The first test between England and India has been and gone. It took place on one of the worst wickets ever seen in this country at Trent Bridge of all places. This is almost always a venue which produces a result but this time the teams didn’t even manage to complete three innings.
India won the toss and batted first with opener Vijay scoring 146 and Dhoni 82, however at 346-9 it looked like England could take a hold of the game. Cue a tenth wicket partnership of 111 between Kumar & Shami and India had a commanding total.
Cook fell cheaply again but Ballance and Robson both past fifty in a partnership of 125. After that came a middle order collapse that has become all too frequent lately left us 202-7. Luckily for England Joe Root dug in and with support from a Broad counter attack began to turn things around. However at 298-9 things looked bleak, India were well on top. Next came another epic tenth wicket partnership between Root and Jimmy Anderson, the former got his century and the latter passed fifty for the first time in all cricket. In the end this became the world record for a tenth wicket stand in a test match reaching 198 with Jimmy out for 81 and Root unbeaten on 154, England had a lead.
By the end of day four India had plodded along to 167-3 and the draw looked a certainty. The morning session of the fifth day was brilliant cricket that swung the game again. Anderson and Broad bowled superbly to reduce India to 249-7 and an England win became a possibility. Binny scored an important 78 to make the game safe for India and the final session became a farce with England using part time bowlers with Cook cheering himself up by taking a wicket. India kept England in the field all day and the draw was secured. Jimmy Anderson was man of the match, more for his batting than his bowling on this occasion. Nice to see him smiling on the podium after the sickening finish to the match against Sri Lanka.
Despite the terrible pitch both teams managed to play some good cricket and there were moments of drama when each team had chances to grab hold of the match. In the end the pitch won. Had one of the teams had a world class spinner or a lightning quick bowler maybe things would have been different?
For England the young batsmen Robson & Ballance continue to impress but the middle order are a worry. We expect more from Ian Bell in particular. Cook captained the side well but managed to get bowled around his legs. Our bowlers all performed well on the dead wicket but we are still lacking a world class spinner. Moeen Ali did OK and managed a few wickets but we know he’s a batsman first and foremost. We have to pray that Monty Panesar gets his mind right and plays again soon, until such times whoever England play is only a temporary measure and the selectors may well give Ali another match.