As if the Indian team completely forgot about the misery that they were subjected to at Lord’s, where they were humiliated by hosts England to suffer an innings loss and concede a 0-2 series lead, the Virat Kohli-led side have bounced back at Trent Bridge and how!
Resuming from their overnight score of 307/6, there was only so much that debutant Rishabh Pant as well as the Indian tail could’ve done, with James Anderson and Stuart Broad, with the visitors losing their last four wickets for just 22 runs. England would’ve been in a relaxed state of mind with openers Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings crossing the 50-run mark without the loss of a wicket, with the possibility of finishing the day close to the Indian total, or even ahead, very much on the cards.
However, Day 2 was to be a different story in the end, thanks to a devastating spell from Hardik Pandya, who collected his maiden Test five-for, as well as some sharp catching behind the stumps by Pant. England were bowled out for a paltry 161, with India finishing on a comfortable 124/2 at stumps, boasting of a lead of nearly 300.
With the odds heavily stacked against them, at least in this Test, England have a mountain to climb if they are to make a comeback in this Test and think of clinching the series with two matches to spare. Cheteshwar Pujara looked settled at the crease at the end of day’s play on Sunday, and Virat Kohli has been enjoying a good run of form in the ongoing series, having scored 97 in the previous essay.
The English attack will have to get the duo dismissed as early as possible on Monday, with the wickets of Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, who will walk to the crease upon the fall of the first Indian wicket on Day 3, being of primary importance for them. Broad was able to get prodigious swing early on Sunday, and dismissed Pant and Ashwin in what was a quality spell from the pacer. The way Kohli and Rahane had batted in the first innings, England cannot afford a single slip-up if they are to dominate India with the ball on Day 3, and restrict the target to within 400.
Even then, the prospect looks very difficult for the English batting unit, given the highest successful fourth innings chase at this venue happens to 284, which the home team achieved against New Zealand back in 2004.