1st Test, day 3: Root leads England fight-back in first Test
by Andy Jalil

Ground:Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Scorecard:England v India
Event:India in England 2014

DateLine: 12th July 2014


By Andy Jalil In association with INVESTEC


Andy Jalil - Cricket Writer and Commentator
Andy Jalil at Trent Bridge
In association with INVESTEC,
© Andy Jalil


Nottingham Ė India bowlers have kept their team on top with England on 352 for nine and trailing by 105 at stumps. It was the excellent effort of Joe Root, unbeaten on 78 and in an unbroken tenth wicket stand of 54 with James Anderson that helped to build the England total after the middle order had struggled against Indiaís controlled bowling in which Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the pick of the bowlers with four for 61.


From Indiaís point of view, with just two days remaining, the result of this match will depend on how quickly their batsman, in the second innings, can build a substantial lead to put England under pressure in the fourth innings. It is not a pitch that is particularly favouring the bowlers and the tourists will need time if they are to take ten England wickets the second time around.


Resuming on the third morning on the overnight score of 43 for one, England were in complete control during the entire first period. Sam Robson, in taking his overnight score of 20 two 34, hit two lovely shots for four off Mohammed Shami from consecutive balls. He was in the forties for almost eight overs before reaching his first Test fifty, following his maiden hundred in the previous Test in the series against Sri Lanka.


At lunch England were 131 for one with Robson and Gary Balance on 59 runs apiece. They had both faced 123 balls for their half centuries and Ballance had brought up his fifty guiding the ball beautifully to the point boundary off Stuart Broad. England then lost three wickets within the first hour after lunch almost a repeat of Indiaís batting on the previous day when the tourists lost four wickets soon after the break.


The damage to the England innings was done by Ishant Sharma whose marvellous spell gave him three for 21 in 35 balls. The first two fell lbw as with Robson the ball seemed to hit the pad first although it wasnít entirely clear if the ball went on to the pad off the edge of the bat. Twenty runs later, Ballance was trapped in front of the stumps reducing England to 154 for three.


Ian Bellís wicket was the third to go in that spell from Sharma. Bell, on 25, appeared to be intending to play a late cut but was surprised with the extra bounce and in changing his mind from playing the shot he was held behind off the toe of the bat.


Sharma was rested after seven overs and Shami took over to bring about Moeen Aliís dismissal. Shami's bouncer didnít rise as much as Ali expected it to and having taken his eye off the ball he gloved a catch to first slip. Wickets were falling in quick succession and the next two were claimed by Kumar.


He was fortunate with Matt Priorís wicket, caught behind, with replays showing clearly the batsmen had not played the ball, it was a poor umpiring decision. England were then 202 for six and on the same total, two balls later, Kumar had Ben Stokes held behind as he edged a ball well away from him.


The revival of the England innings came in the eighth wicket stand between Root and Broad who rapidly put on 78 from 85 balls and Broad had 47 from 42 balls when he was finally dismissed lbw to Kumar having helped his side to avoid the follow-on. Liam Plunkett batted for half-an-hour before being bowled by Kumar during which time Root brought up his fifth Test half century from 102 balls. It was a fine innings, timed nicely just when England needed the runs having lost quick wickets.


(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2014 Andy Jalil)


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