NOTTINGHAM: James Anderson won the latest round of his duel with India captain Virat Kohli and dragged England back into the contest on a rain-marred second day of the opening Test on Thursday. The England pacer struck twice in two balls to inject fresh excitement into the match before intermittent rain washed away nearly the entire final session with India stranded on 125-4. Opener KL Rahul was batting on 57, while Rishabh Pant was on seven with the tourists still 58 behind England`s first innings total of 183.
“Obviously to get a couple of quick ones like that is important, especially Virat. He`s such an influencial player for them, always good to get him early,” the 39-year-old told reporters. “It`s always good to get a world class player out. You want to challenge yourself against the best and he certainly is one of the bests.”
Resuming on 21 for no loss, India had a near-perfect morning session at Trent Bridge. The partnership between their openers was inching towards the century mark when Ollie Robinson bounced out Rohit Sharma for 36 with the final delivery before lunch.
WOWWWW! @jimmy9 gets Kohli first ball and Trent Bridge is absolutely rocking!
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 5, 2021
Anderson returned from the break to dismiss the dour Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli in successive deliveries with Jos Buttler taking both the catches behind the stumps. Pujara made four and Kohli fell for a golden duck, the India captain looking crestfallen after being bested by his nemesis.
Ajinkya Rahane could have been run out even before he opened his account but the India vice-captain did not learn his lesson and his luck ran out soon. Rahane sensed a single even when Rahul had merely defended a Robinson delivery and was beaten by Jonny Bairstow`s direct throw while returning to the non-striker`s end.
Cruising at 97 for no loss, India slumped to 112-4 and it could have been even worse but Dom Sibley dropped Rahul, then on 52, at slip after the batsman had edged Anderson.
After the rain had forced an early tea, two attempts were made to get on with the match but a total of three balls could be bowled before the umpires called it a day.
The first match of the five-match Test series between the teams marks the beginning of a new World Test Championship cycle.