'Put seeds of doubt in....' - Kevin Pietersen praises Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin for cunning move to dismiss Ben Duckett
The first Test match between India and England is already underway, with the visitors batting first. England have already lost four wickets while putting up 121 runs at the board at the time of writing this article. India's premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin snared two of England's wickets, including that of Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett.
Both batters had got England off to an excellent start, with an opening stand of 55 runs inside just 12 overs. India's mistake was to give their seamers a long opening spell, but they amended it soon by bringing Ravichandran Ashwin into the attack.
All it took the veteran spinner was the 11th delivery of his spell to break the partnership as he trapped Duckett lbw with some smart planning with his skipper Rohit Sharma. Ashwin had changed the field just before that delivery, giving an impression that he will turn the ball away from the batter, but the delivery drifted in instead and trapped Duckett in front of the stumps. Duckett challenged the decision with DRS but the review showed the ball was clipping the stumps. England didn't lose the review but Duckett was dismissed lbw based on Umpire's call.
Kevin Pietersen lauds Rohit Sharma and R Ashwin
Former England batter Kevin Pietersen talked extensively about the duo's planning to dismiss Duckett during the Lunch break.
"Ashwin had a chat with Rohit Sharma right before the Duckett wicket. They stopped play for a bit, discussed the field, put seeds of doubt in Duckett's mind and poof...next ball, Duckett's gone! Ashwin is a very smart operator," Pietersen was heard saying on Jio Cinema.
Ashwin's bowling partner Ravindra Jadeja got rid of Ollie Pope soon and Ashwin didn't take much time to send Zak Crawley back to the pavilion after that. Pope was dismissed cheaply for a solitary run to his name, whereas Duckett and Crawley were dismissed for individual contributions of 35 and 20 respectively.
England were struggling at 60/3 but Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow forged a nice partnership of 61 after that. But Axar Patel produced a brilliant delivery to clean up Bairstow just after lunch and reduce England to 121/4.