the series. After getting packed off in two and a half days in Manchester, India need its batsmen to stick themselves and apply technical ability to handle English bowlers.
Stuart Broad is playing and it will be interesting to see how he gets going in the Test match. With James Anderson and Moeen Ali, England are safe and will hope to put India in a fix.