So, tomorrow I’m going to Day 5 of the Test match at Trent Bridge!  Those aren’t words I thought I’d be typing or even considering yesterday, or even at lunch time today!

I managed to arrive at the ground with everything I took with me, so was fully prepared for whatever the weather chose to throw at me, that was a good start.  In spite of the Radcliffe Road Middle Tier being half empty I had company both sides.  Clive and John from Grantham were great to chat to, they’d set up a Book Club through their local library and found themselves as the only men, having been refused entry to some women only groups! Sexism or what!  Brothers in Law Lee and Eamonn were on the other side, we 5 had a pleasant day company wise.

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I had spent a few hours in the morning considering my route home and a night in my own bed when England inevitably fell short in quick time.  They’d started the day on 23 for no wicket, with neither Cook or Jennings looking comfortable at the crease.  It really felt like a matter of when, not if their wickets fell.

Ishant Sharma made short work of both, the photos of them both look eerily similar.  Jennings was caught by Pant for 13 and in Sharma’s next over Cook was caught by Rahul for 17.  England were on their way to another collapse on 32 for 2.  I watched Keaton Jennings fail for England all of last summer, and lo and behold………..

Cook is struggling in a big way too, it has to be said.

 

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Joe Root and Ollie Pope were at the crease, Pope has had a wonderful summer with Surrey, batting at 6, but here he was coming in on the biggest stage at 4 with his team in 32 for 2.  No pressure then!

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There’s been an obsession about Joe Root having to bat at 3,in spite of the fact it’s not where he himself wants to bat.  Looking back over this summer his scores have been – 4, 68, 45, 80, 14, 19, 16 and for this innings a mere 13 as he was caught by Rahul from the bowling of Burma.  That’s an average of just over 32, something just isn’t working for the man hailed as our best batsman.

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At 62 for 3 England were heading to an early finish, that looked more likely when Pope was despatched in the next over by Shami, with Virat Kohli taking a great catch, the young Surrey player had scored 16 and faced 39 balls, England were 62 for 4.

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Yes this was a bad shot, but so were those played by Jennings, Cook and Root, I’m seeing headlines with this 20 year old’s game in, let’s not go for the rookie playing in the wrong spot!

Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler were in to save the day, and quite literally saving the day is what they did!  I was very vocal in my disquiet of Buttler’s inclusion in this test team and remained unconvinced, until today.  He played a wonderful red ball innings and reached a deserved century, his partnership with Ben Stokes gave the England fans in the crowd something to smile about.  Stokes played a sensible, responsible innings.  Their partnership of 169 exceeded England’s first innings total.

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Buttler’s celebration was low key, this innings was highly likely to be in a losing cause.  Virat Kohli and his team were clearly frustrated but not in the way England were in the field on Day 3.

It struck me today that this series really is being played in a good spirit, that was brought home to name when Shikhar Dhawan bent down to tie up an England batsmen’s laces, I can’t recall who, but it was clear that the two teams have a regard for each other.

India took the new ball and things changed fairly rapidly, Jos Buttler was trapped lBW by Bumrah for 106, England were 231 for 5.  Surprisingly Jonny Bairstow came in to bat, it’s maybe wrong of me to say, but I wasn’t unhappy that he got a golden duck, being bowled by Bumrah.  I’d much rather his finger was mended before he comes into the fray again.

No photo of that one as I was busy updating Instagram when it happened.  It’s getting late here so again photos will have to come later.

Bumrah took the wicket of Chris Woakes who had faced only 3 balls, he became Pant’s 7th catch in the match, not half bad on your debut!  Anything Pant can do Rahul can too and he took his 6th catch for the match in helpinf despatch Stokes for 62.  Stokes had faced 187 balls and really given those higher up the order a lesson in how to bat when your team is in a battle.  England were 241 for 8.

Remarkably Stuart Broad hung around with Ali Rashid! The pair put on 50 runs, prolonging the agony for India, before Broad was caught by Rahul to give him that 7th catch, from the bowling of Burma.  That was a 5fer for the India bowler, he’d missed out when Rashid was caught earlier from a No Ball.

Jimmy Anderson joined Rashid, the match would surely be over on Day 4?  No, the pair batted for 5 overs to see off an India victory, England finished the day on 311 for 9, they trail by 209 runs.

Both Day 3 and Day 4 are more about the next test if that makes sense?  The result is a certainty but both teams have shown some intent, in particular with the bat!  I look forward to however many overs I see tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

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