8/18/2018 4:57:19 PM

Woakes treble ruins India's start to third Test

Woakes treble ruins India

Nottingham, England: Chris Woakes overshadowed the return of fellow England all-rounder Ben Stokes by taking three wickets as India's promising start to the third Test at Trent Bridge evaporated on Saturday.

When Cheteshwar Pujara (14) carelessly hooked Woakes straight to Adil Rashid at long leg just two balls before the scheduled end of the session it meant India were 82 for three, with skipper Virat Kohli four not out.

India had been an encouraging 60 without loss on the first morning after losing the toss, but Warwickshire paceman Woakes, belying his status as the fourth bowler deployed by England captain Joe Root, took two wickets for one run in nine balls to remove openers Shikhar Dhawan (35) and KL Rahul (23).

Much of the pre-match attention had been focused on England's decision to recall Stokes, just days after he was acquitted of affray.

Stokes was found not guilty by a court Tuesday on charges that stemmed from a fight outside a Bristol nightclub in September last year.

He returned in place of left-arm swing bowler Sam Curran in the only change to the England side that thrashed India by an innings and 159 runs in the second Test at Lord's last week.

Stokes missed that match because it clashed with his trial. His replacement at Lord's, Woakes made the most of his opportunity to score a maiden Test century and take key wickets as well.

India, looking to bounce back from 2-0 down in a five-match series, made an encouraging start after losing the toss at a Trent Bridge ground renowned for aiding swing bowlers.

Dhawan, recalled after Murali Vijay bagged a pair at Lord's, and Rahul were testing by several probing early overs from James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

Yet there were still some solid leg-glances for four by left-hander Dhawan and an elegant boundary square though point by Rahul off Broad.

There had been concerns over the reception Stokes might receive from the Trent Bridge crowd.

But when he came on to bowl, as first change, there was neither excessive cheering nor notable jeering, with the modest applause usually reserved for a bowler starting his spell greeting his introduction into the attack.

In his second over, Stokes accidentally collided with non-striker Dhawan attempting to field the ball, but both players saw the funny side, and a smiling Dhawan put his arm round Stokes's shoulders.

After twice collapsing at Lord's, India's openers gave the tourists cause for guarded optimism with Rahul's cover-driven four off Woakes bringing up a fifty partnership.

But Woakes soon squared up Dhawan, who edged to Jos Buttler at second slip, before an inswinger had Rahul lbw.

Share this: