Joe Root again came to the rescue as England threatened to squander the foothold James Anderson's five-wicket haul had gained them against India on Friday.

Led by Anderson (5-62), some excellent work with the ball allowed England to begin their reply in the second session on day two of the second Test at Lord's, despite India having resumed on 276-3.

KL Rahul was gone early, adding just two as he departed for 129, and only Rishabh Pant (37) and Ravindra Jadeja (40) offered any serious resistance thereafter as the tourists were all out for 364.

England made it to 23 without loss before Mohammed Siraj removed Dom Sibley and Haseeb Hameed from consecutive balls to prompt a battling Root display, during which he passed Graham Gooch to go second on his country's list for Test runs. He was 48 not out with his team 119-3 at stumps.

The captain's knock, aided by 49 from Rory Burns, ensured England remained in contention at the end of a promising day, despite Siraj's spell.

India had quickly set about undoing their hard work on Thursday as the long-awaited wicket of Rahul went to Ollie Robinson from the second ball, before Ajinkya Rahane then followed to Anderson in the next over.

The tourists did then threaten to build a third big partnership until another timely intervention when Pant paid for his aggressive approach, swiping at a Mark Wood delivery that carried into Jos Buttler's gloves – again, one became two, with Mohammed Shami's jaunt to the crease a brief one.

It fell to Anderson to wrap up the innings, trapping Ishant Sharma lbw, earning a nick behind off Jasprit Bumrah's glove to complete his five-for and then getting underneath a wild Jadeja swing off the bowling of Wood.

England started steadily enough in reply, only to have Sibley pick out Rahul at short mid-wicket soon after tea.

The recalled Hameed departed quickly to a straight one to bring out Root, who teased two wasted reviews out of opposite number Virat Kohli before settling in to put on an 84-run partnership with Burns – a stand that was eventually broken when the opener went lbw.

Ageless Anderson

Anderson was supposed to be injured, of course, but did not show it in a typically influential outing. His 31st five-for was his seventh at Lord's, tying Trent Bridge for his favourite ground in this sense.

And, at 39 years and 14 days, Anderson became the oldest pace bowler to take five wickets in a Test innings since 1951. Only New Zealand legend Richard Hadlee, against England in July 1990, had also taken five at the age of 39 in the intervening period.

Root reaches second

With 48 here, Root moves ahead of Gooch (8,900) and now trails only Alastair Cook (12,472). The England captain has scored 1,000 or more runs against five Test nations, but India (2,011) tops the list of opponents.

This track record clearly played on Kohli's mind in the final session as he twice reviewed for lbw when on both occasions he might have held fire against another player in the England side.

Mohammad Abbas struck two late blows as Pakistan hit back after being dismissed for 217 on the opening day of the first Test against West Indies.

Seamer Abbas removed Kieran Powell and Nkrumah Bonner with successive deliveries just before the close in Jamaica as West Indies finished proceedings on 2-2.

Fawad Alam had earlier made a valiant 56 to lead a fightback from the tourists, despite Jayden Seales and Jason Holder both claiming three wickets after West Indies had won the toss and opted to bowl first.

Pakistan recovered from the early losses of openers Imran Butt (11) and Abid Ali (9) to reach 68-2 at one stage, only to then lose two key wickets in successive overs without adding a run to their total.

Azhar Ali fought hard before falling to Seales for 17, while Babar Azam then fell just five balls later, an inside edge grabbed by wicketkeeper Josh Da Silva as Kemar Roach (2-47) sent back Pakistan's captain for 30.

After Mohammad Rizwan was caught by Roston Chase off the bowling of Holder, Alam and Faheem Ashraf provided some much-needed stability to the innings.

Their partnership was worth 85 when a superb throw by Chase while diving forward caught Ashraf short of his ground to go for 44. Holder eventually ended Alam's defiant knock as Pakistan's final three wickets went down with the total stuck on 217.

The late clatter of wickets looked to have rounded out a good start to the series for the home team, only for Abbas' double to leave the game wonderfully poised. Captain Kraigg Brathwaite was unbeaten on 1, while Chase was still yet to get off the mark when bad light halted proceedings.

Alam keeps Pakistan afloat

With his unusual technique - he starts out chest-on in his stance looking straight at the bowler before switching to a more orthodox position - Alam can be difficult for opposition bowlers to get to grips with. It needed an inside edge to remove him, bowled when pushing at a delivery from Holder.

The left-hander was far from fluent but fought hard for the cause, hitting six fours to post his maiden Test half-century, though he has already managed four hundreds in the format.

Abbas shows problems ahead

It was undoubtedly a day for the pace bowlers, starting with Seales – who recorded career-best figures of 3-70 in Test cricket – and new-ball partner Roach.

Yet while West Indies’ attack performed admirably as a unit, the unerringly accurate Abbas demonstrated how it will not be easy in reply to Pakistan's workmanlike total at Sabina Park.

KL Rahul controlled day one of the second Test at Lord's, helping India move into a commanding position after being put in amid gloomy conditions by England captain Joe Root.

England had James Anderson to call on at the start of the second Test despite concerns over a thigh injury, but another fine spell from the veteran pace bowler provided only brief respite.

Rohit Sharma dug in to make 83 before Anderson (2-52) was able to intervene, while losing Cheteshwar Pujara (nine) did not disrupt Rahul en route to reaching 127 not out.

After pairing with Rohit to put on 126, the opener added 117 with Virat Kohli (42) and was still unbeaten as India reached stumps on 276-3, albeit having by that stage lost their skipper to Ollie Robinson.

The London cloud cover should have made the tourists work, yet rain delays denied England any early momentum and Rohit instead brought up a patient half-century after lunch, India reaching three figures without too many alarms.

Typically, it was Anderson who then provided the much-needed breakthrough, getting a sublime ball to nip back in and clip the top of Rohit's off stump.

Anderson continued to apply the pressure and Pujara survived an lbw review and a narrow escape through the slips. However, when his edge was found again, Jonny Bairstow claimed a simple catch.

India regrouped at tea, however, and the weather cleared to allow Rahul – passing the hundred mark with a four through third man – and captain Kohli to bat late into the final session.

The second new ball and an Anderson-Robinson attack turned up the heat just a little and Kohli edged to opposite number Root, but that dismissal did little to alter the complexion of the day or, seemingly, the match while England's desperation saw another review squandered in the closing stages.

Anderson at the fore again

England have depth in their bowling attack, but they also have plenty of injuries. If Anderson had missed out too, this testing day could have been considerably worse for the hosts.

In his 164th Test, Anderson proved as reliable as ever to offer a glimmer of hope, before Robinson (1-47) finally got in on the act, adding a wicket to the side's most economical bowling figures (2.04 runs per over).

Rahul relishes opportunity

India's batsmen rather failed to build on a promising start in their opening innings of the drawn series opener at Trent Bridge. This time, asked to have a go in conditions that should have suited England's bowlers, they excelled.

Rohit minimised the risks but still tallied 11 fours and a six, before Rahul showed off the wealth of talent India have to offer. He may not even have played if not for Mayank Agarwal's injury yet moved through the gears in impressive fashion to secure a place on the famous honours board from his 212th ball.

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison is "very confident" of this year's Ashes series going ahead in Australia.

Joe Root's England side are due to start their bid to regain the urn at The Gabba on December 8, with the fifth and final Test scheduled to begin at Optus Stadium in Perth on January 18.

However, England players have raised concerns about the possibility of their families not being able to join them for the trip due to Australia's tight border controls during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the prospect of lengthy quarantines.

Multi-format players such as Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler face the prospect of four months away from home as the T20 World Cup takes place in the United Arab Emirates and Oman ahead of the Ashes. 

Talks between the ECB and Cricket Australia are ongoing to reach a compromise and Harrison is optimistic that a full-strength England party will make the trip.

"We are working very closely with Cricket Australia (CA) and I had my latest conversation with my counterpart at CA yesterday," Harrison said. "We are speaking every few days on the matter.

"All the right conversations are happening at government level in Australia and we will be using our own diplomatic channels in the UK to ensure the view of the players and the ECB [is heard].

"This is not players asking for anything unreasonable – these are very reasonable requests that we are asking the Australian government to give some leniency, frankly.

"It's going to be important for us to ensure we can give comfort to players that their families are going to be able to be in Australia and that those conditions in which they are quarantined will be reasonable, enabling the players to be at their best in that Test series.

"It's a conversation that's going to take place over the next few weeks but I am very confident we will get to a place where we can fulfil our obligations to tour."

Jonny Bairstow says England can contend without Stuart Broad and James Anderson when India go in search of a rare Test win at Lord's.

Broad has been ruled out of the remainder of the five-match series after suffering a torn calf in training on Tuesday, while Anderson is expected to miss out with a quad injury.

Saqib Mahmood was called up to the squad on Wednesday and could make his debut in the absence of England's vastly experienced seam duo, with Moeen Ali poised to return in the longest format.

Bairstow cited the ODI series against Pakistan, which England won despite having to name a totally new squad at the eleventh hour following a coronavirus outbreak, as an example that other players can step in and take their chance.

“It would be a big loss [if both Anderson and Broad miss out], naturally, because they've got over a thousand Test wickets between them," said Bairstow.

"I don’t think it's too much of a destabiliser to be honest. I think with the nature of professional sport there is going to be injuries at times, there is going to be illness, it can happen overnight and you've got to be adaptable within the group.

"It's potentially a loss but with that comes an opportunity for other people. When we've seen that previously in the summer, in the Pakistan series, there were opportunities that arose for other people coming in and they rose to those challenges."

India also suffered an injury blow, with seamer Shardul Thakur missing due to a hamstring problem.

Ravichandran Ashwin could come into the team as a second spinner, while Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav are pushing for recalls.

The first Test ended in a draw after the final day was washed out at Trent Bridge, with the tourists chasing 209 to win. Both sides were docked two points in the ICC World Test Championship points for slow-over rates in Nottingham.

 

 

ROOT BACK ABOVE KOHLI BUT IN NEED OF SUPPORT

Joe Root's exploits in the opening Test moved him above India captain Virat Kohli into fourth in the ICC Test Batting Rankings.

Root came to the rescue with a masterful 109 in the second innings after the England skipper top scored with 64 in his side's 183 all out in the first innings.

England's top three of Rory Burns, Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley are under pressure, with Haseeb Hameed waiting for his chance to step in.

 

KOHLI: MOEEN A DANGER MAN

All-rounder Moeen is poised to switch from The Hundred to the Test arena after he was called up this week.

Moeen claimed match figures of 8-226 when he returned to the Test stage against India in Chennai six months ago and Kohli is well aware of his quality.

Kohli said: "We are wary of his skills. He's obviously a very talented cricketer, brings consistency with the ball and as a middle-order or lower-order batsman. Especially in Test cricket, he can change the momentum of the game with the bat. 

"He's in great form right now, he's batting really well and with the ball he is always someone that the team has banked on, so we will have to be at our best going up against Moeen."

KEY OPTA FACTS

- England have lost just two of their 18 Tests against India at Lord's, winning 12 and drawing two. The last India win at the famous venue came in 2014. 
- England have failed to register a win in their past six Test matches (D2, L4), their longest winless run since 2017-2018, when they failed to register a win in eight matches (D2 L6).
- Root (8,887) is 14 away from becoming the second-highest run-scorer for England in Test history (Graham Gooch – 8,900). Root is the only player to score over 1,000 runs since the beginning of 2021 in the longest format.
- Ravichandran Ashwin (413) is five away from becoming the third-highest Test wicket-taker for India, with Harbhajan Singh on 417.

England seamer Stuart Broad will miss the remainder of the Test series against India after tearing his right calf.

Broad suffered the injury during the warm-up in training on Tuesday and will play no further part in the five-match series.

England called up Saqib Mahmood as cover on Wednesday, with James Anderson also set to miss the second Test at Lord's this week after struggling with a tight thigh.

An England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement read: "England seamer Stuart Broad has sustained a tear to his right calf and has been ruled out of the Test series against India.

"He underwent an MRI scan in London on Wednesday lunchtime, which revealed a tear."

Mahmood could be set to make his Test debut on Thursday in the absence of England's vastly experienced new-ball pairing of Broad and Anderson.

Pace duo Mark Wood and Craig Overton are also pushing for recalls, while off-spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali was added to the squad this week following a first Test that ended in a draw at Trent Bridge.

Saqib Mahmood has been called up to the England squad for the second Test against India at Lord's, with James Anderson an injury doubt.

Mahmood was added to the squad as cover before it was reported by The Sun that his Lancashire team-mate Anderson did not bowl in training on Wednesday due to stiffness in his thigh.

Follow veteran Stuart Broad has also been sidelined due to a tweaked right calf ahead of the second of five Tests versus Virat Kohli's side, which starts on Thursday.

Joe Root is also unable to call upon Ben Stokes, who took a break for mental health reasons, Jofra Archer (elbow), Chris Woakes (heel) and Olly Stone (stress fracture of the back).

Paceman Mahmood has not played for England in the longest format, but the 24-year-old seamer has made an impressive start to his white-ball career at international level.

He has 14 wickets in seven ODIs at an average of 19.92 and was named player of the series in the recent 3-0 win over Pakistan.

 

England also called up all-rounder Moeen Ali on Tuesday, while batsman Ollie Pope could return after recovering from a quad injury.

Meanwhile, both England and India have been docked two points in the ICC World Test Championship and fined 40 per cent of their match fees due to slow over-rates in the drawn first Test at Trent Bridge.

Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns is in an intensive care unit in a Sydney hospital after undergoing further heart surgery.

Cairns suffered a "major medical event" in Canberra late last week and initially underwent an operation in the capital city.

The 51-year-old's wife, Melanie, on Wednesday revealed he has been transferred to St Vincent's hospital in Sydney, where has had undergone another operation.

"As has now been widely reported in the media, Chris suffered a major medical event in Canberra late last week," she said in a statement.

"He initially underwent surgery in Canberra, but the seriousness of his condition is such that he has now been transferred to St Vincent's hospital in Sydney, where he has undergone further cardiovascular surgery.

"Chris' family and friends are heartened by the respectful and warm manner in which this terrible news has been reported, and received by the public, both in New Zealand and around the world, and thank everyone for their warm wishers, prayers and kind words.

"For now, no further statements will be make regarding Chris' situation, and the Cairns family asks that people continue to respect their privacy as they deal with this difficult, upsetting and concerning situation."

New Zealand Cricket CEO David White said: "We're deeply concerned to hear of Chris Cairns' medical emergency.

"Our thoughts are with his family in Australia and here in New Zealand. Chris is a much-loved husband, father, and son - and remains one of our finest all-rounders. We hope he's able to make a full recovery."

Cairns played 62 Tests, 215 ODis and two Twenty20 games for the Black Caps between 1989 and 2006.

Moeen Ali has been added to England's squad for the second Test against India, which starts at Lord's on Thursday.

The hosts escaped with a draw in last week's opener at Trent Bridge, thanks to rain on the final day and the stunning exploits of captain Joe Root – whose 64 and 109 made him the only England player to pass 50 in either innings.

Off-spinning all-rounder Moeen last featured at Test level against India in February, with his previous home outing coming in the 2019 Ashes.

He gives Root and coach Chris Silverwood the option of offering greater balance to the bowling attack while also bolstering that flimsy batting card.

England named a four-man, all-seam attack in Ben Stokes' absence last time out, despite the presence of off-spinner Dom Bess and slow left-armer Jack Leach in a sizeable squad that Moeen's inclusion now swells to 18.

The 34-year-old has been captaining Birmingham Phoenix in the inaugural Hundred and struck 59 off 28 balls in a dominant 93-run win over Welsh Fire on Monday.

He was in a similarly belligerent mood when smashing an 18-ball 43 in a losing cause in Chennai earlier this year, although the most recent of his five Test centuries came in December 2016.

 

That was also against India and it is likely Moeen's success with the ball against Virat Kohli's men is the driving factor in his recall. In 13 Tests against England's current opponents, he has 49 wickets at an average of 31.91.

If he plays at Lord's, Moeen is unlikely to be the only change. Haseeb Hameed is in contention to step into a misfiring top order, with Zak Crawley the leading candidate to make way.

Ollie Pope missed the opening Test due to a thigh injury and could return, while fast bowler Mark Wood might come into the reckoning after Sam Curran and Stuart Broad took one wicket between them at Trent Bridge.

 

England squad: Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Mark Wood.

India captain Virat Kohli and England counterpart Joe Root both agreed rain had ruined the prospect of a fascinating final day in the first Test.

No play was possible on Sunday in Nottingham due to bad weather, with India having been due to resume their second innings on 52-1 in pursuit of a target of 209.

Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara had helped the tourists come through a tricky 14-over spell late on day four, the only setback for India being the departure of KL Rahul for 26.

Despite the disappointment on not being able to capitalise on the opportunity to push for victory, Kohli was pleased with the way his team had performed at the start of the five-match series.

"We were expecting rain on days three and four, then it chooses to arrive on day five," Kohli lamented in his post-match interview with Sky Sports.

"We thought we were in a good position to have a crack at the target. It would have been a really nice, interesting day of Test cricket, one that would have been enjoyable to watch and certainly enjoyable to be a part of, so it's a shame.

"This is exactly what we wanted to do – we wanted to start strong. Heading into day five, we felt like we had our chances in front of us.

"One good partnership and you know what happens when there's only 150-odd to defend.

"It certainly felt like we were on top in the game, we bowled well enough and batted well enough to stay in the contest, then getting that lead was crucial."

Root had made sure India did not have a straightforward task batting last, his 21st Test century giving England's bowlers something to work with. He had faith in his attack to create opportunities, too, only for persistent downpours to put paid to the home side's hopes.

"It was a great Test match. I think the weather has robbed us of what could have been a very exciting final day," Root told Sky Sports.

"It bodes well for the rest of the series. Hopefully we can take some of the good stuff out of this week into the rest of it.

"Having spent a lot of time on that wicket, it felt like there were going to be nine opportunities within play. It was just making sure we were smart to get the game to go long enough.

"It felt like there was going to be that opportunity there, it's just a shame the weather won today."

Root pipped Jasprit Bumrah to the player of the match award, the latter having taken nine wickets in the contest as India's decision to pick just the one spinner worked out.

Kohli revealed that it is likely they will continue with the same policy in the remainder of the trip, starting with the second Test at Lord's.

"Most likely it will be the template for the rest of the series, but adaptability has been a strength of ours, especially when we've played away from home," he said.

"We need to adapt quickly, according to what is in front of us. Pitches, conditions, pace of the wicket and so on, but this looks like the right template moving forward.

"It’s going to be an exciting series to watch and be part of – England-India is always a blockbuster. Expect a lot of exciting cricket ahead."

No play was possible on the final day of the first Test between England and India, with persistent rain in Nottingham wiping out the possibility of an intriguing finish to the series opener.

India had been due to resume their second innings on 52-1 requiring a further 157 for victory, Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara the unbeaten batsmen with both on 12 not out.

However, the players never made it out onto the field as bad weather at Trent Bridge meant an absorbing contest, one that had ebbed and flowed through the four previous days, finished in a rather disappointing draw.

England had set their opponents 209 thanks mainly to an outstanding century from captain Joe Root, his 21st in Test cricket but first on home soil since September 2018.

Jasprit Bumrah's five-wicket haul made sure India were not chasing too many, with the tourists only losing opener KL Rahul – caught behind off the bowling of Stuart Broad for 26 – in a tricky 14-over spell prior to the close on Saturday.

Yet the English weather had the last word on proceedings, meaning the teams remain at 0-0 in the five-match series as the focus quickly switches to the second Test, which begins at Lord's on Thursday.

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.

KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja and a wagging tail helped India to a 70-run first-innings lead on a rain-affected day three of the first Test against England at Trent Bridge.

Opener Rahul built on his overnight half-century to top score with 84 and he and all-rounder Jadeja (56) combined in a vital 60-run stand for the sixth wicket that took Virat Kohli's side past the tourists' 183 all out.

Ollie Robinson continued his impressive start to life on the field in Test cricket with 5-85, while James Anderson's 4-54 moved him above Anil Kumble and up to third on the all-time wickets list in the longest format.

Jaspit Bumrah swung merrily for 28 but he and his fellow India seamers were unable to make inroads as Rory Burns (11 not out) and Dom Sibley (9 not out) reached 25-0 before the weather heralded an early close.

Rishabh Pant's curious 20-ball 25 came to an end when he skewed an ugly shot to Jonny Bairstow at cover off Robinson, immediately after a slashed four through the slips and a top-edged six.

Rahul's knock was far from chanceless, with some slapdash running and Anderson having him dropped by Sibley and skipper Joe Root in the cordon.

The veteran paceman had his man when Rahul edged a full one through to Jos Buttler with the score on 205 and Root atoned by clinging on to remove Shardul Thakur for nought in Anderson's next over.

Jadeja started to put his foot down, clouting Anderson for six and sending Robinson twice to the fence through the offside as he passed 50, only to give Stuart Broad a spiralling catch from the final ball of the 75th over.

Bumrah produced an old-fashioned cavalier tailend knock, going four, six, four from consecutive Sam Curran deliveries before being the last man out on 278 – Broad again the catcher as Robinson claimed his maiden five-for with India's lead 95.

If the Sussex seamer looks easily at home at this level, the same cannot often be said for England's top order, but Burns and Sibley negotiated 11.1 overs unscathed. Then the rain, perhaps the most significant threat to an India victory in Nottingham, returned.

Pant pulled down

If the Australian tour version of Rishabh Pant - whose bravura 89 not out secured a sensational series win and the man-of-the-match award at the Gabba in January - had turned up in Nottingham, India could really have made England suffer. In reality, they got a man playing several shots at every ball who seemed to have limited interest in the serious business of Test batting.

Having been lucky to survive an examination from Anderson on day two, Pant decided to plough merrily on. "That's just the way he plays" is no defence for such nonsense from a man so talented. Pant has superstar billing and is much, much better than this.

Robinson lets his cricket to the talking

Historic racist and sexist tweets understandably took all the focus off Robinson's efforts on the field during his Test debut against New Zealand in June and a ban duly followed. Back in the fold and suitably contrite, the rangy seamer struck up a master and apprentice partnership with Anderson of the highest quality on Friday.

It will understandably take Robinson some time to be embraced as any kind of fans' favourite after his misdemeanours but he looks born to play Test cricket – perhaps especially on the bouncy tracks that await England in Australia at the end of the year.

Two James Anderson wickets helped England wrestle back some control on the second day of the first Test against India at Trent Bridge.

A dismal day one batting display saw the hosts all out for 183 before India made 21 without loss in reply.

But a productive spell either side of lunch on Thursday, led by bowling great Anderson, brought Joe Root's men back into the reckoning.

Anderson removed Cheteshwar Pujara and old foe Virat Kohli in quick succession, although bad light and rain soon intervened and allowed India to reach the end of play on 125-4.

The tourists had withstood early England pressure and looked on course to finish the first session still unbeaten until Ollie Robinson's short ball – the final delivery before lunch – tempted Rohit Sharma to pick out Sam Curran at the boundary.

Anderson maintained England's momentum following the restart with two wickets in as many balls, including a popular golden duck for captain Kohli, who edged behind.

KL Rahul reached fifty as India sought to regroup, only to then have partner Ajinkya Rahane run out by a clinical direct hit from Jonny Bairstow.

Dom Sibley put down Rishabh Pant from a simple chance and rain fell to further frustrate a resurgent England, who returned twice – first for a single ball and then for two – before heading back to the dressing room again, with play eventually abandoned.

A TIMELY BOWLING BOOST

England were on course to reach the end of the morning session without reward and worse news would great supporters during the interval, with confirmation Jofra Archer will miss the rest of the year, including the Ashes tour of Australia.

How Root could have used the paceman's inspiration as his side started to toil again, staring down the barrel of a fifth defeat in six Tests in their worst barren run since 2018.

Robinson's much-needed breakthrough, in his second match at this level, belatedly provided cause for optimism.

MILESTONE MADE IN STYLE

Anderson's second wicket took him level with Anil Kumble on 619 in Tests, the third-most in history. Of those, 120 have come against India – his most against any team and the most by any player in the men's format – and six have come against Kohli, although this was the first in their rivalry since 2014.

The wicket brought relief then for Anderson, while it was Kohli's fifth Test golden duck, of which three have come in England against England. Indeed, Stuart Broad had Kohli caught behind first ball in his previous away innings against England back in 2018.

Jofra Archer will miss both the T20 World Cup and this year's Ashes as the England bowler has been ruled out for the remainder of 2021.

Archer has been dealing with a troublesome elbow injury and underwent surgery in May, with an "intensive rehabilitation period" planned before he was reassessed.

The pace bowler insisted he would not rush his return but had targeted both the T20 World Cup – which is to be held in the United Arab Emirates and Oman – and the tour of Australia.

Archer will be available for neither, though, despite returning with Sussex last month.

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Thursday the player had suffered a recurrence of a stress fracture of his right elbow, confirmed by scans last week.

"In response to these findings, [Archer] has been ruled out for the rest of the year and will miss the current LV= Insurance Test series against India, the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 and the Ashes series in Australia," a statement explained.

"The 26-year-old, who had an operation in May to remove a bone fragment from his elbow, returned to play last month.

"As part of his return-to-bowling programme, he became aware of increasing discomfort in his elbow during matches for Sussex in the Vitality Blast and a 50-over friendly against Oxfordshire.

"The operation is not related to the stress fracture that sidelined the player previously.

"He will now spend time on an extended break from cricket before returning for a medical review in early autumn."

England are already without all-rounder Ben Stokes for their ongoing Test series against India, as he is focusing on his mental wellbeing during an indefinite period away from the sport.

Archer starred alongside Stokes for England at the 2019 Cricket World Cup, taking 20 wickets – tied for the third-most at the tournament – to help the hosts to their first title following a dramatic final.

He was then handed his Test debut against Australia in the Ashes, collecting 22 wickets including a pair of five-fors and career-best figures of 6-45.

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