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Against India, England are undercooked and have overpromoted players

England were still trailing but India were close to leading in the first innings at lunch on Monday with seven trophies in hand.

Joe Root’s breakthrough third ball of the day, removing Jaiswal caught and bowled for 80, was exactly what England needed but their first innings total looked remarkably poor, especially especially given the weakness of the spin attack and KL Rahul is easily reaching his fifty.

Tom Hartley’s maiden Test wicket, Shubman Gill caught at mid-wicket, was a boost for him but it was a strange morning. Jack Leach, England’s senior spinner with 124 Tests to his name, has bowled just two overs. Has Hartley made 11, is Stokes placing his faith in the debutant or is Leach having trouble at his back? He looked a bit stiff on the field and remember this was his first game since May.

Jaiswal’s attack on day one is having a lasting impact. Hartley and Rehan had empty defensive fields around and both bowled fuller, one-dayers, to protect themselves a bit. This is understandable but it will not defeat this Indian side.

Mark Wood tried unsuccessfully to get Shreyas Iyer out, although it was not easy on this pitch, while Root was England’s best spinner but only managed to bowl six overs.

England were a bit loose on the field, and India’s difficult running between the wickets led to a few fumbles. Ben Foakes missed the chance to gain an advantage over Rahul by not getting a bye but had he taken it and appealed convincingly he could have taken the wicket. England, remember, there are no more reviews. Stokes lost a skier from Gill in foggy skies and a long day was underway.


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