England all-rounder Ben Stokes mistakenly applied saliva on the ball after the completion of the 12th over of the India innings in the third session of the pink-ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Wednesday.
As a precautionary measure against coronavirus, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has banned using saliva to shine the cricket ball. However, the players are allowed to use sweat as an alternative to shine the ball. Stokes' mistake saw the umpire stise the ball before the action resumed.
A team can be issued up to two warnings per innings for the use of saliva, but repeated use will result in a 5-run penalty to the batting side, according to the ICC.
Meanwhile, after battling out for 14.5 overs, India lost their first wicket off the last ball of the 15th over when Jofra Archer dismissed Shubman Gill for a 51-ball 11. He skied an attempted pull to give Zak Crawley an easy catch. Minutes later, the hosts lost Cheteshwar Pujara as he was trapped in front by Jack Leach.
Earlier, hometown boy Axar Patel and seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had a field day as India bundled out England for a paltry 112 in the first innings.
Axar, playing in just his second Test, scalped six wickets while Ashwin returned with three wickets as the visitors were bowled out in just 48.4 overs. This was Axar's second five-wicket haul in a row as he had scalped five in the second innings of the second Test as well.
Skipper Virat Kohli might have lost the toss in the third Test, but his bowlers ensured that the hosts dominated the first session.
If the former England players were critical of the Chepauk wicket, the lack of application from the English batsmen in the first innings of the third Test can have no excuse.
Playing down the wrong line was the crux of the story and just like the top-order batsmen, Jofra Archer (11) too tried to cut a straight delivery and was clean bowled by Axar as the visitors were reduced to 93/7. This was Axar's fourth scalp in the innings. Jack Leach (3), Stuart Broad (3), and Ben Foakes (12) all failed to stay at the crease for long and as a result, the hosts have given themselves the best possible chance to make this contest a one-sided affair.
( With inputs from ANI )
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