A game which had it all from the get go, but sadly we as fans of the game got cheated out of a glorious test match because of the weather. Returning after a loss in WTC final, team India suprised everyone with their team selection dropping their main spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for Shardul Thakur, picking 4 pacers out of the 5 bowlers. England also picked 4 pacers with Joe Root playing as the only spinner for the side and would not bowl in match. India’s record has not been the best in England but their opposition’s recent test series performances makes this contest pretty even.
OLD WARHORSE GETS THE BETTER OF THE KING
The Kohli-Anderson battle was always going to be the centre of attention in this series, and at Nottingham, James Anderson silenced India by dismissing both Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli of consecutive deliveries shortly after lunch which changed the game completely. This was the sixth instance that Anderson has dismissed Kohli in test matches, four of them coming in India’s 2014 tour of England. The ecstasy and emotion of Anderson contradicted with the despair of Kohli, who stood there motionless but had to go.
Sadly, it is highly likely that this will be the last series were these two face-off against each other with the veteran english pacer in the twilight of his international career making this wicket more special. James Anderson figures of 4-54 in the first innings helped him overtook Anil Kumble (619 wickets) to become the third highest wicket taker in test cricket only behind Shane Warne (708 wickets) and Muttiah Muralidharan (800 wickets).
K.L. RAHUL, RAVINDRA JADEJA GAVE VISITORS THE EDGE
Opener K.L. Rahul, who was playing his first Test for nearly two years and who was only in the playing XI to replace Mayank Aggarwal who got injured just days before the test match started was the top scorer (84 in 214 balls) in the first innings helping India Post a good score on the board.
He was quite lucky as he was helped on his way by two dropped slip catches, but he kept his focus and continued with his steady innings. Him and Sir Jadeja (56 in 86 balls) took a toll of England’s attack in contrasting fashion which left India in a commanding position at Trent Bridge before rain brought about a premature end to the match.
ROOT TO THE RESCUE
The Indian fast bowlers were fired up, hitting the pitch so hard you almost felt sorry for it. Life for the batsmen appeared horribly uncomfortable. But Joe Root couldn’t care less about that. It was observable throughout his stay at the crease how much he enjoyed being in the fight.
His score of 109 in 172 balls brought England back in the game. Siraj tried to rile him up, the conditions were not doing him any favours, the situation he was stuck tried to get to him, but he kept staying true to himself and smiled his way to register his 21st test hundred. A smile worth a hundred runs for Joe Root.
Jasprit Bumrah, the game changer again. Whenever the captain needed a breakthrough, he gave the ball to Bumrah and he looked unstoppable, maintaining India’s dominance on the test match. India’s main weapon returns to form with his 5-64 and 4-46 after he went wicket-less across innings in the world test championship final against New Zealand. More importantly, he also contributed with the bat scoring 28 vital runs in just 34 balls helping his team to register a 95 run lead over England. A day after the Trent Bridge test, Bumrah tweeted “Still don’t need you” trolling his haters which was the icing on the cake.