Ahmedabad: Axar Patel’s devastating six-wicket haul bundled England out for 112 before Rohit Sharma’s languid elegance shone through in an unbeaten half century that handed India the edge on the opening day of the day-night third Test here on Wednesday.
The combination of left-armer Patel and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin exploited the turning Motera pitch at the newly-inaugurated Narendra Modi stadium to the full and England’s first innings folded in just 48.4 overs after the visitors opted to bat.
Patel (21.4-6-38-6) grabbed his second five-for in his second Test while Ashwin (16-6-26-3) took three.
At stumps, India were 99 for 3 from 33 overs with Rohit batting on 57 off 82 balls. Ajinkya Rahane (1) was giving him company following skipper Virat Kohli’s dimissal in the second last over of the day.
Kohli was dismissed for 27 off 58 balls by left-arm spinner Jack Leach (10-1-27-2).
India trailed by just 13 runs with seven first innings wickets in hand.
Before this, it was a nightmare that unfolded for England with the 47-run stand for the third wicket being their best.
They lost their last six wickets in the second session. The last seven wickets yielded 38 runs.
This was after Ishant Sharma, only the second Indian fast bowler after Kapil Dev to play in 100 Tests, fittingly took India’s first wicket in the third over to open the floodgates for the hosts.
In reply to a below par score, India negotiated the opening spells of England seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad. But Jofra Archer (5-2-24-1) gave England the breakthrough in the 15th over with Gill, trying a pull shot from the off stump, top-edged for Zak Crawley.