India 21/0 trail England 183 (Root 64, Bumrah 4-46, Shami 3-28) by 162 runs
On the first day of Nottingham Test during India's tour of England, the visitors bundled out the home side for 183 after the hosts decided to bat first on winning the toss. Jasprit Bumrah, who is back after a rare lean patch, took a 4-fer alongside Mohammed Shami’s 3-28.
Joe Root looked the best of the English batsmen scoring 64 off 108 in contrast to the 4 ducks in the first innings putting England in shaky ground from the onset.
With the world being consumed by the Olympics and the cricketing sphere busy debating the commercial success/failure of the Hundred, the lead-up to the series has been surprisingly muted despite the strong matchup. However in the city of Nottingham, a sold out crowd and the cricket on display would narrate an entirely separate story.
Expected Combination took field
England went into the first Test retaining their top 3 batsmen, with 4 pacers and no spinner while India making quick adjustments from their mistakes in the WTC Final, picked 4 pacers along with a sole spin bowling all-rounder in Ravindra Jadeja.
Shardul Thakur walked into the team in place of Ravichandran Ashwin as the fourth pacer with the aim of a more attacking lineup and a nod to the overcast conditions predicted, with likely limited spin on offer.
Mohammed Siraj came in for Ishant Sharma due to a small niggle, giving India the option of two out and out swing bowlers providing an extra bit of oomph to the pace quadrant.
Bumrah, Shami rock England
Rory Burns who opened the batting for England along with Dominic Sibley was out in the very first over against Bumrah who seemed to trick the opening batsmen with the delivery coming back in after a series of away swingers.
Sibley and Zak Crawley consolidated after the early loss with a 42 runs partnership across 121 balls. Crawley who looked more free-flowing of the two batsmen, moving within the crease to navigate the swing was the first to get out by a peach of a delivery by Siraj.
Virat Kohli who had just wasted a review on an identical delivery in the same over was convinced by Rishabh to take another review and helped bag the wicket, breaking an important partnership. Sibley played at his usual pace, striking 18 runs off 70 balls before getting out to a disappointing shot straight to the short mid-wicket fielder.
The England top 3 with low string scores of 0, 18 and 27 did not impress as the usual story of Joe Root's rescue effort got him to a well-made 64 off 108 balls. The Bairstow-Root partnership of 72 runs for the fourth wicket was one of the better ones of the day where they batted out a session. Bairstow who looked streaky throughout, managed to hang in there for his 29 off 71 balls until going down to a beauty of a ball by Shami.
England collapsed from 138/3 to 183 all out
Dan Lawrence got out for a duck playing a leg side ball from Shami during the crucial match situation. Buttler's comeback to red ball cricket wasn’t an easy one as he struggled to score a run for his 18 deliveries faced and eventually fell to Bumrah making no change to the scorecard.
The rest of the batting order didn’t do much apart from a few extravagant sixes hit by Curran batting with the lower order and scoring a handy 27 off 37. England who were 138-3 lost the next 7 wickets in a space of 45 runs, with an hour of play left in the day. Read More: India vs England Test 2021 – England lead India by 19-11
Virat Kohli's faith in seamers pays off
Virat Kohli captained the team pro-actively taking advantage of the four seamer lineup, giving longer spells to the bowlers who looked threating and shorter ones to the quicks on the other end.
Improved length from India's bowlers did the trick
India’s bowling seemed to improve with each ongoing session. The pacers showed quick turnaround from the WTC Final where they bowled much shorter in comparison. Bumrah bowled 35 per cent of his deliveries in the full length region in comparison to 26 per cent in the first innings of the WTC Final against New Zealand, while Shami improved to 31 per cent from 19 per cent. This enabled them to show more wickets in the scorecard for their efforts.
India at 21/0 at stumps
India were able to bat through the difficult hours with no loss in wickets, swaying the day in their favor.
Openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul negotiated the swing bowling of the experienced Anderson-Broad duo with a bit of application and India ended the day at 21/0 after 13 overs of play.
With rain expected on the next few days, batsmen would need to be cautious and respect the good deliveries to provide an even contest.