Wrapping up...

11:12 pm: What a fun day this has been! (Maybe not if you are an England fan...) The beauty of Test cricket in full view, with the momentum going one way, and then the other. Lovely, lovely advert for the longest format.

We’ll leave you with some reactions to close things out. Join us on Thursday for day two action. Promises much!


Dropped! India really should have had 10 wickets heading back in. Shami induces the outside edge from Curran and DK dives full stretch in front of Dhawan and spills it. Was straight into Dhawan’s hands otherwise. But that brings to an end a thoroughly entertaining day of Test cricket!

After 87 overs, England 285/9

Curran plays out five dot balls and gets a single off the last ball against Ashwin. This has been a mature innings from the youngster.

Meanwhile, Shami from the other end, to bowl the last over of the day...

After 86 overs, England 284/9

A mildly frustrating over for Ishant as he bowls wonderful deliveries to Anderson, but like a typical tail-ender, Anderson chases wind and gets beaten – so comfortably that he wasn’t really close to getting dismissed in that over.

India continue with the old ball as Ashwin bowls at Curran now... perhaps the penultimate over.

After 85 overs, England 283/9 - maiden wicket for Ashwin

Anderson looked like a deer in the headlight for those three deliveries but negotiates them. Ashwin and Kohli, cleverly, delay the last ball of the over to allow the clock to tick to 2250 IST as that would mean India won’t have to bat tonight if England get allout in the next 10 minutes.


Well, well. Are India going to get a bat today? Let’s see. Ashwin gets his fourth with a wonderful drifter into the left-hander. Broad beaten all ends by that, trapped plumb in front. Ash gets his fourth. India one wicket away from wrapping this innings up.

After 84 overs, England 282/8 - Curran 22*, Broad 1*

End of a successful over for Ishant. With Broad in to bat, we are in for bit more entertainment to close the day out. Ishant sets up the field for a short ball (even bowls one that goes for four byes past a diving DK) and then bluffs by bowling full. Broad sees it off.

Now Ashwin gets a go at Broad...


The decision to stick with the old ball pays off, as Ishant gets one to move back in from good length. Adil is trapped at the crease, rapped on the pads. Umpire says not out, but India review. And DRS says three reds! Good call by Kohli and Co.

Rashid: LBW Ishant for 13

After 82 overs, England 278/7 - Curran 22*, Rashid 13*

Ashwin and Ishant continue, still no new ball. Ashwin tries the carrom ball to Rashid but it is read well. Ishant tries to pepper Curran with a few bouncers and then bowls a peach of a good length delivery that beats him outside off.

INTERESTING TIDBIT: Atherton, on air, says that some people in English cricket circles think Sam Curran will end up as a better batsman than a bowler... that he will be a batsman who can bowl, not the other way round as it is right now. And he is showing why that could be the case today. Playing an assured knock here.

NEW BALL DUE: After 80 overs, England 274/7 - Curran 20*, Rashid 11*

Ishant back into the attack and Curran plays yet another exquisite shot through the offside for another boundary. The counterattack is indeed happening, but not from Stokes.

Ashwin continues from the other end.. no new ball for now then.

After 79 overs, England 269/7 - Curran 15*, Rashid 3*

Hardik Pandya is (bizarrely) brought back into the attack and concedes two boundaries on the offside to Curran off two poor deliveries.

After that, Rashid takes on Ashwin – spinner v spinner battle – to smash a couple of boundaries in the over. The tail, ladies and gentlemen, is wagging.

After 76 overs, England 250/7 - Curran 4*, Rashid 3*

Shami continues and 250 up for England. India, historically, have had problems dismissing the tail – can they do it this time around? With Stokes gone, India would kick themselves if they can’t dismiss England cheaply now.

Mind you, though. Rashid is no mug with the bat.

After 75 overs, England 244/7 - Curran 1*, Rashid 0*


A seemingly harmless short of the length delivery from round the wicket, Stokes goes on his back-foot, and gets a leading edge that loops straight back to Ashwin. Stokes can’t believe what he’s done! India are right on top now. Brilliant session for the visitors.

After 74 overs, England 243/6 - Stokes 20*, Curran 1*

Lovely over by Shami, getting the ball to move both ways to Stokes and Curran. Off the last ball, Curran edges one to first slip, but it’s on the bounce.

After 73 overs, England 242/6 - Stokes 20*, Curran 1*

Couple of quiet overs from India now from Shami and Ashwin. The latter had all six balls at Curran but the youngster played him out fairly well... only one short of length delivery had him in two minds.

Shami continues from the other end, with the new ball due in 7 overs...

After 71 overs, England 240/6 - Stokes 15*, Curran 1*

Ashwin continues with two left-handers at the crease. He’s getting great drift, even if the turn is not a pronounced as it was in the morning.

After 70 overs, England 237/6 - Stokes 15*, Curran 1*

Shami is back into the attack and Stokes takes him on. After four dot balls, a flick through midwicket for four and then a lovely off-drive for three. Big Ben is making a move.

After 67 overs, England 230/6 - Stokes 8*, Curran 1*

Is Stokes going to counterattack his way out of this situation? Gets his first boundary with a powerful flick through midwicket off Umesh. This is going to be a fascinating phase of play. Strap in, folks!

After 67 overs, England 224/6 - Stokes 3*, Curran 0*


Wow, this game has been turned on its head! Test cricket, you beauty. Ashwin, over the wicket, gets a ball to turn sharply from outside offstump, Buttler misreads it completely and is trapped plumb in front. Doesn’t bother reviewing as DRS shows it’s ‘three reds’.

After 66 overs, England 223/5 - Stokes 1*


Both the set batsmen are now back in the pavilion and India are turning this around once again. Umesh Yadav gets Bairstow to chop a short ball on to the stumps. That ball moved back in slightly, cut back after landing on the scrambled seam. Big breakthrough, this! Just when it looked like India were under the pump, England have lost two in quick succession.

After 65 overs, England 221/4 - Bairstow 69*, Stokes 1*

Yadav and Ashwin bowling in tandem now as Stokes is the new man in. Ashwin will enjoy this challenge, particularly. Can India force their way back into the game?

Partnership broken moments after crossing the 100 mark: What a breakthrough for India, completely against the run of play. Virat Kohli – replays show – swore, shushed the crowd AND did a mic-drop to mock Joe Root’s bat-drop, all in one fluid motion. Master entertainer, eh?

WICKET - OH DEAR JOE ROOT! The England captain is run-out!

VIRAT KOHLI with a moment of magic! Bairstow taps it to square leg and takes off for a two, Kohli races to the ball, collects it, turns and throws it off-balance and produces a brilliant direct-hit at the non-striker’s end. Ashwin cleverly lets it go. Delight for India, despair for Root. Somewhere Sunil Gavaskar is going “he failed to convert... one into two... fifty to hundred... failed to convert!”

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After 62 overs, England 211/3 - Root 80*, Bairstow 60*

FIFTY FOR JONNY B! Gets there with the most delightful straight drives for four and follows that up with another, square driven through point. 200 up for England as well and this is now turning into a cruise for the hosts.

That should also be the end of Pandya’s spell... he’s been targetted pretty heavily by the Yorkshire duo.

After 61 overs, England 199/3 - Root 78*, Bairstow 49*

A loud appeal by Shami as Root is struck on the pads by a full ball swinging in, but he got a healthy inside edge there. Was plumb otherwise.

Interesting observation, this: You’d normally think Umesh would top the speed charts but his speeds were consistently low today. Wonder if that was a conscious ploy.

After 59 overs, England 193/3 : Root 77*, Bairstow 45*

A couple of interesting moments in that over. Bairstow (quite deliberately) plays a late cut over the slips for four, and gets four for a very risky shot. Was beaten previously by an effort ball from Shami. The ‘keeper-bat has come out after tea with a clear intent to score quick runs, can India lure him into a poor shot?

After 58 overs, England 187/3 : Root 76*, Bairstow 40*

A nervy moment for Jonny B as Pandya floats one full and (very) wide. The ‘keeper throws his bat at it, one-handed and all, and it hits the bottom part and falls short of a diving Kohli. Poor shot by Bairstow.

After 57 overs, England 183/3 : Root 74*, Bairstow 38*

A rasping cover drive to end that over by Shami by Jonny B. England have come out in a positive frame of mind in the final session.

After 56 overs, England 177/3 : Root 73*, Bairstow 33*

Hardik Pandya continues after tea, perhaps reward for his good spell preceding the break. Good start to the over but finishes it poorly. Root plays a majestic on-drive to a ball on off-stump, followed by a pull to fine leg off an attempted bouncer. Root wants to dictate terms it’d seem.

After 55 overs, England 168/3 : Root 65*, Bairstow 32*

Shami, like he often does, ambles up to the crease but produces a beauty to start off – shaping away from Jonny B after hitting a good length. The outside edge stays low, and trickles to third man for four. And Kohli, again, reacts to an incident (follows the ball) by spreading the slips. Another outside edge later in the over goes to Rahane on the bounce and he is hurting a bit.

08:31 pm: Root and Bairstow walk out... Shami gets the ball in his hands. Can the Indians put Root under pressure in his 60s and 70s?

TEA, DAY ONE: “I have seen this before, unfortunately Ravi wasn’t wearing his glasses this time around,” says Ganguly talking about Shastri taking a quick post-lunch nap in that session. Good banter all around.

Time, now, for the third and final session.

TEA ON DAY ONE: After 54 overs, England 163/3 - Root 65*, Bairstow 27*

End of a session that will go down as a shared period of play between the two sides. Shami and Ashwin the pick of India’s bowlers so far, with the former taking both the wickets to fall in that session. The support has been largely lacking though, wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say Pandya has been the third best bowler in terms of consistency.

Umesh, Ishant need to step up if India are to contain England on what looks like a great batting strip.

After 53 overs, England 162/3 - Root 65*, Bairstow 26*

Pandya continues. Are India missing a trick here by not putting Root under more pressure when he is often vulnerable? Anyway, Pandya continues, gets Jonny B driving and takes an outside edge... flies past the wide second slip. Kohli moves the fielder there now and not for the first time, Nasser Hussain observes how Kohli has the tendency to follow the ball when it comes to field placements.

Ashwin from the other end, goes around the stump to Root who brings up the 50 partnership with a punch through the offside.

Tea is now imminent..

After 51 overs, England 155/3 - Root 63*, Bairstow 22*

Vijay does well at short leg to save 3 singles on the trot as Bairstow tries to get off strike but couldn’t. After a series of 11 dot balls, Jonny B cuts one through cover for a couple.

After 50 overs, England 153/3 - Root 63*, Bairstow 20*

An interesting over that. Hardik into the attack and Root admonishes himself for fishing outside offstump to a good length delivery. Nasser Hussain points out that is precisely why Root struggles to convert 50s into 100s. Plays another false shot in that over as well, bottom-edging a square drive. Is Root under a bit of pressure here? Sure looks like it.

After 49 overs, England 153/3

Jonny B in one-day mode! Ashwin floats one in, the England keeper swats it over mid-wicket for four. Not letting the spinner settle down in the new spell.

150 up for England. Root, Bairstow have now added 37 runs for the fourth wicket. England have done well since Malan’s exit.

After 48 overs, England 148/3

Umesh getting stick from Nasser Hussai on air for being inconsistent with his line... A boundary and three to Root as he strays well on to the pads.

Ashwin comes on for another spell.

After 46 overs, England 139/3

Bairstow gets going with an exquisite cover drive off Ishant... that was full and wide, deservingly put away. Yadav gets Bairstow to edge one from short of good length off the last ball of the next over, but the edges flies over slips to the fielder at third man.

The action has been quite gripping in this session but doesn’t look like that’s enough to keep head coach Ravi Shastri awake...as the man is caught dozing off by the camera. Bhajji makes sure to he calls him out. All in good times.

After 44 overs, England 129/3

Interestingly, Shami has been taken off the attack and Umesh comes back in. A bit bizarre, that.

Joe Root loves batting against India doesn’t he? He now has a 50-plus score in all 12 Test matches played against India

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FIFTY FOR JOE ROOT: The England captain has looked in fabulous touch ever since the 2nd ODI and has just carried on today, has barely been troubled. Gets to the landmark with a single to square leg as the crowd goes Roooooooooot.

After 42 overs, England 122/3

Ashwin brings out the carrom ball for the first today but it’s too full, and Root is quickly on to it and drives it well. Shami, from the other end, continues to bowl well. Unlike South Africa, he has not taken his own sweet time to get into the groove.

A change of bowling though... Ishant back in, Ashwin taken out with two right-handers at the crease.

Fastest to 6000 Test runs in terms of time

Player Matches Time taken
JE Root 70 5 years, 231 days
AN Cook 75 5 years, 339 days
DA Warner 70 6 years, 25 days
GC Smith 73 6 years, 284 days
KP Pietersen 75 6 years, 0 days
AJ Strauss 81 6 years, 220 days
SPD Smith 61 7 years, 175 days
KC Sangakkara 71 7 years, 151 days
R Dravid 73 7 years, 175 days
MEK Hussey 76 7 years, 27 days

After 40 overs, India 113/3 - another successful over for Shami

Since lunch: 30 runs, 12 overs, 2 wickets. This has been a good turnaround by India.

Two right-handers at the crease now for the first time, with Bairstow joining Root. Remember, this is England’s strong suit.


The Indian pacer is in the middle of a wonderful little spell. Around the wicket to Mala, the ball nips back in from short of good length, traps the batsman on the crease. Umpire gives it out, Malan reviews – and it’s umpire’s call on impact and hitting stumps! Double whammy for Malan but at least England keep the review.

Malan: LBW Shami for 8

After 39 overs, England 112/2

A lost review apart, Ashwin also got Root to outside edge a cover drive that flew past Rahane at slip. And Root brings up his 6000 runs as well. What a player.

India lose a review: Ashwin has a very loud appeal off the very first ball as Malan comes down the track and gets struck on his toe. Kohli goes for DRS and the verdict is not out... impact outside off.

After 38 overs, England 107/2

Malan hits the first boundary in 72 balls as Holding’s point is reiterated. That was banged in short by Shami, hardly rose above Malan’s hips. Off the last ball, Shami beats Root with a good length ball. Good over but for that attempted bouncer.

Ashwin is into the attack now...

After 37 overs, England 102/2

Michael Holding says Ishant came up to him in the morning and asked him what sort of a pitch he thinks this is going to be. Holding told him to get a read of the pitch early by banging one in short because he didn’t this had too much in it for the fast bowlers – has been proven right, it must be said. Another decent over by the lanky seamer as he continues to operate at a probing good length.

After 36 overs, England 100/2: Root 38*, Malan 2*

100 up for England but a wicket (much-needed for India) in that over. Shami strikes and you have to say, he’s earned it. Has looked in good touch all morning. The wicket, though, was anything but planned. Just a bizarre moment all-around.


A wicket assisted by a pigeon on the field? After a bit of a delay due to our feathered visitor refusing to budge, Shami comes steaming in and gets a wicket off the first ball of his new spell. Jennings defends off the back-foot, the ball takes an inside edge, pitches outside leg stump and then turns back to hit off-stump! HOW UNLUCKY IS THAT.

Jennings: Bowled by Shami for 42

After 35 overs, England 98/1: Root 38*, Jennings 42*

Maiden over by Umesh as India continue to operate outside off stump. Umesh brings one back in, Root negotiates it well.

Ashish Magotra weighs in on India’s outside off-stump strategy in the second session, seemingly a ploy to dry up the runs: “Looks like they have decided there’s not much in the wicket, so let us limit damage. Old ball will be key here.”

After 34 overs, England 98/1: Root 38*, Jennings 42*

Umesh and Ishant continue to toil away... the line and length has been a bit more consistent in this session but England still leaving too many balls. To India’s credit though, no boundary balls. Interestingly enough, Umesh’s pace has been in the lower 80s pretty much all morning. That’s slow by, his standards. Wonder if that’s a conscious effort to get the ball to move or to not stray in line too often striving for pace.

After 32 overs, England 92/1

Ishant to Root, and he continues to bring the ball back in to the Indian captain, as he naturally tends to do. One ball though, doesn’t move as much as Root thought as he plays inside the line of the delivery and gets beaten. Five dot balls, followed by a quick single off the last ball.

After 31 overs , England 91/1: Umesh Yadav now running in, covering the ball with the non-bowling hand. The ball is moving around a bit – reversing already? Looks conventional for now, says Atherton. Another steady over, this is better from Umesh.

After 30 overs , England 89/1: The right-left combo continues to trouble the Indian pacers, the line and length has been a bit all over the place every time they rotate strike. Ishant goes around to Jennings, like Sangakkara had called for earlier, and immediately looks like a much better ploy. Bowls one very wide to Root and gets him chasing – a rare false shot by the England captain.

After 29 overs , England 87/1 : Umesh continues to operate around the wicket for Jennings, like he did just before lunch. Some movement in the air off the first ball. There is a wild one in that over as he gets to one to move away after pitching wide, DK dives and gloves it over slip for four byes. He should have done better there, the dive was a bit too exaggerated.

06:10 pm: Team India in a huddle before making their way to the middle. Umesh Yadav to start proceedings...

Here is a look at India’s record at the five venues for this series.

(Screengrabs courtesy : Sony Network)

06:05 pm: Back soon for the second session...

ICYMI: Virat Kohli continued the remarkable trend of not naming the same XI twice ever as a captain. This is how his teams have changed over time.

LUNCH: One of the talking points is, yet again, India’s catching behind the wickets. India have a 67% success rate in the slips against seamers. Only Bangladesh have a worse record. Poor, really. Ganguly is not happy with it.

“India have to work really hard on their slip catching. They have to stay at first slip, second slip, third slip. They have to stay there and keep practising. That is the only way to get better.”

LUNCH: Do you think India should have played two spinners? Personally, I think it’s too early to say that. Like Atherton said, the assistance that Ashwin got might just be due to the early moisture. This, for all intents and purposes, looks like a fantastic batting track. Let’s see how things go when the moisture goes away.

LUNCH, DAY ONE: England will be delighted with that session after winning the toss. Ashwin was the best bowler on show, coming in to the attack as early as the 7th over. That Jennings dropped catch is going to haunt them as they regroup during the break.

“India bowled well in patches, but not enough wicket-taking deliveries,” says Sourav Ganguly.

LUNCH ON DAY ONE: England 83/1 after 28 overs.

Half an appeal by Pandya and Co off the third ball as Jennings tries to clip one to fine leg, it hits the thigh pad and goes to DK, who says “pad, pad” and India sensibily don’t review. Pandya finishes the over with a good delivery to Root – an effort ball, rises up from good length, and the inside edge trickles well past the leg stump.

After 27 overs, England 82/1: Good over from Umesh, almost gets Jennings to chop one on to the stumps from round the wicket. Short ball, angling in... he cuts it on to his boots.

Lunch is imminent now. Should just be one more over.

After 26 overs, England 81/1: Hardik Pandya comes on and Jennings helps himself to a boundary through the offside off the third ball. Full and wide, driven handsomely. Nothing great from Hardik as yet, just military medium.

Here’s a video of the drop... who’s catch was it anyway?

After 25 overs, England 76/1 (Root 31*, Jennings 31*).
Root and Jennings have now added 50 runs for the second wicket. The pair has produced a fine stand and kept England on track after Cook’s departure.

After 24 overs, England 74/1.
Shami once again induces an inside edge off Root. India creating half chances but luck isn’t on their side so far.

After 22 overs, England 68/1: Shami keeps it tight, goes past Jennings’ outside edge a couple of times. There’s still some moisture in the surface. England looking to play out the session.

After 20 overs, England 62/1: Are India going to regret that dropped catch early on? Jennings is now looking well set out there. The moment Shami offered width, he cracked it through point for four. And is leaving anything that is on good length.

After 19 overs, England 58/1: A maiden from Ashwin to Root. Good footwork from the England captain in that over, going forward and back with authority.

After 18 overs, England 58/1: Another steady couple of overs for India. Ashwin continues to get turn, bowls a tight over. Shami, like Sangakkara had earlier suggested for Ishant. goes around the wicket to Jennings and beats him immediately with a good length ball that rears up and moves away.

Atherton, meanwhile, teases Ravi Shastri with some banter: “The track top looked tight on Shastri although that says more about him than the track top”

After 16 overs, England 53/1: Fifty up for England and it comes up with a four towards third man as Shami induces the outside edge off Root, but the England captain plays with soft hands.

After 15 overs, England 46/1: Another good over from Ashwin, who has his hands on his head when Jennings leaves a straighter one that whistles past the offstump. Atherton touches upon the fact that both teams have opted for only one spinner in the lineup – he reckons Ashwin is getting the turn early here because of the dampness of the wicket. Might not be the case later on, possibly?

Shami from the other end...

A bit of a plug here, as Ashwin continues after drinks. We are now two years old!

DRINKS: England 45/1 after 14 overs

A lovely first over that, by Shami. The first bowler to get the ball to move both ways this morning. He beats Root with a gem of an away swinger, and then Root judges a leave outside off-stump brilliantly to a ball that moved in from a similar length. Shami got nice and close to the umpire and operated at a good channel in that over.

Time for Shami...

After 13 overs, England 45/1: With Nasser Hussain singing his praises on air, Ashwin continues to get turn. It’s a maiden over that ends with a ball that rises steeply on Jennings from a short of good length area. A wry smile on the opener’s face.

Kushal Phatarpekar says what most of us are thinking: Kohli and the team management would be wondering if they should have picked Kuldeep in the XI as well.

After 12 overs, England 45/1: Ishant is struggling to adjust to the left-right combination. Offers a dolly on the leg-stump to Root, and he accepts it gleefully.

After 11 overs, England 41/1: Another good over from Ashwin – he’s surely getting some purchase early on here. The ball is gripping. The short-leg fielder kept interested in that over on a couple of occasions by both Jennings and Root.

Meanwhile, what a photo this is.

After 10 overs, England 37/1: Expensive over by Ishant. Jennings gets an outside edge to third man for a four and Root clips a ball to fine leg for his first boundary. Sangakkara, on air, thinks Ishant should go around the wicket to Jennings as the angle away is getting too predictable.

Here’s how Ashwin set Cook up. A straighter one early in the over, then a looped up slow ball and then a ripper that Cook had no answer to, playing for the straighter one and getting beaten by the turn.

Ishant continues...

After 9 overs, England 28/1

WICKET - ASHWIN REMOVES COOK WITH A BEAUTY! Oh what a ball. That’s an absolute ripper from Ashwin. Drifts in, from around the wicket, lands on a good length, dips, turns away enough to beat Cook’s defence and rattles off stump.

Cook gone for 13. Root walks in and strokes one through extra cover for a couple.

After 8 overs, England 25/0: Ishant continues and just concedes the single when he strays on to the bat. There is not too much bounce on offer, it must be said. Off the last ball, the ball angled away just dies down.

After 7 overs, England 24/0: Oh wow. After all the talk about making the most of the moisture early on and all that, Ashwin is into the attack in the 7th over. This has been a bizarre morning for India. Umesh understandably taken out of the attack though. Also, two left-handers in, so Ashwin might enjoy this. Good first over too, has a loud LBW appeal against Jennings turned down.

After 6 overs, England 22/0: DROPPED! Oh dear, India’s old foe. Ishant squares up Jennings with a lovely away swinger, it’s a healthy outside edge. It flies low to Rahane’s left at fourth slip, he dives in front of Kohli and puts it down. The captain is not amused, by the looks of it. Thinks it was his catch. (Although, it’s still debatable if he would have caught it... just saying!)

After 5 overs, England 20/0: Another expensive over by Umesh. He’s struggling to get his line and length here. Two boundaries in that over, first is off a short and wide ball and then one strayed on to the pads. Poor from Umesh here with the new ball.

Virat Kohli, meanwhile, looks a bit subdued.

After 4 overs, England 10/0: Another tight over from Ishant as he continues to use that angle away from the left-handers to good effect. That is what you’ll get from Ishant – steady line and length if he gets into a rhythm.

So about India’s team selection... Ashish Magotra weighs in:

Kohli is at it again.

Was it the lack of intent or was it a lack of form or was it the lack of Kohli’s confidence in Pujara?

The decision to drop Cheteshwar Pujara will be debated over the course of this match over and over again. Each time Dhawan comes out to bat. Each time a catch is dropped in the slips. Each time KL Rahul walks in. Each time India will find itself in trouble. Each time Kohli looks around for help. Each time the camera pans on Pujara in the dressing room.

Pujara scored only 172 runs in 6 County matches, 12 innings and averaged 14.33 with a high score of 41. In between, he scored 35 against Afghanistan. His form wasn’t the greatest and that planted a seed of doubt in Kohli’s mind. That seed has now grown into a beanstalk. But it wasn’t just that. If the Edgbaston wicket was a green top, Kohli would have still gone with Pujara. Instead, it looks like a good batting wicket — where the need of the hour might be to score quick runs and not just stay at the wicket.

Dhawan is also the only left-hander in the line-up. Having two right-handers open the innings would allow Anderson and Broad to quickly settle into a rhythm. A left-hander makes it that little bit more difficult if the batsman can stay there long enough.

Dhawan’s technique against the moving ball isn’t great but given that Shastri and Kohli are all about winning matches… not drawing them… this doesn’t come as a surprise. Yes, you have to feel for Pujara but Kohli, as is the norm, seems to carry the horses for courses policy a bit too far. It’s Pujara but others in the line-up should know, it might be them tomorrow.  

After 3 overs, England 9/0 : 8 runs from that over. Umesh starts off his second over straying on to the pads of Jennings... first ball is glanced fine for four, second ball is flicked through midwicket for a couple. Umesh corrects his line, gets close to the umpire to get an outside edge off the next ball but strays on the pads again off the fourth ball for two more. Finishes with two dot balls.

After 2 overs, England 1/0: Wonderful first over from Ishant. First up, squares up Cook to induce an outside edge but it dies down before reaching the slips. He then goes on to beat Cook twice, with balls that are angling away – hint of seam movement off the pitch there. Good test this for England with one bowler taking the ball away and one bringing it back in.

03:35 pm: Not Shami but Ishant Sharma shares the new ball with Umesh.

After 1 over, England 1/0: Good shape into the left handers from Umesh to start off. India start with three slips and a short midwicket. Cook takes a single to cheers from the crowd – seems like a good number of fans inside the stadium.

03:30 pm: And like we had mentioned on these pages earlier, Kohli continues to maintain the record of not naming the same XI in two Tests ever.

03:29 pm: Alright the players are out in the middle... Umesh Yadav has the new ball in his hand. Cook and Jennings open.

03:22 pm: Among all the Test sides that have played at Edgbaston, India’s bowlers average a dismal 49.51, the worst among all nations. That would have to change in this match if India want a good start.

03:15 pm: Trying to make sense of India’s selection...

Ravi Shastri, in an interview recently, spoke about the importance of a good platform:

“The first 20-25 overs are extremely crucial. If you can come through that period [unscathed] then you get a set a good platform. Understanding your role, understanding what the team needs in those 20 overs, the discipline needed to see off those 20 overs and make sure you lose as few wickets as possible. Then you set up the game because we have enough ammunition in the middle order and lower order to take the game forward.”

He also spoke about Pujara:

“Pujara is an anchor. He has been one of the pillars of this batting line-up for a long time. You know what he does - he loves batting. We have seen once he gets in, he makes it count. He is one player who will really make it count and hold the innings together, so he becomes important.”

And today, Dhawan plays. Pujara’s dropped. Oh well!

03:04 pm: BIG NEWS... Confirmed. NO PUJARA! Rahul at No 3. Three pacers and Ashwin, the lone spinner.

“We were thinking of bowling first, wanted to get the maximum out of the conditions with the new ball. Looks like it’s going to be a good batting pitch overall. I think we have the bowlers to get into their batting lineup, we are very confident about our skillset. We are a team that doesn’t carry baggage. Three pacers and a spinner in Ashwin. Top three, Rahul is in and Pujara misses out.”

03:00 pm: England win the toss and choose to bat first.

02:57 pm: “We have been in England for weeks and we finally have typical English conditions,” says Sanjay Manjrekar. Says there is some moisture on the pitch, but there’s no fresh grass on the pitch. The pitch looks fairly brown, and Manjrekar thinks two spinners might not be a bad idea here. Well, that would be something.

02:50 pm: The obsession with Virat Kohli and how it could affect the India-England Test series...

In South Africa, Kohli did his job. The bowlers did theirs too in picking all 60 wickets on offer. The remaining batsmen failed to turn up. Along those same lines, India won’t win in England if Kohli doesn’t find support from the other batsmen around him, whoever they are, irrespective of haphazard selection to suit form and conditions.

Read more from Chetan Narula here, as he throws in a few Game of Thrones references to satisfy the pop-culture fan in you.

02:46 pm: Since its first international Test match in 1902, the Edgbaston Cricket Ground has played host to a total of 50 Tests and in recent years has become the location for the host nation’s opening salvo. As hosts, England have an enviable record of 27 wins and and 15 draws.

Out of the 16 Test matches played here by Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India, none have been able to secure a win. India’s best performance was a hard-fought draw in 1986 under Kapil Dev. That draw was a result of a strong top-order performance led by Mohinder Amarnath and Mohammed Azharuddin, with Chetan Sharma chipping in with 10 wickets in the match.

02:44 pm: The challenge of a five-match Test series is not unlike a Grand Slam in tennis. Only the best of the best can survive. To come out on top in his ‘Final Frontier’, it will require more than just naked aggression from Virat Kohli and his squad.

Read the preview here.

02:41 pm: Well, well, well. Early indications of the team combination. Is Pujara going to be the one missing out?

02:34 pm: All the talk right now is about the playing XI India are going to select. We had asked you to select your XIs and this was the result:

02:30 pm: Hello and welcome to The Field’s live blog of day one of the first Test between India and England. There’s nothing quite like the anticipation of the first session of a Test match, is there?

India may be the world’s top-ranked Test side but they still face accusations they are lions at home and lambs abroad. Indeed, no team travels well these days, as was proven by South Africa’s dismal performance in Sri Lanka recently. But a series win in England, where Virat Kohli’s men begin a five-Test campaign at Edgbaston, would go some way to ridding India of that unwanted tag.

In the past five years, India have won just one of their six Test series outside of Asia, against a struggling West Indies.

Their overall Test record in England is uninspiring – six wins from 57 matches and three series victories – 1971, 1986 and 2007.