England lost their last seven wickets by just 45 races on opening day at Trent Bridge; Joe Root put up a spirited resistance with a classy 64, but familiar batting failures saw India take control of the first round.
Virat Kohli of India celebrates the dismissal of Englishman Johnny Bairstow during the first day of the first test between England and India, at Trent Bridge
Sir Andrew Strauss admitted to being “downcast” by England’s display on the opening day of the first round, after notorious bat misses saw India dominate at Trent Bridge.
England’s much maligned first rank was once again exposed by the outstanding seam attack from India, although Joe Root produced a captain’s blow as England rallied to 138-3.
However, the hosts abjectly capitulated in the middle of the evening session, losing their last seven wickets for just 45 runs to drop to 183 overall.
Jasprit Bumrah (4-46) and Mohammed Shami (3-28) superbly led India’s attack, while Shardul Thakur (2-41) and Mohammed Siraj (1-48) also contributed to Virat Kohli’s team.
“I thought the Indian bowlers were outstanding today, hunting in packs, they were very accurate and they put pressure on the batsmen in England,” Strauss said. Sky Sports.
“It’s hard not to feel very downcast as an England fan right now. Those issues that we’ve had about hitting have surfaced on the first day of the series.
“Obviously, there is still a lot of cricket to play in this test match. I think Virat Kohli talked about some scars with English hitting. If there are scars, they are quite open at the moment.”
England’s fragile hitting came under fire following their series loss to New Zealand in June, when a mid-order collapse at Edgbaston ended their proud undefeated record at home.
Root (64) was the bright light on a tumultuous opening day at Trent Bridge; became England’s leading run scorer in all formats earlier in the day, before recording his 50th test match of half a century.
Jonny Bairstow (29) and Zak Crawley (27) started before succumbing to Shami and Siraj respectively, while Sam Curran (27 *) played an enterprising late cameo, but England’s reliance on Root remains a major concern.
“It’s a running theme. We’ve seen it a lot in the last 18 months or so. What I struggle with is those hitters who come in and then come out,” Strauss continued.
“You look at Sibley who fought hard for 18, you look at Crawley who got 27, you look at Bairstow who got 29, then the new batters come in and out and that gives Indian bowlers something to work with again.
“That old adage: ‘If you come in, do it big.’ England haven’t done that in a long time, and once again, it’s up to Joe Root to keep the team together.”
England bowlers were tasked with trying to salvage some comfort in the final hour of play, but India’s starters Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul produced a defensive masterclass as India finished the night’s game unscathed with 21-0.
Jimmy Anderson threw just three overs before being replaced by Ollie Robinson, and given the favorable conditions for swing bowling, the absence of England’s talisman in the final stages drew attention.
“I found it very surprising. The ball was rocking, it was cloudy, the lights were on. That was tailor-made for Jimmy Anderson,” Strauss added.
“Let’s take a look at that, hopefully it’s not an injury or anything like that. The hitters from India seemed very confident, they seemed to be backing up their technique.”
“That’s something the England hitters are not doing right now. They seem to be questioning their technique, rather than endorsing it.”
Watch the second day of the first England-India test at Trent Bridge from 10.15am on Thursday at Sky Sports The Hundred and Main Event.