Pankaj chases maiden Test wicket

India

Indian fast bowler Pankaj Singh conceded the Indian bowling attack struggled on a relatively sluggish pitch, as England assumed control on day one of the third Test at the Rose Bowl.

Indian fast bowler Pankaj Singh conceded the Indian bowling attack struggled on a relatively sluggish pitch, as England assumed control on day one of the third Test at the Rose Bowl.

An unbeaten century from the left-handed Gary Ballance and a complementary 95 from captain Alastair Cook steered the hosts to a formidable score of 247 for two in Southampton on Sunday.

The bowling ranks, minus the services of the rested Ishant Sharma and all-rounder Stuart Binny, sported an international debutant in Singh. The lanky right-armer showed plenty of promise across 20 overs – but did not force a breakthrough.

The English, meanwhile, benefited from slip fielder Ravindra Jadeja's error. Jadeja dropped Cook on 15. A reasonably straightforward lbw appeal, too, was rejected in the absence of the Decision Review System.

"This is a dream come true. I am really happy to make my debut, but I would have liked to get a wicket for my team. Hopefully I get some on day two. It's an unbelievable feeling. I can't put it into words," said Singh.

"I tried my best, but things haven't happened. Hopefully on Monday that changes. It, the pitch, is actually a bit slow and seems comfortable for batsmen who get stuck in. We bowled in the right areas, but they played well. A dropped catch and an lbw as well, so it was unlucky."

The left-handed Ballance and right-handed Ian Bell will resume on 104 not out and 16 not out respectively on Monday, when the visitors will target a 500-plus score in a bid to bat only once – and perhaps secure a series-leveling triumph ahead of closing fixtures in Manchester and London.

"The scoreboard says it's not our day, probably not the best day on tour for our attack. We just need to tighten a couple of things up for day two," concluded Indian bowling coach Joe Dawes.

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