England v India: third Test, day one

Tanya Simon
August 19, 2018

India were 124 for two in their second innings against England at stumps on the second day of the third cricket Test, here today. On the other hand the Trent Bridge pitch appeared patchy and sported a decent covering of grass, apparently 2mm more than in 2015 when Stuart Broad so famously ran amok. Ben Stokes has cleared by the court in the Bristol brawl and will join the team at Trent Bridge.

And on the stroke of lunch, Cheteshwar Pujara hooked Woakes, man-of-the-match after scoring a maiden Test century in England´s innings and 159-run win in the second Test at Lord´s last week after replacing Stokes, straight to Rashid at long leg.

Having bowled India out for less than 130 twice at Lord's last week, Joe Root chose to bowl first in Nottingham, hoping to expose the tourists' vulnerable batting line-up.

India's pursuit for a solid foundation was brutally curtailed by Woakes by the eighteenth over; the English pacer became a persistent nightmare for the Kohli's mate in the series. The square of the wicket shots, the cover drives were there to see, Both Kohli and Rahane showed enough patience waiting for the loose deliveries, leaving a lot of deliveries outside the off-stump.

While Chris Woakes scalped the first three Indian wickets, England struggled to scalp wickets in the middle phases as Kohli and Rahane put up a 159-run partnership to push England on the backfoot. The edge was taken by Jos Buttler in the slips. After the batting debacle in first two Tests, a collective performance was the order of the day and Kohli-Rahane duo were helped by the fact that openers Shikhar Dhawan (35) and KL Rahul (23) added 60 runs to lay the foundation. His confidence soaring, Pandya ended the over with the wicket of Chris Woakes with a short ball that was tickled to Pant for his fourth catch. Cheteshwar Pujara might had done nothing wrong in that case, Woakes applied through the perfection leading to a more flawless catch of Adil Rashid standing at deep backward.

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It was here in Nottingham that South Africa thumped England previous year to burst the bubble of optimism hanging over Joe Root's new Test reign and now they have been utterly outplayed by India in conditions they should relish.

Joe Root yesterday seemed unsure what to do if he won the toss. In fact, this was India's highest opening partnership outside Asia and West Indies since December 2013.

In the morning, a light drizzle delayed the start of play by half an hour.

"Ashwin is a good batsman too, he has been possibly the second best batsman for them so it is not going to be easy to bowl them out".

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