England v India: Hosts dominate first day of final Test at Oval
Last updated on .From the section Cricket
|Fifth Test, The Kia Oval (day one):|
|India 148 v England 62-0|
England's resurgence continued with another devastating bowling display in helpful conditions on day one of the final Test against India.
After winning the toss and putting India in to bat on a green-tinged surface at The Oval, England took five wickets before lunch and bowled the tourists out for 148.
A spirited 82 from Mahendra Dhoni saved the tourists from total ignominy, the captain hauling his side from 90-9 in a last-wicket partnership of 58 with Ishant Sharma.
But England, leading the series 2-1, cemented their advantage with an unbroken opening partnership of 62-0 to close just 86 runs behind.
Sam Robson, who has not scored a fifty since the first innings of the first Test, struck two confidence-boosting cover drives on his way to 33, while Alastair Cook has 24.
The England captain should have been given out lbw on nine by umpire Paul Reiffel when he missed a Bhuvneshwar Kumar outswinger, but it is symptomatic of the transformation in both teams' fortunes over the course of the series that he survived with his hopes of ending a 30-innings wait for a century intact.
|Ex-England batsman Geoffrey Boycott on Test Match Special|
|"We say Dhoni is unorthodox, but on swinging, seaming pitches he plays the ball late and under his nose so your bat and pad are close to your body. You might play and miss occasionally, but he doesn't get tortured by that - and when the bad ball comes along, he tonks it. He played a fine innings - not aesthetic - but without him, the score would have been embarrassing."|
|Listen to Geoffrey and Jonathan Agnew's review of the day on the TMS podcast|
Cook will resume in the morning confident in helping his team take another stride towards a third victory in a row to complete a remarkable turnaround since they were heavily beaten at Lord's to go 1-0 down in the series.
While the hosts appear to improving with every match - there were three wickets apiece on Friday for seamers Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan - India are in freefall.
For the fourth innings in a row, they failed to reach 200 as their batsman failed to cope with the moving ball.
"To bowl them out for under 150 is fantastic, and with the way the boys batted at the end, it was a great day for England," Woakes told BBC Sport.
"It was nice to bowl on a wicket that was a little bit helpful to the seamers. Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad set the tone perfectly as they have done for the whole series, so it was nice to back them up and pick up a few wickets."
In the previous Test at Old Trafford, Dhoni walked out to bat with his team on 8-4. On Friday, India had managed 28 runs before he confronted another crisis.
After rain delayed the start of play by half an hour, it only took four balls for James Anderson to land the first blow on a desperately fragile India.
Left-hander Gautam Gambhir attempted to leave a ball shaping away from him but got the toe-end of his bat on the ball and presented a routine catch to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli have been billed as the natural successors to India legends Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, but both are enduring miserable series, with only one half-century between them in 18 innings.
|Stat of the day|
|There have been more runs for the 10th wicket in this series (466) than in any previous Test series, beating the record held by the 1924-25 Ashes|
Stuart Broad, playing only six days after his nose was broken by a Varun Aaron bouncer at Old Trafford, bowled Pujara via his pad and arm, while Kohli was lbw shouldering arms to Jordan.
Ajinkya Rahane tamely served up a return catch to Jordan and a near-perfect morning session for the hosts was rounded off when Murali Vijay was caught by Joe Root in the gully for 18 to leave India in a mess on 43-5.
The afternoon session brought a same old story as Stuart Binny, recalled in place of Ravindra Jadeja, nicked an Anderson outswinger to slip, Woakes accounted for Ravichandran Ashwin and Aaron, and Jordan had Kumar caught behind.
India should have been bowled out for 95, but Ian Bell, diving to his right, shelled a sharp chance to his right at second slip to reprieve Ishant.
Sensing the need to accelerate, Dhoni went into limited-overs mode either side of tea, most notably when driving Jordan for long-off for six.
However, with a century in his sights, he hooked Broad to Woakes at long leg.
Despite the captain's efforts, it had been another feeble India batting display and one that may have sealed their fate in the series.
Listen to Geoffrey Boycott and Jonathan Agnew review the day's play on the Test Match Special podcast.