Axar Patel looked to have continued with his form as he took two wickets while Mohammed Siraj dismissed England skipper Joe Root to help India reduce the visitors to 74/3 in the opening session of the first day’s play of the fourth Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday.

Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes then propped up the England innings, putting up a partnership of 44 runs to see them through to lunch. Bairstow was on 28 while Stokes had made 24 runs when the umpires led the players back into the pavilion.

England had chosen to bat after winning the toss, with Root hoping that they could put as many runs on the board before the ball would turn for the spinners.

“We need to make use of the first innings, because it’ll spin again very soon so we need to get runs on the board soon.

“Over the last couple of years we have progressed as a side, and it’d be a great chance to finish a great winter if we win this Test match. When you have a tough couple of games, we need to be honest, use the coaching staff and players who have experience in these conditions, and this is a good chance for the guys to regroup and give this their all. Archer and Broad are out, Dan Lawrence and Dom Bess come in for us,” said Root.

“We would’ve batted first too. It looks good to bat on, on Day 1. It’s been unbelievable captaining India for so long, and in Tests we have come up the ranks quite well. We look forward to coming together as a side. We have a great bunch of guys who have bought into my vision as captain. We have to be at our best, and England are a quality side, who have and can put us under pressure. We have to be at the top of our game. Mohammad Siraj comes in in place of Jasprit Bumrah,” said Kohli.

Brief scores: England 74/3 (Jonny Bairstow 28 batting, Ben Stokes 24 batting; Axar Patel 2/21, Mohammed Siraj 1/23) vs India

With IANS inputs