Archer dismisses openers as India wobble in response to England’s 578


ofra Archer dismissed both India’s openers before lunch on the third day in Chennai as England’s dominance of the First Test continued.

Resuming on 555 for eight, England had batted for 40 minutes, adding 23 runs, before being bowled out. India had been in the field for more than 190 overs, and spent most of them frustrated by Joe Root’s epic 218.

Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandaran Ashwin finished with three wickets each, the former pinning Dom Bess lbw with the first delivery with the belatedly-taken third new ball and the off-spinner bowling last man Jimmy Anderson. 

When India’s innings began, the game came to life. Anderson opened the bowling for England but struggled to locate the right line. His partner, Archer, was potent, however. 

Having played nothing but T20 cricket in the last six months, and coming in without a warm-up fixture, bowled with pace and smarts on his maiden first-class appearance in Asia. He beat Shubman Gill with a lovely leg-cutter in his first over, then had Rohit Sharma caught behind with one that bounced a touch in his second. 

Gill looked in delightful touch, driving Anderson through mid-on and pulling Archer for four among his six boundaries. But after being hit on the hand by Archer, he tried one flick through midwicket too many and was caught brilliantly by Anderson diving forward at mid-on. He departed with 29 from 28 balls. 

That saw Virat Kohli join Cheteshwar Pujara at the crease. As Root got all five of his frontline bowlers into the game early, the boundaries continued to flow, with India hitting nine in 14 overs before lunch. They reached the break on 59 for two, trailing by 519. 

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