Anderson removes India openers before rain disrupts Edgbaston Test

Anderson, back in the side after missing the third Test of the 3-0 series win against New Zealand, removed both Indian openers with the help of catches from Zak Crawley at slip after Ben Stokes had won the toss and elected to bowl.

India hold a 2-1 lead in the series, which was due to be completed last September, only for the final match to be postponed just hours before it was due to start because of a Covid outbreak in the tourists’ camp.

Much has changed since then, with both teams now operating under new head coaches and new captains, though India’s skipper Rohit Sharma is missing here having not fully recovered from Covid.

In his absence, and that of fellow opener KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah is leading the side (the first specialist fast bowler to captain India in Tests), while Cheteshwar Pujara, dropped for the home win over Sri Lanka in March, was recalled to partner Shubman Gill at the top of the order.

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Gill looked in fine touch early on, striking four crisp boundaries, but had already survived a scare edging Anderson just short of slip when he was done by a bit of extra bounce and nicked off for an attractive 17.

Pujara was given out caught behind off Stuart Broad in the first over after drinks but successfully overturned the decision on review, only to almost be cooked by No3 Hanuma Vihari, who called through a rash single after picking out Anderson at mid-on, his embarrassment spared as the bowler’s shy missed the stumps by inches.

Vihari was not allowed to settle as England went on the hunt with five slips and was put down on six by the diving Crawley off the bowling of the excellent Matt Potts.

The England opener made amends in the following over as Anderson found the edge of Pujara’s bat and Crawley snaffled a much easier chance to send his opposite number on his way for 13 off 46.

That brought the out-of-form Virat Kohli to the crease to a chorus of pantomime boos and the former captain got off the mark with a single into the covers before the rain arrived and brought the morning session to a premature end.

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