England v India 3rd Test at Trent Bridge

England v India 3rd Test at Trent Bridge

Neil Whitaker reports

Day 1

A FOURTH wicket partnership of 159 in 40 overs between India captain Virat Kohli and vice captain Ajinkya Rahane rebuilt India’s first innings on the first day of the third Specsavers Test match at Trent Bridge.

The pair came together after India’s had lost three wickets for 22 runs in eight overs and their fans feared another batting collapse following their display at Lord’s in the second Test. Chet  Pujara became Chris Woakes’ third victim of the morning when he pulled the last ball of the session to Adil Rashid on the long leg boundary.

Their partnership was broken by a magnificent slip catch by Alastair Cook when Rahane, who looked set for a century, drove a widish ball from Stuart Broad and Cook at first slip took an incredible one handed catch with his left hand  with the ball almost past him.  Cook had to take the catch because Bairstow never moved for it.

Rahane brought up his 13th Test fifty and his first for 14 matches when he uppercut Woakes to the cover boundary.  His fifty included seven fours and it came from 76 balls. In the second over after tea he fiercely cut Woakes to James Anderson at backward point who attempted a spectacular overhead catch but as he fell to the ground the ball bobbled out of his hand.

Rashid who was not required to bowl at Lord’s came on to bowl in the 12th over after lunch and bowled only five overs  for 29 before he was replaced by Woakes at the pavilion end but it was he who got the vital wicket of Kohli.   Rashid tossed up a leg spinner and the India skipper couldn’t resist the temptation went for the drive to reach his century with a boundary but edged it  to Ben Stokes at slip. Only the second time that Kohli has been dismissed in the nineties.  Woakes said: “To get him was important because he is a big wicket for us.”

In the penultimate over before lunch Kohli on four was hit on his pads by Broad and England went for a review because it was Kohli but the review showed the impact to be outside off stump.

Woakes said: “It was an even day, when you win the toss and put them in you always have that added pressure to bowl them out.  I thought India played very well, they played the moving ball well, better than they have.  They have world class players and they capitalised on that middle period when we struggled.  We bowled reasonably well but throughout the middle period we struggled to create a chance.

When I came on to bowl I felt the ball was swinging and got a couple of quick wickets which were important.”

After Joe Root put India in on an overcast morning India’s openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul knew they had to be there after the first hour at least. For the 45th consecutive Test India made changes from the previous Test.  This time they made three changes from the the side that lost at Lord’s, Dhawan replaced Murali Vijay who bagged a pair in the second Test, wicket keeper Rishabh Pant making his debut came in for Dinesh Karthik  and Jasprit Bumrah replaced Kuldeep Yadav. 

Slowly Dhawan and KL Rahul got the scoreboard moving.  A cover drive by Rahul off Woakes brought up the second India opening partnership of fifty of the series.  He edged the next ball through the slips to the third man boundary to bring up India’s highest opening partnership of the series.  In the next over Stokes got one to rise at KL Rahul who edged it over the slips to the third man boundary.

Woakes got the breakthrough when he squared Dhawan up, found the shoulder of his bat and Jos Buttler at second skip took a comfortable catch.  Dhawan’s 35 was India’s third highest score of the series.  He got his second wicket in his next over when he jagged one back in at Rahul and was given out out leg before. Rahul walked, Pujara chased him to review it but India lost the review.

Wosakes two for one in nine balls.

Kohli was replaced by 20 year old Pant charged down the wicket to Rashid and smashed his second ball in Test cricket into the pavilion for a straight six and became the first Indian to get off the mark in a Test with a six

In the second over with the new ball Pandya on 14 gloved Broad and the ball flew to Jennings at third slip who despite getting both hands to it dropped a dolly. Broad was beside himself.  England got rid off Pandya  when he angled Anderson to Buttler to give Anderson his 100th wicket against India, only the second bowler to do that. The other bowler was Muttiah Muralitharan.

It was the first Saturday start for a Test in England since 1955 and the Indian players wore black armbands in respect for former captain Ajit Wadekar who died on August 15.

Day 2

THE second day of the Third Specsavers Test match moved on at breakneck speed with 16 wickets falling, 307 runs scored in 78 overs with India in the box seat with three days left they lead by 292.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya calmed his first Test five wicket haul and wicket keeper Rishabh Pant became the first Indian stumper to take five catches on his Test debut as England were dismissed for 161. 

Pandya said: “I thought Ppant was amazing behind the stumps. Before the match he kept saying he was nervous but he hasn’t shown them.   It helps you when someone behind the stumps is catching everything.

I don’t want to be the next Kapil Dev I want to be Hardik Pandya so I which that people would stop comparing me with him.”

In an incredible afternoon session England lost 10 wickets for 115 runs in 30 overs, the third time in two years they have been dismissed in a session. Before lunch England had raced to 46 in nine overs which makes the collapse the more remarkable.

Pandya got his first wicket with his first ball when he was introduced into the attack after a drinks break.  He squared  England captain Joe Root up and KL Rahul at second slip took a low catch.  Root didn’t walk  and the umpires sent it to the tv umpire with a soft decision of out.  After numerous replay’s  tv umpire Aleem Dar gave him out.  Root shock his head at the decision as he walked off and the crowd jeered the decision.

Six overs later Pandya got his second wicket when Jonny Bairstow pushed at him and KL Rahul took his third catch of the innings  at second slip.  Pandya’s third victim was Chris Woakes who top edged a hook off Pandya  and Pant took a brilliant one handed catch in the webbing of his right glove above his head. Woakes started to walk and then decided to review it which confirmed he was out.

In Pandya’s next over Adil Rashid pushed at him but edged him to Pant, which put Pandya on a hat trick.  Broad survived the hat trick ball but four balls later was plum leg before to an inswinger.

Jos Buttler said: “ it was a very disappointing day after a good start to the day picking up those early wickets. But it’s important that we recognise why we have these collapses. Today we weren’t good enough.  We’ve had a. Bad day today and we’ll dust ourselves down  and come back tomorrow. We have to improve and eradicate those errors we’ve been making.  Our group of players gel together. We didn’t hit our straps on the first day.

India are the number one side in the world for a reason and they showed that today.”

At lunch England were 46 without loss after nine overs and looking in a. Commanding position.  But things started to change in the third over after lunch when Alastair Cook edged Ishant Sharma for a straightforward first slip catch to Chet Pujara but he dropped it  as paid the price for having their slips too close together because Pujara must have seen stumper Pant in his eyeliner. But it wasn’t expensive drop  because two balls later Sharma got Cook out for the 10th time when he  pushed forward at Sharma,this time Pant made no mistake. 

Keaton Jennings followed his opening partner  back in the hutch when he hung his bat out and bottom edged  the first ball of the next over from Jasprit Bumrah at the Radcliffe Road end. On seven Root edged Bumrah to the boundary but Pant had already taken two steps to legside and couldn’t make up the ground if he hadn’t taken those two steps he would have caught it.

Ollie Pope was strangled down the legside by Sharma and Pant took a good catch.  Ben Stokes who came in at the fall of Root’s received a mixed reception when he came out to bat had a slice of luck when he was hit on the pads by Pandya but was given not out by umpire Marais Erasmus but Kohli reviewed it.  The replay showed it to be grazing off stump so it was umpires call.

He made it to double figures when he was squared up by Sami, got an outside edge to it giving Rahul a comfortable waist high catch. 

Jos Buttler top scored with 39, was the last man out but got England past the follow on mark. With two needed to avoid the follow on Butler got leading edge over Ajinkya Rahane at cover for a couple to avoid the follow on. He then hit four, six and four off the next three balls.  He hit a one-day six off Sharma over long off  into the pavilion.  Then we got into one-day mode as Buttler and James Anderson added 32 in six overs with Anderson contributing one to the partnership.  The innings ended when Buttler went for a big hit too many when he smashed Mohammed Sami to substitute Shardul Thakur coming in from the long on boundary.

Morning rain delayed the start of play for half an hour and during the first over from Broad the light gradually got worse and with the last ball of the over Broad found Ravi Ashwin’s bat’s shoulder and the ball flew over the slips to the boundary.  Buttler at second slip was already taking evasive action.

India lost four wickets for 22 in 19 balls as the were dismissed for 328.  First to go was Pant when he tried to drive Broad but got an inside edge and was bowled in the fifth over of the morning after adding only two to his overnight score.

Next to go was Ravi  Ashwin lost his middle stump when Broad pitched one up and it swung late. Mohammed Shami had a big swing at Anderson and Broad at mid on took the catch.  Bumrah batted like a novice and got in no position at all was bowled for a golden duck.

Sharma who was unbeaten on one should have gone before Mohammed Shami when he edged Anderson to Pope in the slips but he couldn’t hold on to it as he moved to his left.

With a lead of 168 India’s overs Shikhar Dhawan and Rahul raced to 60, the same score they put on in the first innings, when Rahul tried to drive Stokes but missed the ball which hit his pads and then on to the stumps.  The loss of Rahul did not slow India’s run rate up by the end of the 16th over they had reached 90.

Cook at first slip  dropped a dolly off Woakes when Dhawan was on 33. England got rid Dhawan when he danced down the wicket to Rashid and was beaten by Rashid’s googly to give Bairstow an easy stumping.

Day 3

ENGLAND had nine overs to face before stumps on the third day after India skipper Virat Kohli declared on 352 for seven setting England a massive  521 to win this Third Specsavers Test but openers Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings saw them to the close without losing a wicket but they both had scares against Ishant Sharma and Ashwin.

Throughout the day Kohli showed no urgency as he was prepared to be patient and grind the England fielders into the ground and then teased them when he would declare. In the morning session Kohli and Chet Pujara only added  70  giving them a lead of 362

Kohli hit his second century of the Test series.  He made 103 and became only the second Indian to score a 90 and a century in a Test match.  It took England 293 minutes to get rid of Kohli when he tried to work Chris Woakes off his legs.  Kohli reviewed it and the replay showed it to be just hitting leg stump.

He brought up his 23rd Test century and his fifth against England with his 10th boundary of his innings when he guided Woakes through the slips.  But England should have got rid of him in the previous over.

England’s assistant coach Paul Farbrace said: “He’s deserved the runs he has scored in this series. Today he showed what a quality player he is.  I am  a great believer that great players learn from other great players trying to adapt their game to suit.”

Kohli clipped James  Anderson off his legs to the mid wicket boundary to take him into the nineties and England could have dismissed him twice before he reached his ton.  In the second over after tea he drove Anderson straight through Jennings at gully and raced to the boundary to bring up the fifty partnership with Ajinkya Rahane.  Anderson was beside himself and put his head in his hands.  It was the 10th catch of the match that England had put down.  To rub salt in the England wounds he edged the next ball  just short of Cook at first slip.

Farbrace added: “Our fielding coach has worked very hard with ember of the team to improve their fielding but we can’t keep shelling catches like we do. Nobody drops catches on purpose but I believe they do because of a lack of concentration or they are not good enough.  Our bowlers worked really hard and created opportunities the rest have to back them up.”

England had to wait until the 42nd over of the day for their first wicket of the day. when Stokes got one in the corridor of uncertainty, Pujara was forced to play at it and Cook at first slip took an easy catch.  43 overs earlier Pujara was  dropped by Jos Buttler at second slip off Anderson on 40 after adding only seven to his overnight score.  Pujara’s partnership with Kohli was worth 113 in 48 overs. 

Pujara said: “I am very pleased with the runs I scored today. Despite not scoring many runs in county cricket my stint there  helped me to play like I did in these conditions.  When we are overseas we need to trust  out techniques. You are always under pressure when you don’t score runs, in this match it was important that all the top order scored runs even if it was  only 30 or 40 they showed they could stick at the crease.  Today it was important that we batted as a unit. We are looking forward to tomorrow.  Today we had a game plan and we stuck to it.”

Pujara reached his fifty when he clipped Stuart Broad to Woakes at deep square leg for a single touring up his fifty from 147 balls with seven fours.  Kohli reached his fifty in the over after Pujara when he  punched Adil Rashid through the covers off his back foot  for a single to bring up his fifty from 82 balls with five fours.

Up to the penultimate over before lunch the closest England came to taking a wicket was when Kohli pushed Stokes to Broad at mid on and set off for a quick single.  Broad’s throw smashed into the stumps but Pujara was safely home. In the penultimate over before lunch Rashid managed to clip Pujara’s pads but the ball narrowly missed his stumps.

After lunch Kohli and Pujara  punished anything which was short.  Pujara picked up a short ball from Rashid early, rocked on to his back foot and smashed Rashid to the long on boundary to bring up India’s 200.

After his swashbuckling first innings Rishabh Pant was promoted above Hardik Pandya  but the promotion didn’t work.  He pushed at Anderson and edged him to Cook.  

With the lead at 450 Pandya and Rahane didn’t push on with it until they got past 300. They eventually added 47 when Rahane tried to cut Rashid but missed the ball and was bowled.  Two balls later Pandya smashed Rashid for a straight six over long off to bring up India’s 500.   Pandya reached  his fourth Test fifty  in 10 matches with a square cut off Rashid for a single.  That put Mohammed Sami on strike who slogged the next ball to Cook at cow corner.

In the 44th over with India on 147 for two, Jonny Bairstow didn’t take a ball cleanly from Anderson and suffered a small fracture to his middle finger on his left hand.was struck on the base of his left index finger and left the field.  He was replaced behind the stumps  by Buttler.

Day 4

JASPRIT Bumrah took five wickets on the fourth day and put India on the verge of winning the Third Specsavers Test at Trent Bridge. 

Tomorrow India need one wicket to win while England need 210 more runs. Bumrah’s five wicket haul was only his second in Test cricket.  When India took the second  new ball England were 223 for four then Bumrah took three wickets for eight in five balls.

He struck with his third ball with the second new ball. Buttler offered no shot as he pushed forward at Bumrah.  Buttler reviewed it and it was umpire’s call. Buttler said: “Bumrah makes it hard for you to decide which balls to play and which to leave.

To great cheers Jonny Bairstow came out to bat.  Bumrah squared him up and hit the top of his off stump.  Chris Woakes survived the hat trick ball  when he chipped the yorker just above mid wicket.  Woakes tried to avoid a bouncer that came in at him from Bumrah but gloved it on its way past his head and Rishabh  Pant took the catch.

Bumrah said: “Test cricket is all about patience, the one-day game is about outsmarting the batsman.  We were trying to get one wicket and hoped that everything would follow.  I was looking to bowl good length’s and line.”

Bumrah and the crowd thought he had got his fifth wicket when Adil Rashid hung his bat out to him and the ball flew to Virat Kohli at third slip  but on Rashid’s walk back to the pavilion he was called back and the television replay showed that it a no ball. After his reprieve Rashid stroked Bumrah through the covers for a four and hooked a Bumrah bouncer for a six.   The leg spinner got another reprieve when he drove Mohammed Sami to Kohli and the Indian skipper put it down.

Bumrah did get his fifth wicket in the third over of the extra eight overs when Stuart Broad edged him to Ajinkya Rahane at second slip. During his innings of 20 Broad passed 3,000 Test runs.

A record breaking fifth wicket partnership in a fourth innings of 169 between Jos  Buttler and Ben Stokes frustrated India and looked certain to take the match into the fifth day. The pair broke the highest fifth wicket partnership in the fourth innings beating the 153 made by Trevor Bailey and Willie Watson against Australia at Lord’s in 1953. But this partnership should not have got off the ground.  On one Buttler edged Bumrah but wicket keeper Pant, as he did in the first innings to Bumrah moved a couple of paces down legside, he then he had to dive to his right  but he only managed to get his fingertips to it. If he hadn’t taken those two steps England would have had the stuffing knocked out of them.   Buttler said: “If he had taken that it would have been a different story.” Buttler gave a hard chance in the penultimate over before lunch when he drove Sami just wide of the diving Rahane in the covers.

Buttler hit his first Test century as he and Stokes staged a comeback fight on the fourth day of the Third Specsavers Test at Trent Bridge.  His century included 21 fours and became the fourth player to hit 21 fours in his first Test century.  He clipped  Sami off his legs to the fine leg boundary to bring up his ton.  Two balls earlier he pulled a bouncer from Sami to the boundary to bring up the 150 partnership with Stokes.  

Buttler added: “It was important that we turned up today and showed and shown lot of character and fight, making sure that we took it into the fifth day.  Reaching my first Test century was a huge moment for me and I am delighted.  It was nice to prove that I can do it at this level.  I am pleased that I did something for the team and now I feel that I belong.

Hardik Pandya squared Stokes up who got a leading edge and the ball flew to KL Rahul at second slip  who took his sixth catch of the match.  Stokes did well to dig out a  yorker from Ishant in unconventional and got a couple to reach his slowest Test fifty  from 147 balls. When he was on 38 hit on the pads by Ashwin, the Indians went up but their appeal was turned down by umpire Chris  Gafaneyf so Kohli went for the review.  The replay showed it to be grazing leg stump, so it was umpires call and Stokes lived to fight on.

It took India five balls to get the first wicket of the day when Ishant bowled a straight ball to Keaton Jennings who   played a tentative shot at it and gave Pant an easy catch.

In his next over Ishant dismissed Alastair  Cook for the 11th time.  He  squared Cook up who didn’t move his feet and got an outside to Rahul at second slip.

Ollie Pope drove Ishant straight to the long off boundary to get off the mark. He drove the next ball and was lucky not to get an edge.  England lost their third wicket of the morning when Joe  Root pushed hard at a wide ball from Bumrah to give Rahul his second catch of the morning moving to his right.  Up to then Root had showed a lot of patience but Bumrah deserved that wicket because of his persistence outside the off stump.

In the next over Pope played a terrible shot at a wide ball from Sami  and Kohli took a fantastic catch at third slip diving in front of Rahul.


April 2, 2018 12:00 am

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