Ishant Sharma bagged three wickets in a space of an hour post lunch © Getty Images
Ishant Sharma bagged three wickets in a space of an hour post lunch © Getty Images

By Abhijit Banare

 

Jul 11, 2014

 

England fell apart in the second session losing as many as six wickets to reach 205 for seven at tea on Day Three of the first Test at Trent Bridge on Friday. It was a dream session for India as Ishant Sharma and rest of the pace attack tested England. They are trailing 252 runs.

 

The ease at which Sam Robson and Gary Ballance went in to lunch, this Test was heading in to nothing more than a high-scoring draw. There was nothing for the bowlers at all. But all it took was one change of ball and Trent Bridge was back to life with the wicket looking as threatening as the usual English wicket on the first morning. And above all, England ran in to a disciplined Ishant.

 

The 125-run second wicket partnership was broken with Robson missing one that jagged back in. It’s precisely these kind of deliveries that signal the start of a threatening Ishant. But India still had a lot of hard work to do. Ian Bell began with a boundary and looked in sublime touch and continued with the same elegance. It was the pacers against whom England had to score as Ravindra Jadeja was tying one end up.

 

A few overs post lunch, Jadeja expressed his unhappiness over the shape of the ball. The umpires were convinced with Jadeja’s argument and the ball was duly changed. And since then, England have looked all at sea. Bhvneshwar Kumar suddenly found swing and even Mohammed Shami beat the bat on few occasions. But the Man of the session was Ishant. After getting one to move in to the right-hander, he produced a similar dismissal to send back Ballance leg-before for 71. What followed was a brilliant spell from the lanky pacer as the captain gave him an extended spell hungry to extract as many wickets as possible.

 

After a fluent 25, Bell got a peach of a delivery which bounced and left the batsman bemused. India had got another key batsman and Trent Bridge was buzzing again. It didn’t help England’s cause when Moeen Ali was fiddling around with balls moving wide away from him. A shaky partnership ensued between Root and Moeen before the latter was done in by one that kept low from Shami. Moeen tried to evade a bouncer but there was hardly any bounce and he gloved it. Within no time Matt Prior walked back thanks to a poor decision by Kumar Dharmasena. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar didn’t need any help from the umpire to send back Ben Stokes for a duck. From 172 for three they had slipped to 202 for seven.

 

England would be gutted to lose six wickets in a session on a flat deck like this. Some may call that it was unfortunate that the change in ball allowed more swing.

 

Brief scores:

India 457 (Murali Vijay 146, MS Dhoni 82, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 58, Mohammed Shami 51*; James Anderson 3 for 123, Stuart Broad 2 for 53) lead England 205 for 7 (Sam Robson 59, Gary Ballance 71; Ishant Sharma 3 for 64, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2 for 35) by 252 runs.

 

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(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)