It was a topsy turvy day of Test match cricket on day two at
Trent Bridge that unfortunately ended in a damp squib with rain washing out the
final session. After bowling England out for 183 on day 1, India’s openers got
off to the perfect start in the morning session with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul
sharing an assured 97-run partnership. However, England fought back in the
afternoon through Ollie Robinson and James Anderson to pick up four wickets for
only 15 runs.
The first hour of play included some attritional cricket
with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul showing plenty of patience while James Anderson
and Ollie Robinson bowled skilfully with the new ball and continued to target
the perfect line and length outside off-stump. Rahul slowly began to move
through the gears as Stuart Broad and Sam Curran entered into the attack, and
both he and Rohit Sharma looked increasingly confident as the sun continued to
shine at Trent Bridge.
The pair put on 97 runs for the opening partnership, but
after some hard work throughout the session, England finally got their reward
in the final over before Lunch. The hosts rarely utilised the short ball
throughout the morning, but Ollie Robinson bowled a sharp bouncer that enticed
Rohit Sharma into an instinctive hook shot that went straight down the throat
of Sam Curran at fine leg.
Sharma showed great restraint and nous throughout his
innings but once again failed to capitalise on a start away from home with the
short ball proving to be his undoing.
Sharma’s dismissal acted as a catalyst for England’s bowlers
who returned from the lunch break with some extra venom. Cheteshwar Pujara
looked extremely shaky in his short stay at the crease and was removed after
another teasing delivery from James Anderson that kissed the outside edge on
its way to Jos Buttler.
Pujara’s dismissal brought India’s captain Virat Kohli to
the crease to resume the third act of his battle with James Anderson. Kohli
faced 270 balls from Anderson without being dismissed in the 2018 Test series,
but fortunately for England, India’s number four only lasted one delivery in
2021 and was dismissed for a golden duck after Anderson caught his outside edge
with another delivery in that corridor of uncertainty.
Anderson removed India’s two most experienced Test batters
within two balls, and to add insult to injury, Ajinkya Rahane was run out after
a mix up with KL Rahul to put India in a spot of bother at 112-4.
England could have had another wicket during that fiery
spell, but shortly after reaching his half-century, KL Rahul was afforded a
life with Dom Sibley spilling a regulation chance at second slip. Fortunately
for the visitors, the rest of the day was washed out by rain with the Men in
Blue finishing on 125/4 and looking to regroup tomorrow with Pant and Rahul at