England got off to the perfect start against Team India on Day 2 when off-spinner Moeen Ali struck two crucial blows in his first over of the day.
The 33-year-old sent debutant Axar Patel packing by luring the left-hander into a expansive cover-drive by flighting the ball outside off-stump. Patel fell for the bait and strayed out of his crease, which gave Ben Foakes the opportunity to catch the batsman short of his crease.
It was a blow for Team India, as Axar Patel is known for his ability to bat and use the long handle if needed.
Click here to watch the dismissal of Axar Patel.
Ishant Sharma then came in ahead of Kuldeep Yadav because of his ability to block the ball. The idea was maybe to have someone at the crease who would stick around with Rishabh Pant. However, the ploy did not work, as Ishant Sharma went for an ambitious sweep off only the second ball he faced.
However, the tall fast bowler only managed to top-edge the low full- toss straight to Rory Burns, which reduced Team India to 301-8.
Click here to watch the dismissal of Ishant Sharma.
Rishabh Pant's fireworks take Team India to 329
Undaunted by wickets falling around him, Rishabh Pant continued playing his natural game, as he was running out of partners. The 23-year-old brought up yet another half-century in Test cricket after smashing the likes of Moeen Ali and Joe Root down the ground.
The left-hander scored all 24 runs in his ninth-wicket partnership with fellow left-hander Kuldeep Yadav before the latter fell to Ollie Pope. Number 11 Mohammed Siraj came and lasted only two balls. He scored a boundary off the first before falling next ball while trying to repeat the trick.
A disappointed Rishabh Pant was seen shaking his head at the other hand. Nevertheless, Team India will be happy with a first-innings score of 329 on a pitch where run-scoring has been anything but easy.
The hosts will now look to unleash their trio of spinners on the visitors on a turning surface and eke out a significant first-innings advantage.
As expected, Ravichandran Ashwin shared the new ball with Ishant Sharma, while debutant Axar Patel and the returning Kuldeep Yadav should be in the thick of action sooner rather than later.