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Alastair Cook , Debutant Keaton Jennings Give England Good Start against India at Wankhede Stadium

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Alastair Cook , Debutant Keaton Jennings Give England Good Start against India at Wankhede Stadium

December 08
15:42 2016

jenNew Delhi, Thursday, December 8 – England are keen to bounce  against India in the fourth Test, which started early today at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, in view of the fact that they trail in five-match series 0-2 facing consecutive defeats firstly in Vizag and secondly in Mohali.

The visiting team has Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, James Anderson, Jake Ball, Jos Buttler, and Chris Woakes. On the other hand, India have captain Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Karun Nair, Ravichandran Ashwin, Parthiv Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Cheteshwar Pujara.

Those in extras from both sides are Mohammed Shami, Manish Pandey, Shardul Thakur, Amit Mishra, Zafar Ansari, Gary Ballance, Gareth Batty, Liam Dawson, Stuart Broad, Ben Duckett and Steven Finn. Weather of Mumbai stays good, giving players a chance to focus just on the match without getting bothered about any other point. Pitch conditions look dry. England won the toss and decided to bat. Taking quick wickets and compelling the opponents to take a backseat in the first few overs of the match was the motto of the squad bowling first. But it did not happen easily after Alastair Cook and debutant Keaton Jennings arrived on the crease to bat.

Both looked composed and tried their best to play some attractive shots through the covers, not letting India bowlers build any sort of pressure on them. Due to injury in little finger, Haseeb Hameed isn’t part of the team this time. However, 24-year-old Keaton Jennings to this point played striking innings, keeping his confidence up. Cook and left-handed batsman Jennings stitched a partnership of 99 runs, making India strive for wickets. The kind of breakthrough Men in Blue were eying from the start after a catch was dropped was given by Jadeja. His delivery made England skipper step out and place the ball, which went into the hands of Parthiv Patel, who was quick in taking the bails off.

Cook was far away to reach safely inside the crease. He lost his wicket at a score of 46, which was studded with five boundaries. But before going back to the pavilion, England got a good start in opposition to India, who looked forward to seal the series by winning the ongoing Test. There is no doubt that the guest will do everything possible to win it too, making best possible use of batting skills. Their top, middle and lower batting orders will have to show a lot of improvement if they don’t wish to repeat mistakes that were done in the earlier Tests.

The young opener is batting at a score of 65 facing 112 balls, with the help of eight boundaries. Joe Root is on the pitch and batting at 5 runs. After 31 overs, England accumulated 117 runs. To tell the truth then each captain wants to lead a team which follows his game plan and gives its best to attain victory at the end of the day. Confidence of players imparts massive role in any contest. Hopes are surging from both young and experienced cricketers of India to do well in the rest of the day. Under the guidance of Virat Kohli, the home side wants to gain foothold.

India used DRS system before seven overs were complete but result did not come in their favour. Even though there were a few misses, prospect of seeing some excellent show by India is up having Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin in the bowling lineup. One bounce fours from England openers were eye-catching. In the second session, India would want to take wickets as early as possible. Failing this, they may be in trouble. Here is to mention that the dust was apparent many a time when ball came in contact with the pitch. Wicket usually turns a lot in Wankhede. Unexpected bounce and sudden pace can take batsmen by surprise.

England are a group with talented players. Those who are yet to bat are Moeen Ali, Stokes, Bairstow, Buttler, Woakes, Adil Rashid, Anderson and J Ball. India might be feeling a little pressure but they can come ahead of their opponents if catches aren’t dropped and the ball doesn’t miss the right length. How Indian team restrict the visitors from achieving a mammoth total will be interesting to watch. Humidity is to disappear steadily due to clear weather and immense sunshine. The Wankhede Stadium is crowded with enthusiastic fans who are ready to cheer whenever India seem to gain grip in the match.

Stabilized innings by England batsmen can be a threat for India. With several hours left on Day 1 of the fourth Test match, anything can happen. Though both sides will look for making their strategies work but at the end only it will be clear who among all shine to keep rivals under pressure. Focus of Cook and Kohli must be on motivating young men contribute as much as possible and help their respective squads to get close to victory, which is important in several aspects. To be honest, the hosts will anticipate sealing the series by winning the Mumbai Test while the vising camp will do everything thinkable to open their account in the longest format.

England players put forward impressive play but did not get success to let India feel stress. At the present, it will be better if players take their time to settle on the crease and steal runs on weak deliveries instead of playing a wrong shot and throwing their wickets, which are needed to be saved to stay strong. A totally different picture can be put on view if England score well in the 1st innings. The right approach for the Test matches will add to the interest. So far, the debutant has demonstrated wonderful play, making himself stand in the bunch of players who are talented and gain experience that is useful in growth in all regards. Any room to Jennings will make him mark an impressive first appearance. Bowlers certainly need to exploit their ability to give England another jolt. Energy of cricketers on the field is positive.

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