Bairstow shines but India take charge against England


Mohali, India—Jonny Bairstow said England had a “scrappy” opening day after his half-century remained the only bright spot for the visitors who faltered against a persistent Indian bowling attack in Mohali on Saturday.
Bairstow hit a gritty 89 to salvage some pride for England’s batting after they were reduced to 87 for four in the morning session following their decision to bat first.
Indian bowlers put up a combined effort as Umesh Yadav, Jayant Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja claimed two wickets each.
The visitors, who trail the five-match series 1-0, were 268 for eight at stumps with Adil Rashid (4) and Gareth Batty (0) battling on.
“It’s been a scrappy day but we’ve dealt with worse in the past and we will carry on to work hard within the game,” Bairstow told reporters.
“After winning the toss, it was disappointing to lose wickets, at the same time it could have been a disastrous day as well.
“We’ve also got to take positives from that.”
Bairstow, who recorded his 13th Test fifty, built crucial 50-plus partnerships with Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler (43) to thwart the opposition’s bowling.
Bairstow remained calm during his 177-ball stay at the crease before being trapped lbw off Jayant Yadav in the last half hour of play.
The batsman, who survived a seemingly close umpire review on an lbw shout off Jadeja on 72, could not overturn his own referral as the on-field umpires call was upheld.
Jadeja halted England’s revival twice in the innings only to see Bairstow steady the ship with his composed batting.
Jadeja got Ben Stokes stumped for 29 in the afternoon session and then denied Buttler, who batted with positive intent during his 80-ball stay, his fifty.
While trudging back to the pavilion Stokes had an angry exchange of words with India skipper Virat Kohli, with the on-field umpire jumping in to pacify the two players.
“I don’t know what was said, I don’t get involved with all that stuff,” said Bairstow.—AFP