After an unsuccessful test for me at Lord’s I was looking forward to the third test at Trent Bridge. I was lucky enough to have received a ticket for the TMS v Tailenders match at Derbyshire’s 3aaa’s Ground. My daughter had been visiting from Paris and had a train to catch in London, I decided to drive her into Stratford in East London. I had plenty of time to get to Derby but my Satnav decided to send me the longest possible way! I therefore had a 4.5 hour journey but arrived in tie thankfully. The starter was great fun, A T20 match between the 2 teams that was played in great spirit. The newcomers, a Monday night podcast – The Tailenders, were the winners and fun was had by all!
A shirt drive took me to Nottingham for an none too healthy McDonald’s – I’d had no time for food on that long journey, then on to my Airbnb for the duration of the test match. A very comfortable garage conversion that will be my home from home for a few days.
A short walk took me to the Queens Medical Centre Tram stop, a £2 event ticket sorted my fare. I was later than I’d planned in arriving at the tram station in Nottingham, I’d planned to walk but jumped on a bus, which was just £2.20, that dropped me just outside the ground.
My seat was in the Radclffe Road Middle tier, that meant I virtually needed oxygen as I walked up the stairs., but I made it and took my seat for what was a cracking view! I had Bob, from Lancashire on one side, at 70 he had many cricket tales to share during the day, on the other side I had an amusing trio made up of a father and son and friend of the father, we had some good chats too.
To the cricket at last, I was too late to see the toss, but wasn’t unhappy to hear that How Root had won the toss and elected to bowl, there was considerable cloud cover, although Trent Bridge can be a great batting wicket.
As is India’s way they’d made changes to their lone up, Shikhar Dhawan was back in to replace Murali Vijay, Rishabh Pant replacing Dinesh Karthik and Jasprit Bumrah fit at last back in the starting XI with Kuldeep Yadav missing out. England had made just one change, bringing Ben Stokes back in and dropping Sam Curran.
We had a morning session of, well, Test Cricket basically as Shikhar and KL Rahul opening actually played a decent innings, they played steady cricket without taking many chances at all. They both played and missed a couple of times but didn’t really look to be in danger. Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad opened the bowling but made no breakthrough.
Rahul and Shikhar built a steady 60 before Chris Woakes got that breakthrough, Shikhar edged the ball to Jos Buttler and was out for 35. Cheteshwar Pujara joined Rahul, Woakes struck again in his next over, trapping Rahul LBW, India wasted a review on the decision, the risk of reviewing an LBW has been taken away to a degree when the decision is deemed Umpires choice, but in this case Rahul was plumb so the review was lost. That 60 for no wicket had turned into 65 for 2.
The wicket of Rahul brought Virat Kohli to the crease, what could he do to bring his team back into this series? England wasted their own review with an LBW appeal from the bowling of Stuart Broad, the wicket in question was Virat Kohli which perhaps made them more keen to ask, but, again it was a lost review!
Kohli and Pujara again looked comfortable until Pujara had a brain freeze moment just before lunch, he tried to hook a ball from Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, the forgotten man was under the ball and took a great catch. He’d again been out in the extremes of the field with very little interaction with his team mates, but both they and he were pleased as punch when he took the catch. India had gone from 60 for no wicket to 82 for 3.
One of the photos above shows the happiness on the face of Joe Root, it doesn’t quite show Virat Kohli’s displeasure!
The wicket signalled lunch, I’d been organised and bought myself a sandwich etc, which I supplemented with some a cuppa. One of the benefits of sitting in the Radcliffe Road Middle Tier is cheap tea without a queue! and decent toilets which also rarely have a queue.
The team returned from lunch, with England’s session having been redeemed by Chris Woakes. We were then treated to a batting masterclass pretty much from Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane. It was what the India fans and this England fan wanted to see, Kohli is a delight to watch once he gets his eye in and Rahane who was one of India’s best batsmen in 2014 is similarly skilful.
Neither man played a flamboyant innings, they played a test innings and as a cricket lover first and foremost it was a pleasure to watch. From an England viewpoint they seemed to be bereft of ideas, having 4 right armed seamers was giving very little variation. I mention the right arm thing as the dropped Sam Curran is a left armer who would have brought some much needed change to the party.
It took a wonder catch to break up this partnership, a Stuart Broad ball was edged by Rahane to first slip, Alastair Cook, who’s dropped more then a few this summer took it in his left hand, it took a moment to realise he’d held onto it, but it was firmly in his hand and Rahane was out for a very good 81. India had moved got 82 for 3 to 241 for 4, a superb partnership of 159 for those who don’t fancy doing the maths.
The relief on the faces of the England faces is plain to see. Hardik Pandya joined his captain, and Virat set about getting to his century. Joe Root brought Adil Rashid into the attack, this proved to be a masterstroke. That was after England had used up their second review, I’m not sure I’ve seen a review wasted when the bowler hasn’t appealed, the ball seemed to literally touch nothing! Joe Root really needs to be stronger at such times!
With Kohli on 97 he played 5 balls in one over from Rashid before swing at a ball in his bid to reach his century, the ball went straight into Ben Stokes hands and Kohli was out heartbreakingly close to his 100. India were 279 for 5.
India introduced their 20 year old debutant next, wicket keeper Rishabh Pant came in, he opened his international batting account with a mighty straight six! Impressive to say the least. Pandya had looked settled but his wicket was to be the last action of the day, he was caught by Jos Buttler from the bowling of Jimmy Anderson. The day finished 3 overs short with India on 307 for 6.
There’s a lot of disquiet over lost overseen test matches, today there wireman factors, during one hour of his innings Virat Kohli had the physio/twelfth man on 4 times at least, the fielding team always seem to take an age to get the ball back to the bowler and are drinks really needed every hour when it isn’t hot?
I look forward to Day 2 of what is shaping up to be a great game of cricket! Today was India’s day, who will Day 2 belong to?