Courtesy : AFP

To put it bluntly, the rain and Joe Root stood between India and victory  in the  first Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham yesterday.  India was in a comfortable position after securing a formidable lead of 95 runs in the first innings and bowling out England in the second essay for 303 runs.  India were sitting comfortably at 52/1  at the close of the 4th day requiring another 157 runs in 90 0vers on the final day.  The rain god didn’t relent  and with persistent rain, the ground was in a puddle of water. 

Early Lunch was taken, early tea was taken and finally early bed time was taken on the final day on 8.8.2021. The Umpires were hapless and had to call it off and the play was abandoned on the 5th day..

Trent Bridge ground was helpful to Indian team whenever it played there. Out of the 8 outings here from 1959, India had lost just two times and won 2 tests including a series win 2007 with a win here.

The takeaway from this Test was K.L. Rahul on a comeback trail didn’t disappoint as his timely 84 runs in the first innings enabled India take a substantial lead in the first innings and India’s No.1 pace bowler ,Jasprit Bumrah found his rhythm and was among the wickets. His 9 scalps in the match will boost his confidence after a low lying performance in WTC Final.  The mercurial all rounder and athletic fielder, the familiar scene of Ravindra Jadeja swirling his bat in celebration after scoring a half century ( 56 runs) in the first innings  was visible and the Indian tail wagged contributing a valuable 46 runs after the exit of Jadeja.  The young diminutive  wicket keeper Rishab Pant was in his element behind the wickets and his useful call for a caught behind review was worth mentioning.   Indian’s choice of 4 seamers and one spinner paid off as all the pacers hit the deck and got wickets.  The continuous failure of the trio, viz., Pujara, Kohli and Rahane in the top order is a point of concern.

For England their mainstay was the Captain Joe Root who anchored both the innings and was the top scorer in the match including a Century.  In the second innings though not full of conviction, Root survived a close call in the leg side glance as well as early reprieve with the ball falling short of the slip cordon and run out chance.  The absence of neutral umpires was a point of bother for the Indians as the umpiring standard of English Umpires was below par level as Root’s leg side faint edge was well taken by wicket keeper and the Indian players vociferous appeal for the catch  was turned down by the Umpire  as India already exhausted 3 DRS reviews. It left a bitter taste for Indians as Root went on to score a century amidst the ruins in England’s second innings also.  The legendary English pacer hit a purple patch with the ball as he scalped 4 wickets including the prize wicket of Indian Captain, who edged an outswinger the very fast ball he faced.  And Olie Robinson, swinging the ball both ways got a fifer. 

Now the team caravan moves to Lord’s to play the next Test on 11th Aug with stakes high for both teams.

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