An intriguing first test between England and India at Trent Bridge ended in a rain soaked draw on Sunday. The promised tight finished never materialised after rain in the morning and afternoon ended hopes of a tight finish.
India went in to the final day needing a further 157 runs to win with nine wickets in hand.
Opening day of an eagerly awaited test series
On the opening morning of an eagerly anticipated contest England won the toss and elected to bat first. The hosts went into the match once again without a recognised spinner.
Openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley were in desperate need of some runs, but Burns fell to the fifth ball of the match. The Surrey opener was trapped leg before by Jasprit Bumrah without scoring. Crawley made 27 before edging Mohammed Siraj behind. India’s opening attack of Bumrah and Mohammed Shami were causing the England top order some serious questions.
Shami bagged the wickets of Sibley(18), Jonny Bairstow(29) and Dan Lawrence for a duck to leave England struggling. From a position of 138 for 4 the hosts lost their last six wickets for 45 runs as India took control of the game.
Captain Root to the rescue-again
Not for the first time, one man stood in the way of India and that was Joe Root. The England captain top scoring with 64 to rescue the hosts. Along with an entertaining 27 not out from Sam Curran, England were eventually bowled out for 183. The outstanding Bumrah finishing with four for 46 and Shami three for 28.
India’s openers of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul put on almost a hundred for the opening wicket before Ollie Robinson struck. The Sussex seamer made the initial breakthrough just before lunch when Sharma was caught at backward square leg for 36.
Seven runs later Jimmy Anderson took centre stage with two wickets in successive deliveries. Cheteshwar Pujara(4) edged behind with Virat Kohli edging to Joss Buttler first ball.
KL Rahul stands firm
Despite England picking up wickets at regular intervals they couldn’t remove Rahul until Anderson struck. The 29-year-old from Bangalore had made 84 before becoming another victim of Jimmy Anderson. Ravi Jadeja hit a breezy 56 and with Bumrah contributing 28, India held a handy lead of 95 after being dismissed for 278. The superb Robinson finishing with five for 85 and Anderson four for 54.
Facing a deficit of just under a hundred, England lost Burns(18) and Crawley(6). A dogged innings of 28 from Sibley was ended by Bumrah as England reached 135 for three. Bairstow joined Root at the crease with the pair looking in fine touch. However when Bairstow had reached 30 he pulled a Siraj delivery straight down deep square legs throat.
Root leading by example once again
Again it was down to captain Root to lead by example for the second time in the match with a magnificent 109. Some lusty blows from Curran(32) and Robinson(15) helped England to a total of 303. Bumrah once again was the pick of the visitors attack with 5 for 64.
India were left a tricky 209 for victory with a full day and 18 overs left. 52 runs were added for the loss of Rahul(26) before bad light and rain ended play on the fourth day.
Unfortunately the great British summer of rain denied both sides the chance of pressing for victory on the final day. Both sides will try again when the second test commences at Lords on Thursday.