England and India came to the Oval to play the last Test of the five-match series in what was an emotional moment for Alastair Cook and the whole England side. Alastair had announced his retirement from Test cricket and this is his 161st and last Test match.
India decided to give a debut to middle order batsman Hanuma Vihari in place of Hardik Pandya. At the toss, Joe Root won the toss for the fifth consecutive time in the series. He chose to bat and England had already announced an unchanged XI. India also included Ravindra Jadeja in place of R Ashwin.
Alastair Cook walked to the ground to rousing applauds and the Indian team showed tremendous sportsmanship by giving him a guard of honor. For the first time England openers posted a score of over 50 in the series and when Keaton Jennings was dismissed by Jadeja, England was 60/1.
Cook with Ali, added 73 runs for the second wicket and also brought up his 50 in his last Test match. The duo batted for 40 overs and despite not getting wickets, Indian bowlers kept the pressure on and it was rewarded in the form of Bumrah castling Cook for 71.
Then England was dealt a double blow when Bumrah had Root LBW for a duck and Ishant Sharma dismissed Bairstow caught by Pant for a duck as well.
Ben Stokes came out to join Ali and negotiated the Indian bowlers in a nice fashion, but was dismissed for 17 by Jadeja, leaving England 171/5. With these wickets, Indian bowlers went on the attack as Ishant sent back Ali for 50 and after a ball, sent India’s nemesis with bat Sam Curran for a duck.
Ishant was by far the hero of Indian bowling with 3/28 in 22 overs with 10 maidens. Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid avoided further damage to their batting and ended the day at 198/7.
ENG 198/7 (A COOK 71; I SHARMA 3/28) at the end of Day one