England v India: Tourists collapse again on day one at The Oval
Last Updated: 16/08/14 1:33pm
Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes each grabbed three wickets as England's seam bowlers dismissed India for just 148 on day one of the fifth Test at the Kia Oval.
The tourists were in trouble almost immediately after Alastair Cook chose to bowl first and never recovered, with England piling on the misery by reaching 62-0 in reply at the close.
Conspicuous movement off the pitch and in the air vindicated Cook's decision at the toss, and India succumbed against pace under cloud cover, until Mahendra Singh Dhoni's spirited knock of 82 meant they escaped total embarrassment.
England's prospects of closing out a much-needed series victory, from 2-1 up, have nonetheless been significantly enhanced.
They will be hoping to build a significant first-innings lead on day two with openers Cook (24 not out) and Sam Robson (33no) well set at the crease, although the former can count himself lucky to still have his wicket intact after Bhuvneshwar Kumar had an lbw shout wrongly turned down.
Earlier the seam attack picked up where they left off in the fourth Test at Emirates Old Trafford, the only difference that it was back-up pair Jordan (3-32) and Woakes (3-30) who came to the fore by cashing in the best figures of their Test careers after James Anderson and Stuart Broad made the early strikes.
Anderson needed only four deliveries to advance one nearer to Ian Botham's England all-time Test wicket-taking record, with Gautam Gambhir being caught behind off the face of the bat as he tried to leave the first ball he faced.
The prodigious new-ball movement continued for both Anderson and Broad, and it was the latter who profited next when he snaked a perfect ball back through the forward-defence of Cheteshwar Pujara (4) to hit the top of off-stump via the No 3's front pad.
India tried to dig in, but Virat Kohli managed to make just six before departing lbw to Jordan, who doubled up by holding a return chance from Ajinkya Rahane (0).
Opener Murali Vijay (18) had stood firm but could not extend his vigil beyond Woakes' second over - Joe Root posted close at gully, wearing a helmet, and holding on to a low, juggling catch as bounce compromised the back-foot defence.
After lunch, which India reached at 43-5, Anderson made short work of Stuart Binny (5) with a routine edge to Cook at first slip, while Ravi Ashwin (13) fell to another low gully catch by Root off the bowling of Woakes.
England had caught very well, and Jos Buttler showed safe hands again as Kumar (5) chased a wide one from Jordan, and the end seemed nigh when Varun Aaron (1) looped a return catch back to Woakes to leave India on 90-9.
But England had to pay a relatively heavy price when Ian Bell dropped Ishant Sharma (7 not out), with the No 11 going on to surive 42 balls as Dhoni cut loose in a last-wicket stand of 58, by far the highest of the innings.
Skipper Dhoni hit 15 fours and one six before hooking Broad into the hands of Woakes at deep fine leg five overs into the evening session.