Root produces the goods but India in control of first Test

By Sports Desk August 07, 2021

Joe Root hit a superb hundred to offer hope for England but India are in pole position to win an absorbing first Test heading into the final day in Nottingham.

Captain Root made 109 – his 21st Test ton but first on home soil since September 2018 – to underpin England's second-innings total of 303, Jasprit Bumrah restricting their advantage with 5-64.

Left needing 209 for victory in the series opener, India lost KL Rahul for 26 in a tricky session but reached stumps on 52-1, Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara both on 12 not out.

England had resumed in the morning on 25 without loss with a considerable deficit still to deal with, the hosts eventually moving in front for the loss of Rory Burns (18) and Zak Crawley (six).

In cricket's version of the tortoise and the hare, the imperious Root raced past the dogged Dom Sibley during a third-wicket stand worth 89. The alliance came to an end when the latter played an uncharacteristically loose drive having reached 28, an inside edge off Bumrah well caught by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Jonny Bairstow looked in excellent touch in reaching 30 but a pull shot only found Ravindra Jadeja in the deep, while Shardul Thakur removed both Dan Lawrence (25) and Jos Buttler (17), who was bowled offering no stroke, either side of tea.

Root eventually fell to the second new ball, with England slipping from 274-6 following the departure of their talismanic leader.

Bumrah sent back Sam Curran, who made a useful 32, and Stuart Broad with successive deliveries to get his sixth five-wicket haul in Tests, Mohammed Shami then claiming the final wicket as Ollie Robinson was caught at third man for 15.

Broad struck a much-needed blow when Rahul was caught behind, yet that was England's solitary success with the ball in 14 overs prior to the close.

 

Root digs in again

Root underlined his immense importance to England with a fourth Test century in 2021. He is the only player to pass 1,000 runs in the format in the calendar year, aided by making two double centuries during England's busy winter schedule.

This memorable knock spanned 172 deliveries and included 14 boundaries, one of which was a glorious straight drive that saw him reach three figures. He began celebrating before the ball had crossed the rope, raising both arms aloft.

India lean on brilliant Bumrah

Bumrah missed out on a five-wicket haul in the first innings but made sure he reached the landmark second time around, meaning he will finish with match figures of 9-110.

The pace bowler certainly likes playing at Trent Bridge, having claimed 5-85 at the venue on India's 2018 tour to help his team clinch victory on that occasion. He will hope to be on the winning side again this time too, provided his batsmen can finish the job on Sunday.

Related items

  • Ancelotti realistic about Real Madrid's Champions League chances Ancelotti realistic about Real Madrid's Champions League chances

    Carlo Ancelotti is not getting carried away over Real Madrid's Champions League prospects despite Tuesday's 2-0 win at home to Inter sealing top spot in Group D.

    Madrid just needed to avoid a defeat to go through to the knockout phase as group winners, but they ultimately battled to a commendable victory over the Italian champions.

    Toni Kroos netted a glorious first-half opener, before a similarly satisfying Marco Asensio curler wrapped up the win 11 minutes from time.

    As such, Madrid will – theoretically – get a kinder draw than runners-up Inter in the last 16, potentially setting them up nicely to reach the quarter-finals.

    Los Blancos went as far as the last four in 2020-21 following back-to-back round-of-16 eliminations, though Ancelotti is not making any sweeping statements regarding their chances of going deeper into the competition this time around.

    He told reporters: "We have the quality to win LaLiga and the quality to compete in the Champions League.

    "There are no teams with the quality [guaranteed] to win the Champions League, just to compete.

    "There are more intense teams, others with more quality. We are not an intense team in the defensive aspect, but we have a lot of quality, a lot of experience and a lot of commitment."

    Luka Modric made his 100th Champions League appearance on Tuesday, becoming only the ninth player to reach that landmark while at Madrid. Eight of those games came during his time at Tottenham.

    Modric turned in a typically controlling display and completed the full 90 minutes, which was somewhat surprising given the important nature of Sunday's clash with Atletico Madrid.

    There had been calls prior to the weekend win over Real Sociedad for Ancelotti to rotate his midfield more, yet Modric is heading into the derby having played 90 minutes both against La Real and Inter.

    The Croatian is not concerned, however.

    "I feel very good," the 36-year-old told Movistar. "I think you don't have to look at the years, you have to look at what you do on the field. The years are less and less noticeable because players' careers are prolonged.

    "I feel very good, and I feel like I am younger than 30!"

  • Ashes 2021-22: Broad joins Anderson on sidelines for opening Gabba Test as England win toss Ashes 2021-22: Broad joins Anderson on sidelines for opening Gabba Test as England win toss

    England left Stuart Broad out of their team for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane on Wednesday after already revealing James Anderson would miss the match.

    It meant the tourists went into the series opener without pace bowlers who have collected a combined 1,156 Test wickets, and it amounted to a gamble.

    The 35-year-old Broad has 524 of those wickets to his name, yet in Ashes Tests in Australia he has only taken 34 victims in 12 matches at an average of 37.17, strikingly different to his rate of 84 at 26.19 in home Tests against the same opposition.

    England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat, with Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood chosen as frontline pace options, with Ben Stokes also sure to figure in that equation, backed up by spinner Jack Leach.

    Root said: "We're blessed with a very good seam attack and a very good squad out here in that department in particular, and it was a very difficult decision to make.

    "But there's five Test matches and all those guys I'm sure will be wanting to play a big part throughout this series, and it's important they're all ready to go when called upon at any time."

    New Australia captain Pat Cummins said he was relishing the tussle, saying on BT Sport: "I feel great. Can't wait. The buzz has been amazing around town."

    He added: "I thought maybe Broad or Anderson would play each Test, but it's not a huge deal. They're a good XI and we're going to have to play well."

    Australia gave a Test debut to Alex Carey, with the wicketkeeper stepping in for Tim Paine, the former skipper who is taking time out of cricket after the lewd text message scandal that ended his time in charge of the team.

  • Atletico always find new ways to excite me after 10 years – Simeone savours do-or-die victory Atletico always find new ways to excite me after 10 years – Simeone savours do-or-die victory

    Diego Simeone said Atletico Madrid always find new ways to excite him as the Colchoneros boss savoured the team's dramatic progress to the Champions League last 16.

    Atletico prevailed in Tuesday's do-or-die battle away to Porto on matchday six, defeating the Portuguese hosts 3-1 to book their spot in the knockout phase.

    Simeone's Atletico required a victory and hoped Milan failed to beat Liverpool elsewhere in Group B, and the stars aligned for the stuttering LaLiga champions.

    Antoine Griezmann, Angel Correa and Rodrigo de Paul scored to earn Atletico victory in a match that saw three players sent off – Yannick Carrasco received his marching orders, while Porto duo Wendell and Marchesin were also dismissed amid chaotic scenes as three goals were scored after the 90th minute.

    Simeone, who has guided Atletico to two LaLiga titles and a pair of Champions League runners-up appearances during his decade-long tenure in the Spanish capital, could not contain his emotions.

    "I've been at this club for 10 years and the team always ends up exciting me in new ways," Atletico head coach Simeone said.

    "The difficulties, the fact that we didn't have three of our four centre-backs, but there are players with few minutes who are still so important to us. Today it was [Sime] Vrsaljko’s turn, we knew he could do his job. [Geoffrey] Kondogbia is the same.

    "The whole team got involved in the game, gave everything, put their hearts into it. We have a goalkeeper who delivered in moments of difficulty. In the second half, if they had scored from that chance, they win.

    "Today was a beautiful day, a great day. The boys from the youth team made it through and I wanted to as well. They gave us the ambition of wanting to make it through. We are going to remember this as one of the classic Champions League matches of our lifetime, against a great team in a tough game. We're similar.

    "The game had everything – sendings off, chances. Football, how beautiful."

    Porto against Atletico was the first ever Champions League game to see as many as three goals scored in the 90th minute (including stoppage time), while the fixture was the first in the premier club competition to have as many as three red cards since 2013.

    Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak said: "It's been an incredible night. I'm very happy with the victory, for the team and the fans. I'm sure many people didn't believe in us but it's in matches like these where we show what a team we really are and that we are such a strong group.

    "You have to keep your head up when you lose and, when things don't go your way, you have to keep playing as if your life depends on it. We can't be at our best throughout the season but you have to keep on going.

    "There's no limit to what we can do and when we have to dig our heels in we do it. I wish we didn't have to suffer so much but this is football: it's not always easy."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.