Anderson treble rocks India in third Test
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Leeds (United Kingdom) (AFP) –
England great James Anderson ripped through India's top-order as he dismissed Virat Kohli during a superb spell of new-ball bowling on the first day of the third Test at Headingley on Wednesday.
Anderson removed opener KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli, all caught by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler as India slumped to 21-3.
Ollie Robinson then struck with what became the last ball before lunch when Ajinkya Rahane (18) was also caught behind to leave the tourists reeling at 56-4.
Rohit Sharma was 15 not out having survived 75 balls as wickets tumbled around him.
Anderson had the stunning lunch figures of 3-6 in eight overs.
An unchanged India came into this match 1-0 up in the five-Test series after a superb 151-run win at Lord's last week.
England, by contrast, recalled Craig Overton after fast bowler Mark Wood, who suffered a shoulder injury fielding at Lord's, joined fellow quicks Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer and Olly Stone on the sidelines.
Meanwhile star all-rounder Ben Stokes was still absent due to mental health issues.
India captain Kohli won the toss and despite the overcast conditions that promised to aid Anderson, already the most successful quick bowler in Test history, decided to bat.
But India having seen Rahul and Rohit share a century opening stand at Lord's, lost their first wicket to just the fifth ball of the day.
Following several inswingers, Anderson pitched one up that moved less and Rahul, fresh from his 129 at Lord's, fell for a duck when he edged a booming drive to Buttler.
New batsman Pujara, renowned for his defensive resilience, had lasted just nine balls when he was out for one after being undone by an Anderson delivery that both swung away in the air and seamed off the pitch, with the 39-year-old's accuracy reminiscent of New Zealand great Richard Hadlee.
Anderson and Kohli had exchanged angry words at Lord's after the England tailender had been subjected to a bouncer barrage from Jasprit Bumrah.
But there was little time for any more 'sledging' as Kohli, without a Test hundred in two years and averaging just 23 since January 2020, fell for seven when he tried to drive an Anderson delivery he might have defended to give Buttler another routine catch.
Rahul, Pujara and Kohli managed just eight runs between them.
But there was a worrying moment for England when Rahane edged Overton short of Joe Root at first slip, with the ball striking the captain a painful blow on the right thumb that saw him leave the field.
© 2021 AFP