India were expected to bundle out England within 150 after they reduced the hosts to 86/6 by the end of the second session on Day 1 at The Ageas Bowl, Southampton. However, Sam Curran’s herculean effort with the willow helped the home team to post a competitive total of 246 in the first innings.
Firstly, Curran stitched a significant 81-run partnership with Moeen Ali (40) to bail England out of trouble and then followed it up with a valuable 63-run stand with Stuart Broad. In the process, Curran completed his second half-century of the series. His 78-run knock was laced with 8 boundaries and 1 six.
Addressing the media after the first day’s play, India speedster Jasprit Bumrah credited Curran for England’s revival and said that bowlers can’t take 5-6 wickets every session. Bumrah was the stand-out bowler for India on Day 1, claiming 3 wickets for 46 runs.
“You can’t wicket 5-6 wickets every session. They played well too, and built a good partnership between Sam Curran and Moeen Ali. When Curran came in to bat, he was playing the waiting game. As the ball got older, it stopped swinging a lot and there was less seam movement as well,” Bumrah told reporters.
“Then he played some shots and they scored some runs. After the break, we decided we had to create pressure again and work hard for a wicket, and things would follow,” he added.
Jasprit Bumrah, who picked up the wickets of Keaton Jennings, Jonny Bairstow and Stuart Broad, also mentioned that India would have taken this England score before the start of play.
“If you’d told us in the morning that we’d get them out for 250, we’d have taken that any day. We had them 80 for five, but they played well too. You can’t be too greedy and expect too much: ‘Oh, they’re 80 for five, so you should get them out for 100.’ We’re happy with this score and if we bat well, it will help us going forward,” he asserted.
Bumrah said India were surprised at the amount of movement their attack generated throughout the day.
“When we started in the morning, there was a lot of seam movement and swing. We also wanted to bat first. So that (movement) was a little more than we expected. We thought there would be a little help but this was more than we expected,” Bumrah remarked.
“You don’t want to try too much in that case. It’s always better for the bowlers to stick to a line and length, and that helps you get wickets. As a bunch when you’re getting wickets, it’s always good. You can create pressure from both ends,” he continued.
Bumrah took two quick wickets in the first spell as England’s top order had no clue to combat him. Jennings was bamboozled and didn’t know how to leave the ball as it came in sharply.
“Whenever a plan works it’s a good feeling. But (was Jennings’ dismissal) a dream delivery, I don’t know about that. That’s not a new ball. I usually have the in-swinger (to the left-hander) and the out-swinger to the right-hander,” he said.
“I bowled that to Chris Gayle in the World T20 semi-final as well. It’s not a new delivery. When you have too many options, you don’t want to use all of them in a single day. Whenever you feel that option is suitable, you use it,” he concluded.
(With inputs from Indian Express)