India vs England, 3rd Test: Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant dismantle England at Trent Bridge
Hardik Pandya took five wickets for the first time in Test cricket, all in one spell. @Getty

A ten-wicket extended afternoon session at Trent Bridge put India firmly on top of England, who from 54 for no loss stunningly slipped to 161 with Hardik Pandya claiming five wickets for the first time in a Test innings. All of those came in a spell of six overs after Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah dislodged both England openers, and giving the Indian quicks a huge hand of support – or two, to be precise – was Rishabh Pant who became the first Indian wicketkeeper to hold five catches in the first innings of his debut Test.

India were kept longer in the field than they would have liked, thanks to Jos Buttler who swung his bat merrily to get England’s total from 128/9 to 161.

After Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings rattled off 46 runs in nine overs before lunch, following England bowled out India for 329 from an overnight 307/6, India needed to do something drastic when the afternoon session began. An uppish drive from Cook between cover and point in the first over after lunch had raised England’s 50 – and given Cook his highest score of the series – but would have also encouraged Ishant. As it turned out, his second over of the session was full of drama.

Third ball, Cook safely edged one past the cordon for four. Fourth ball, Cheteshwar Pujara dropped a sitter at first slip. Agonised, Ishant turned on his heels and went back to his mark. Off the last ball of the over, he moved the ball just enough to get Cook nibbling and Pant held his first catch in Test cricket. That dismissal took Cook’s average since his unbeaten 244 at the MCG in December to 19.38.

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma started England’s collapse with two wickets after lunch. @Getty

India had an opening, which became two in two when Pant held an edge off Keaton Jennings who couldn’t resist wafting at Bumrah. A scoreline of 54/0 had become 54/2. England did not know what was coming, however.

Joe Root was made to work for his first run. In one over, Ishant drew an outside edge to point, an inside edge onto Root’s thigh and then had the England captain falling forward as a big in-dipper thudded into his pads. Bumrah forced him back, drew the edge and watched it die in front of Pant and slip away for four. Before the over was up, he had Root feeling outside off and beaten by a climbing delivery.

The man who looked far more certain, Ollie Pope, was the next to go when he got a faint tickle down the leg side off Ishant and was well held by a diving Pant. A high-quality spell of sustained in-swing from both Ishant and Bumrah continued, with Root and Bairstow hurried onto the back foot. You sensed a wicket could come at any moment, such was the aggression from India’s quicks.

As it turned out, a lack of pace undid England. Pandya’s first ball drew an edge from Root, which was very well taken at second slip by KL Rahul. The soft signal was out, and several slow-motion replays later the England skipper was sent on his way. Root didn’t agree with the verdict, and like Stuart Broad earlier in the day he could be in line for a chat with the match referee Jeff Crowe.

Pandya believe he had Ben Stokes lbw on 10, and Virat Kohli called for a review. It was close, but the umpire’s call remained despite the ball-tracker showing off stump would have been clipped. The tension was ratcheted up, and India sensed another opening was not far off.

In the fourth over of a new spell, Mohammed Shami extracted an edge from Stokes which few to Rahul at second slip. Five balls later, Rahul held another low catch when Jonny Bairstow was made to poke at a terrific delivery that squared him up. His confidence soaring, Pandya ended the over with the wicket of Chris Woakes with a short ball that was tickled to Pant for his fourth catch. That made Pant the first Indian wicketkeeper to hold four catches in his first innings on Test debut.

Moments later, Pant clung on to another as Pandya drew a regulation edge off Adil Rashid. That was his fifth catch, a new record for an Indian wicketkeeper on debut. Before the over was up, Pandya trapped Broad lbw for his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests. The look on his face as he held the ball up to the Trent Bridge crowd was priceless.

Left with no option but to hit out, Buttler did just that – and how. Shami was swatted for 14 runs in three balls, the second hit a monstrous pull shot rows behind deep midwicket, Ishant was lofted over long-off, and a 33-run stand for the last wicket frustrated India.