A horrible run-out of Joe Root sparked an England collapse on day one of the first Test against India at Edgbaston.
Root was on 80 when he and Jonny Bairstow opted for a second run, only for Virat Kohli’s direct hit to beat the dive of the England captain.
From there, England lost four wickets for 27 runs and eventually limped to 285-9.
Earlier, they looked to be taking advantage of winning the toss on a surface that seems true for batting, but is also offering some encouragement to both pace and spin bowlers.
Root shared stands of 72 with Keaton Jennings, who made a watchful 42, and 104 with Bairstow, whose 70 was the most fluent batting of the day.
But, after Root and Bairstow were removed, India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin tormented England to end with 4-60.
It left England in a disappointing position on the first day of their 1,000th Test, played in front of a ground that was no more than three-quarters full.
The crowd was subdued until it was brought to life by England’s struggle, with some of the biggest cheers reserved for number 11 James Anderson blocking the hosts towards the close.
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Kohli sparks England slump
For two sessions this was a hard-fought day, one that bodes well for the competitiveness of the remainder of the five-Test series.
England showed patience against the moving ball and later, when Bairstow and Root were scoring at four and a half runs an over, the home side were taking control at 215-3.
However, it was England’s eagerness which began India’s resurgence.
Bairstow played Ashwin to mid-wicket and came back for a second that never looked viable. Kohli chased, gathered and threw off-balance, the ball hitting the non-striker’s stumps with the desperate Root well short.
As Bairstow dropped to his haunches and Root stomped off, skipper Kohli blew kisses to both batsmen, then put his finger to his lips and mimicked Root’s ‘mic drop’ celebration from England’s victory in the third one-day international.
Soon after, Bairstow chopped Umesh Yadav on to his own stumps, Jos Buttler was lbw to Ashwin and Ben Stokes somehow patted a return catch to the same bowler.
Sam Curran and the controversially recalled Adil Rashid briefly halted the tourists, only for Rashid to be lbw on review to Ishant Sharma before Stuart Broad was trapped leg before by Ashwin.
Run-out robs Root of long-awaited ton
For so long, Root looked set to end a run that had seen him fail to convert any of his previous 10 half-centuries into hundreds.
The skipper patiently absorbed probing India bowling, tucking the ball off his pads or guiding it to third man.
In reaching 40, he became the third-youngest batsman, after Sachin Tendulkar and Alastair Cook, to reach 6,000 Test runs.
His half-century meant he had passed 50 in each of the 12 Tests he has played against India – no other player in the history of the game has made more than nine successive fifties against the same opposition.
During his stands with Jennings and Bairstow, Root was keen to rotate the strike, often holding out his hands and asking his partner for a single.
It was running, though, that proved his downfall.
England collapse rewards India
India, the world number one side, have lost only one Test series since the beginning of 2015 but are looking for their first success in England since 2007.
Although captain Kohli said he was happy to lose the toss, his side were poor with the new ball, their wastefulness compounded when Ajinkya Rahane dropped Jennings at fourth slip when the opener had only nine.
Ashwin was introduced in only the seventh over of the day and turned the ball throughout, perhaps showing the error of both sides in opting for only one specialist spinner each.
Ashwin led the India improvement. Alastair Cook was bowled by a beautiful off-break that clipped the top of off stump and impressive pace bowler Mohammed Shami removed both Jennings and Dawid Malan.
India were forced to retreat when Bairstow was in full flow, but after Kohli’s moment of magic the tourists took control in the evening sunshine.
They would have completed the job had diving wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik not spilled Curran off Shami in the final over the day, leaving Curran unbeaten on 24.
‘England missed a massive opportunity’
Former England captain Michael Vaughan on BBC Test Match Special: “The run-out shouldn’t happen. Root and Bairstow will know they were controlling game.
“England had a great opportunity to post 400. We have seen it before – England get into a good position and allow the opposition back into the game. England have missed a massive opportunity.”
England opener Keaton Jennings: “On one hand, it is a missed opportunity, but on the other you don’t know what a good score is until both sides have batted.
“We need to be pretty relentless in the way we go about our work tomorrow.”
Ex-England spinner Phil Tufnell: “India are renowned for not starting well abroad but have come out of the blocks beautifully. Everyone has got wickets, Ashwin is in the game, they have got a run-out. Everything is looking pretty rosy.
“India came back well. One piece of magic unlocked the whole day for them.”
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/45031634