England versus India: Joe Root makes a terrific century at Trent Bridge
|England 183 (Root 64; Bumrah 4-46) & 303 (Root 109, Bumrah 5-64)|
|India 278 (Rahul 84, Robinson 5-85) & 52-1|
|India needs 157 more runs to win|
Joe Root stroked a century of the highest class to give England hope of beating India in a first seesaw test at Trent Bridge.
On a captivating, exciting and competitive fourth day, Captain Root was great at 109.
With Sam Curran, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Sibley and Dan Lawrence in danger of being beaten at one point with a day to go, England reached 303 in their second inning, setting India 209 to victory.
Pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah ran through the lower order with the second new ball, took 5-64 and ended with match numbers of 9-110.
India had an hour to hit and seemed to come through unscathed before Stuart Broad left KL Rahul behind for 26.
Rohit Sharma still had time to weather a tense England flashback as India closed 52-1 and needed 157 more to win.
Super Saturday sets up Trent Bridge’s thriller
There were times in this game when England were down – when they were thrown for 183 in the first innings, when India hit 205-5 in response and England stood 46-2 on the fourth morning.
However, thanks to Root’s sheer brilliance, they are still in the competition entering what may be a final day of the stands.
In addition to Roots tapping, a jam-packed Trent Bridge was treated to the skills of Bumrah and the shots of Curran and Bairstow. Even Sibley’s vigil was strangely satisfying.
There were moments of pure theater. When India burned its latest review in a desperate attempt to remove root, Virat Kohli was mocked by domestic fans. Curran dueled Mohammed Siraj while Kohli faced Ollie Robinson.
As India began their hunt, the growing gloom added to the drama, the play always seemed on the verge of being suspended until the sun appeared on Broad to remove Rahul.
Rain is announced for Sunday, but it should also spoil the memorable Saturday. The hope is that this exciting competition can be played to the end.
Remarkable Root does it again
For much of 2021, Root wore England’s flimsy eyelashes almost single-handedly. This was more of the same thing, a blow from a captain who changed course from defeat to outside chance of victory.
England was still 49 behind when Root arrived, but immediately changed the pace with flowing cover drives and a rush of running.
He added 89 with Sibley who could have run out twice and knocked over an lbw in his 28 balls out of 133. Bairstow at 30, Lawrence 25 and a punchy 32 from Curran provided further support.
When Root drove down the floor to mark his 21st birthday
Root fell in Bumrah’s first over with the second new ball, triggering a final England slide of four wickets for 29 runs.
He went to a roaring ovation, with everyone at Trent Bridge knowing they’d seen one of the great Test innings.
India remains on course
India won the first test in a series in England only once – in 1986 – and remains favorites for a repeat despite being root.
A few loose shots helped them. Sibley pulled on a wide one to give an inside edge, Bairstow sloppily pulled straight to a deep, square leg, and Jos Buttler went tapered and didn’t offer a punch.
And just as Root and Curran were gaining momentum and India felt the heat of the crowd, Bumrah stepped in.
An additional bounce led to an edge by Root, Curran scooped all the way, and Stuart Broad was knocked off his pads with the first ball by a scorching Yorker.
Robinson’s disc for the third man was the signal for the start of the hunt, Rohit and Rahul are facing a potentially dangerous phase against a troubled England.
The opening games managed to silence the crowd, only Broad switched ends and removed Rahul before Rohit and Cheteshwar Pujara added some late runs on what was still a real playing field.
‘One of the greatest innings of all time’ – what they said
Former English captain Michael Vaughan in the BBC Test Match Special: “We saw one of the greatest innings of all time. We saw Root play a lot of great innings, but it was just pure.
“He would never admit it, but he carries this list.
“It’s been a wonderful day of testing for cricket. From England two days ago to where they are now they have a glimmer of hope because of their captain.”
Former Indian wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta: “This was a great advertisement for Test Cricket. It seemed like every over, maybe even every delivery, was a key moment.
“Joe Root, what a master class. He has shown how good he is and how far he is superior to the rest of England’s thugs.”
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew: “If you think of this destination as an apple, India has taken a healthy bite of it.”