Virat Kohli has announced he will step down as captain of Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore after the 2021 season is finished.

After a coronavirus-enforced suspension, the IPL restarted on Sunday, with Chennai Super Kings taking on Mumbai Indians in the United Arab Emirates.

However, ahead of Bangalore's clash with Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday, Kohli confirmed he will soon be bringing his time as captain to an end.

Kohli's announcement comes just three days after he confirmed he will step down as India's T20I captain after the upcoming T20 World Cup.

The highest scorer in T20Is, Kohli revealed the news in a video shared to RCB's official Twitter account.

"To the whole RCB family, the fans, the amazing fans of Bangalore and to everyone who has been a supporter of RCB for so many years, I have an announcement to make," he said.

"Before the second leg of the tournament starts, to inform everyone that this is going to be my last leg in the IPL as captain of RCB.

"I've spoken to the management, it's something that has been on my mind for a while, as I recently announced stepping down from T20 captaincy as well to manage my workload, which has been immense over the past few years.

"I want to continue to be committed to the responsibilities fully, and I felt I needed the space to refresh, regroup and be absolutely clear in how I want to move forward."

However, Kohli – who was signed by RCB in 2008 and was made captain in 2013 – insisted he has no plans to cut his time with the franchise short, despite his step back from leadership duties.

"Also understanding that RCB is going to go through a transitional phase, with a big auction coming next year, I made it clear to the management that I can't think of me being at any other team than RCB," Kohli continued.

"That has been my commitment since day one. I will continue to be an RCB player until my last game in the IPL.

"It's been a great journey of joy, frustration, moments of happiness and sadness, and I just want to thank all of you for believing in me and supporting me, relentlessly and unconditionally.

"I will continue to be committed to playing for this franchise until the last day of IPL, for you guys, the fans, because of what you have done for me and made me feel over the past so many years. It has meant so much.

"So, thank you so much; this is just a little halt, it is not the end of the journey, the journey will continue and it will continue the same way that it has for so many years."

Kohli accumulated 198 runs across the first seven games of the 2021 IPL season. In total, he has played 199 matches in the competition, averaging 37.97 with a high score of 113.

Virat Kohli has announced that he will step down as captain of the India T20I team after the upcoming World Cup.

Batting star Kohli said he needed to cut down his workload to be at his most effective in future, as he heads towards his mid-thirties.

The highest scorer in international T20 cricket, Kohli said he would continue to play for the team but would hand over leadership responsibilities.

He will remain captain of the Test and ODI teams, and will hope to go out on a high note as skipper in the shortest format.

The Super 12 stage of the World Cup, which is where India begin their campaign, begins for Kohli's team with an October 24 clash against Pakistan in Dubai.

Kohli wrote in a note posted to social media on Thursday: "I have been fortunate enough to not only represent India but also lead the Indian cricket teams to my utmost capability.

"Understanding workload is a very important thing and considering my immense workload over the last 8-9 years playing all three formats and captaining regularly for the last 5-6 years, I feel I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the Indian team in Test and ODI cricket.

"I have given everything to the team during my time at T20 captain and I will continue to do so for the T20 team as a batsman moving forward.

"Of course, arriving at this decision took a lot of time. After a lot of contemplation and discussions with my close people, Ravi bhai [Ravi Shastri] and also Rohit [Sharma], who have been an essential part of the leadership group, I've decided to step down as the T20 captain after this T20 World Cup in Dubai in October.

"I have also spoken to the secretary Mr Jay Shah and the president of BCCI Mr Sourav Ganguly along with all the selectors about the same. I will continue to serve Indian cricket and the Indian team to the best of my ability."

Kohli has been captain of India in all formats since 2017, having taken over the limited-overs responsibilities from MS Dhoni.

Chris Woakes made an instant impact on his return as England bowled India out for 191, only for Joe Root to fall late on as the visitors fought back on a frantic day one of the fourth Test. 

England levelled the five-match series at 1-1 with a resounding innings victory at Headingley last weekend after bowling their opponents out for only 78 on the first day. 

India struggled with the bat again after being put in by Root at The Oval on Thursday, captain Virat Kohli falling for 50 as they collapsed to 127-7. 

The recalled Shardul Thakur (57) blasted the fastest Test half-century ever made in England, reaching the landmark off just 31 balls, before India were all out in the 62nd over after the final three wickets fell for one run. 

Jasprit Bumrah (2-15) dismissed Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed to reduce England to 6-2 in a brilliant opening spell and Umesh Yadav struck a huge blow by bowling the in-form Root (21). 

England reached 53-3 at stumps - trailing by 138 - with Dawid Malan unbeaten on 26 and nightwatchman Craig Overton (one not out) ensuring no further damage was done. 

Woakes took 4-55 in his first Test for just over a year, including seeing the back of Rohit Sharma with a peach of a delivery in his first over. 

He also dismissed Ravindra Jadeja, promoted to number five in the order, and was gifted a further wicket when Rishabh Pant was caught at mid-off trying to hit over the top. Thakur was his final victim, though not before playing a potentially crucial cameo. 

Kohli showed his class with some glorious drives before he edged a great delivery from Ollie Robinson (3-38) through to Jonny Bairstow, who took four catches on his return to wicketkeeping duties with Jos Buttler absent.

James Anderson and Overton also took a wicket apiece in another relentless performance from the England attack. 

Bumrah was run out by Burns without facing a ball in a chaotic end to the India innings, but Kohli's men hit back impressively in the final session.

 

WOAKES MAKES UP FOR LOST TIME 

Woakes had not played for his country in the longest format since last August and he made up for lost time having recovered from a heel injury. 

Pant's latest rush of blood to the head gifted Woakes a third wicket and although he took some treatment from Thakur, the seamer had the last laugh when he ended his entertaining knock thanks to a well-judged review. 

THAKUR TAKES HIS CHANCE 

Thakur - recalled along with Umesh as Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma missed out - was another to make his mark, producing a swashbuckling knock after striding to the crease with his team in big trouble. 

He was dismissed without scoring in the first match at Test Bridge but went on the attack to give India some hope as he dominated a much-needed eighth-wicket stand of 63 in just eight overs, hitting three sixes and seven fours in a dramatic hour at the crease, during which he faced only 36 balls. 

India are confident of responding to their Headingley humiliation when they face England in the fourth Test at The Oval.

England levelled the five-match series at 1-1 in emphatic fashion in Leeds last weekend, winning by an innings and 76 runs in the morning session on day four.

India had won the second Test at Lord's in dramatic fashion, but the tourists were brought back down to earth when they were bowled out for only 78 on the first day at Headingley after Virat Kohli won the toss.

They suffered another spectacular collapse in the second innings, folding from 215-2 to 278 all out as Ollie Robinson claimed a five-wicket haul.

India went on to secure a series win in Australia early last year after they were skittled out for a meagre 36 in the first Test and bowling coach Bharat Arun says they can put another embarrassment behind them in London.

"We have been bowled out for 36 earlier and we have bounced back from that," he said during a press conference on Wednesday. 

"We have our ways of doing things and we have done in the past, we take confidence from there and hopefully can give better performance in the next two Tests."

India added fast bowler Prasidh Krishna to their squad on the eve of a fourth Test that starts on Thursday.

Arun said of the paceman's inclusion: "He's been included mainly considering all the workload management issues. Nothing more to it than that.

"Ishant's [Sharma] form in the last game that was a bit of concern but I think we have sorted things out. Prasidh Krishna is just a precautionary inclusion."

Jonny Bairstow will take over wicketkeeping duties with Jos Buttler absent as his wife is due to give birth, while Chris Woakes, Ollie Pope and Mark Wood are vying for a place in the England side.

All-rounder Moeen Ali has replaced Buttler as vice-captain.

 

ROOT ON TOP OF THE WORLD AND EYEING MORE RECORDS

England captain Joe Root is in the form of his life and has returned to the top of the Test rankings for the first time in six years.

Root has scored 507 runs at an average of 126.75 in this series, scoring three centuries in as many Tests. 

Victory at Headingley, where Root made a magnificent 121 in the first innings, made him the most successful England Test captain with 27 wins.

The skipper has reached three figures six times this year in the longest format and another hundred will see him set a new England record for the most in a calendar year.

Root only needs one more century to go past Kevin Pietersen's tally of 23 in Tests, a total only Alastair Cook (33) has bettered for England.

INDIA TO FINALLY UNLEASH ASHWIN?

Ravichandran Ashwin starred with both ball and bat when India beat England in a Test series on home soil this year but the all-rounder has played no part in this series.

Arun did not rule out both Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin playing at The Oval.

He said: "Ashwin, no doubt, is one of the best bowlers we have and its unfortunate that he has not played so far but if there is an opportunity and if we feel that he is going to fit into the scheme of things, they will definitely both be bowling in tandem."

Arun added: "The best thing would be to decide after looking at the track tomorrow morning as anything could happen between now and tomorrow. So we look at it tomorrow morning and decide."

KEY OPTA FACTS

- England have lost only one of their 13 Tests against India at The Oval (W5, D7), a four-wicket defeat in August 1971. They have won each of the past three matches versus India at the London venue
- Rohit Sharma is 91 shy of becoming the 23rd player to score 3,000 runs in Tests for India. Only against South Africa (678) has the opener scored more Test runs than he has against England (609).
- England are one away from reaching their 50th Test victory against India
- India will be looking to avoid back-to-back Test defeats for the first time since December 2020,

Joe Root lauded James Anderson as "the GOAT of Tests" as he revelled in England's brilliant win over India.

Anderson claimed his 400th Test wicket on home soil while Ollie Robinson sealed a second five-for of his England career as the hosts cruised to victory by an innings and 76 runs in Leeds.

In total, India lost eight wickets for 63 runs on Saturday, having headed into day four on 215-2 and looking in a good position to at least force England to bat again.

The series is now level at 1-1 going into the last two Tests, with the Oval next up.

With Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad missing from the attack, Anderson finished with figures of 4-69 at Headingley, and Root hailed the paceman as the greatest of all time.

"It's what he does, why he's the GOAT of Tests," said Root, who scored 121 on his home ground, at the post-match presentation.

"He sets a wonderful tone for the bowling group. At his age, to be as fit as he is, it's wonderful for the others to learn from."

England collapsed themselves at Lord's in the second Test, and Root was thrilled with the response his side showed in Yorkshire.

"It was a fantastic, clinical performance, the two big lads were exceptional, built pressure early on," he said.

"Three maidens this morning, and we felt we were in a good place to take wickets. When chances came, we took them.

"Look at the talent in the dressing room – we know we're capable, we just have to be more consistent."

It was a sentiment echoed by Anderson, who singled out Robinson (5-65 in the second innings) for praise.

"It feels good. [It was a ] huge disappointment at Lord's, we wanted to come back and put in a better performance and we did that," Anderson told Sky Sports.

"As a group we bowled brilliantly. There were nerves, because of the quality of India's batting line-up, we thought if they get stuck in and get a big partnership it could be a long day.

"Ollie Robinson today was unbelievable, he's been brilliant since he came into the side. But I think it's that collective effort, we were relentless with that yesterday and carried it on today."

India captain Virat Kohli, meanwhile, was left to reflect on a match gone badly wrong.

"Quite bizarre, it can happen in this country, batting collapses," he said.

"We thought the pitch was good to bat on, coming on nicely. But the discipline forced mistakes and the pressure was relentless. It's difficult to cope when you're not scoring runs.

"As a batting group we need to stay close and confident, even after 36 all-out [in Australia] we came back."

India collapsed in sensational style on Saturday as England tied their Test series with an emphatic victory by an innings and 76 runs at Headingley.

England skittled India all out for 78 on day one in Leeds, with Joe Root (121) then leading the hosts to a huge lead over the course of day two.

The tourists steadied themselves on day three to head into Saturday on 215-2, with captain Virat Kohli looking sharp.

Yet, on a pitch and a day that looked set for a long spell of batting, England's bowlers stole the show as India were dismantled for 278.

Ollie Robinson led the way with a superb five-for, his second in Test cricket, while James Anderson snagged Ajinkya Rahane to clinch his 400th wicket on home soil in the longest format.

Without Mark Wood, Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad, it was a remarkable performance from Joe Root's team, who head to the Oval with the series tied at 1-1.

Robinson (5-65) dismissed Rohit Sharma on Friday and he picked up where he left off early on day four, a poor leave from Cheteshwar Pujara resulting in a review for leg before wicket, with Hawkeye determining a big chunk of off stump would have been hit.

The crucial wicket of Kohli (55) soon followed, with Robinson drawing India's skipper into an edge that Root took in the slips. 

India's other big hitter, Rahane, lasted just one more over – Anderson hitting another Test landmark when he drew an edge to Jos Buttler – before Robinson struck again moments later to leave India on the brink.

Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja tried to mount a resistance, but it hardly lasted, with Moeen Ali dismissing the former with a sublime delivery that sent the off stump out.

Robinson swiftly sent Ishant Sharma packing to complete his five-for, and after Jadeja struck three successive boundaries off his bowling, Craig Overton responded with two wickets in the space of three deliveries to complete a stunning victory.

 

Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma made half-centuries as India showed resistance to hold up England on day three of the third Test at Headingley.

England held a mammoth first-innings lead of 354 after being bowled out for 432 early in the morning session.

India, leading the five-match series 1-0, had been humiliatingly skittled out for 78 on day one, but closed on 215-2 after England were only able to remove KL Rahul (eight) Rohit (59) on Friday.

Pujara returned to form with an unbeaten 91 and Virat Kohli was 45 not out at stumps, with the tourists trailing by 139.

England added only nine runs to their overnight total after resuming on 423-8, Mohammed Shami (4-95) dismissing Craig Overton leg before wicket for 32 and Ollie Robinson cleaned up by Jasprit Bumrah without scoring.

The India openers showed great application as the England seamers probed with the new ball and it took a moment of brilliance from Jonny Bairstow on the stroke of lunch to end a stand of 34.

KL Rahul walked off shaking his head after he edged an excellent delivery from Overton and second-slip Bairstow dived to his left to claim a stunning one-handed catch.

Rohit and Pujara played with a mixture of patience and positivity in a wicket-less afternoon session, with the opener appearing to have a stroke of luck on 39 when Joe Root failed to signal for a review in time after Robinson struck him on the pad.

He brought up his half-century from 125 balls before Robinson snared him lbw.

Pujara was untroubled as he serenely eased to a half-century and Kohli also looked very much at home on a good pitch under gloomy skies as England were unable to make further inroads, with the new ball due early on day four.

 

PUJARA SHOWS HIS CLASS

Pujara's place has been called into question as he has looked totally out of sorts, but he showed his class in Leeds on the third day.

The 33-year-old had failed to make it to 50 in his previous 13 innings before demonstrating what he is capable of with his side on the ropes.

Pujara scored far more freely, driving with finesse and even ramping Robinson for four in a first half-century since making 73 against England in Chennai in February.

KOHLI LOOKING OMINOUS

Captain Kohli has also been short of runs, but that was no evidence of that on a frustrating day for England.

The skipper struck two boundaries in the first over from James Anderson, who dismissed him for the seventh time in the longest format in the first innings.

Kohli, without a Test century since November 2019, ticked along as India put such a dismal display with the bat on the opening day behind them.

England took complete control of their third Test with India after bowling out their opponents for just 78 on day one at Headingley and replying with 120-0.

The tourists, leading 1-0 in the series and seeking back-to-back Test wins in England for just a second time, were wiped out in just over 40 overs after electing to bat first.

Virat Kohli's side surrendered their last six wickets for 30 and England made a more-that-steady start to their reply by the end of play on Wednesday thanks to Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed.

Star man James Anderson got England off to a flier as he picked up three wickets for the loss of six runs in his opening spell of eight overs, dismissing KL Rahul (0), Cheteshwar Pujara (1) and Kohli (7) in quick succession.

India were in trouble at 21-3 and, while they were given temporary respite by Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, the latter was soon sent packing by Ollie Robinson for 18. 

Robinson picked up from where he left off after lunch with the wicket of Rishabh Pant, who edged straight into the hands of Jos Buttler for just two runs.

That was Buttler's fifth catch and England were not finished there as Craig Overton, in for Mark Wood, got Sharma – India's top scorer with 19 runs – caught trying an awkward pull shot.

Mohammed Shami was then caught at third slip by Rory Burns for a golden duck, before Sam Curran got Ravi Jadeja (4) and Jasprit Bumrah (0) both out lbw.

Mohammed Siraj (3) was the last to fall for a shocked India, the ball coming off his bat and landing in the hands of Joe Root at slip, leaving India with their ninth-lowest total in Test history.

England had the chance to get some runs on the board before the end of play and their batters steadily backed up their bowlers' hard work.

Burns and Hameed produced an unbroken century stand for the first wicket to give England a lead of 42.

Burns reached 52 by the close of play – his 10th Test half-century – and partner Hameed will resume at 60 not out on Thursday as England look to close in on an emphatic victory to level the series.

 

Headingley horror for India

India posted their third-lowest total against England with 78 runs and their lowest since 1974 when skittled for 42 at Lord's.

It was India's third-lowest score ever after electing to bat first, meanwhile, behind the 76 they managed against South Africa in 2008 and 75 against the West Indies in 1987.

England were rampant and Anderson in particular was in inspired form, setting the tone early on. Buttler also deserves special praise as he took five catches in an innings for a second time, previously doing so against the West Indies in 2015.

Hameed steps up on return to top two

Burns and Hameed refused to be budged as England became only the third side in Test history to bowl out the opposition and end day one in the lead with both openers still in play.

That is the 22nd new opening partnership used by England in the past nine years, with Hameed opening the batting in Test cricket for the first time since 2016 after jumping the order following Dawid Malan's recall.

Both men faced more than 100 balls but looked comfortable for large parts, with England's opening partnership registering a century at home for only the third time in five years.

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.

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."

James Anderson rates the dismissal of India captain Virat Kohli for a first-ball duck as one of his best as he led an England fightback on day two of the first Test at Trent Bridge.

Anderson swung his team back into contention against the tourists with two quickfire wickets, getting Cheteshwar Pujara out caught behind before Kohli – who was out for a golden duck to Stuart Broad in his last English innings in 2018 – followed in the same manner.

India had been threatening to take the game away from Joe Root's side after putting on an unbeaten 97 for the first wicket, however, four wickets reduced Kohli's men to 125-4 at the end of a rain-affected second day.

The wicket of Kohli, who Anderson had not dismissed in 454 balls since 2014, represented the Lancashire bowler's 619th wicket in Test cricket – moving him level with India's spinning great Anil Kumble.

Asked where Kohli's day-two wicket ranked among his other 618, Anderson said: "It's obviously right up there, it's always good to get a world-class player out. You always want to challenge yourself against the best and he certainly is one of the best.

"There was definitely some emotion there in the celebration, getting him out early and knowing how important that is for the team."

While Anderson's back-to-back deliveries changed the mood in Nottingham, it was Ollie Robinson who got things going with the removal of Rohit Sharma, caught pulling on the boundary by Sam Curran.

Indeed, Robinson and Anderson, who is now joint-third for the most wickets in Test history, were the pick of England's all-seam four-man attack but the 39-year-old insisted the hosts' bowlers must stick to their own strengths.

"I try and not focus on individuals really, I think it's important that we as bowlers focus on what we do best, our strengths, and my strength," Anderson added.

"My first spell one of my strengths is swinging the ball, I was trying to swing it away and get the edge of the two openers. Then when I came back it was more trying to attack the stumps, we slightly changed the field to try and bowl that touch straighter.

"It's more focusing on us and trying to take that individual battle and the individual batsmen out of it, we bowl best when we focus on ourselves."

It was announced on Thursday, though, that Anderson will have to wait to partner up with Jofra Archer again as the fast bowler will be out injured for the rest of 2021 – crucially missing the T20 World Cup and Ashes series in Australia.

Archer, who burst onto the scene with 20 wickets in the 2019 World Cup-winning campaign before following up with 22 in his debut Ashes series, has been suffering with an elbow injury and will play no further part this year.

"It's a huge disappointment for Jofra and the team, he has been a really influential part of the team since he started playing for England," Anderson continued.

"Obviously he's a huge miss for what's coming up for the rest of the year but I also think this sort of injury is something that has been bugging him for quite a while, so I think hopefully now this will be the end of it; get it settled, get it healed and come back stronger.

"He's been great for this team and we want him back fully fit and firing so hopefully however long it takes that will happen in the next few months."

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.

Jonny Bairstow looks set to get a chance to revive his Test career on Wednesday – against the very opponents who looked to have ended it earlier this year.

England batsman Bairstow recorded three ducks in four innings as Joe Root's side fell to a 3-1 series loss in India and the Yorkshireman did not feature in the home red-ball series against New Zealand in June.

However, he is back in the fold for the five-match rubber against Virat Kohli's men, which begins at Trent Bridge, and a thigh injury to Ollie Pope looks to have created an opening in the middle order.

Ben Stokes' absence as the star all-rounder takes time out to look after his mental health and allow an injured finger to heal means Bairstow's experience might win the day over Dan Lawrence when it comes to deciding who should bat at number five below Root.

The lack of Stokes also means Bairstow and Lawrence could both play, although that would see Root restricted to a four-man bowling attack.

A greater degree of firepower will probably be required against a fine India side, although the tourists' strength in all departments has served to undermine their preparations.

Opener Mayank Agarwal will miss the opening Test with concussion after being struck on the head by a Mohammed Siraj bouncer in the nets.

Shubman Gill is already absent with a shin injury and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane strongly suggested India would be loathe to move Cheteshwar Pujara up from his pivotal number three slot. It could mean Abhimanyu Easwaran stepping in to open despite not playing any first-class cricket for 15 months.

Although far from an ideal scenario, the combination of a heavily loaded international schedule and the demands of quarantine and bio-secure bubbles means plenty of players – including much of England's brittle batting order – are heading into what should be an elite-level contest somewhat undercooked.

England look to their Mr Dependable once more

James Anderson's incredible career as the most prolific seam bowler in Test history looked to be reaching the end in 2019, when calf problems restricted him to just four overs in that year's Ashes series.

Since then, he has claimed 42 wickets for England at 23, breaking through the 600-wicket barrier in the process. As pacemen Jofra Archer and Ollie Stone nurse their latest injuries, the 39-year-old Anderson remains as important to his country's prospects of success as ever.

Preparation the key for Kohli

Anderson resuming his duel with master batsman Kohli is once again sure to be a highlight of the series. The India captain has been in England with his squad for two months now, with the World Test Championship final defeat to New Zealand at least clearing the way for the sort of acclimatisation and preparation seldom enjoyed for away tours in the modern era.

Kohli averages 35.63 in Tests in England, with two centuries and three centuries to his name in 11 matches. Although a perfectly respectable record, he would love to bring it closer to his returns in Australia – conditions that a haul of six centuries and four fifties (average 54.08) show he has unquestionably tamed.

New Zealand claimed victory in the World Test Championship final as they chased down a fourth-innings target of 139 with eight wickets to spare at the Ageas Bowl.

Captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor combined in an unbroken 96-run stand as the Black Caps, so often the bridesmaids through the years, became the inaugural winners of the tournament in the final hour of play.

Rain had threatened to spoil the showpiece fixture in Southampton, but the addition by the International Cricket Council of a reserve day allowed for an absorbing conclusion to proceedings.

India had resumed in the morning on 64-2, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli at the crease looking to build on a precarious 32-run lead.

However, both overnight batsmen fell early in proceedings to the impressive Kyle Jamieson, Kohli caught behind for 13 before Pujara (15) fell soon after, leaving the score at 72-4 as New Zealand struck two huge blows.

It would have been even better had Tim Southee held onto a chance from Rishabh Pant when he was on just five, Jamieson the unfortunate bowler. The left-hander went on to top score with 41, a crucial knock in the circumstances.

Trent Boult dismissed Pant – caught superbly by Henry Nicholls having skied the ball high into the air – as he finished with figures of 3-39, also seeing off Ajinkya Rahane (15) and Ravindra Jadeja (16).

There were also two late wickets for Southee – who ended up with 4-48 in the innings – as India slipped from 142-5 to 170 all out.

Ravichandran Ashwin gave India a glimmer of hope when he removed both New Zealand openers, Tom Latham the first to go when stumped for nine before Devon Conway was trapped lbw having contributed 19.

Yet Williamson and Taylor, who finished 52 and 47 not out respectively, did not panic when coming together at 44-2, slowly building a partnership that would blossom with the finishing line in sight.

 

Standing tall on the biggest stage

Jamieson has been a revelation for the Black Caps in Test cricket. He finished with stunning match figures of 7-61 from 46 overs, of which 22 were maidens.

In total, 83 per cent of his deliveries were pitched outside off stump, the highest rate of any bowler for New Zealand. The plan worked too, as six of his seven wickets came from balls landing in that area.

Middling returns from big names

No Indian player managed to post a half-century. Pujara, Kohli and Rahane were crucial in helping their team qualify for the final, but their low returns in the game continued a recent trend.

Since the beginning of 2019, the trio have registered a combined total of six Test centuries. In the two years prior to that, however, they had 18 hundreds between them in the longest format.

Kyle Jamieson and Devon Conway continued their magnificent starts to life in the longest format to put New Zealand in charge of the rain-affected World Test Championship final against India.

A first-day washout at the Ageas Bowl before Saturday's action was truncated by bad light means a positive result might not be possible, even allowing for Wednesday's reserve day.

However, towering seamer Jamieson (5-31) picked up his fifth five-for in eight Tests as India were dismissed for 217 under leaden skies before opener Conway (54) passed 50 for the third time in five innings to help Kane Williamson's men close on 101-2.

A day of New Zealand domination was not necessarily on the cards when India skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane resumed their 59-run partnership with the score 146-3, although Jamieson was quickly on the money.

He nipped one back to trap Kohli in front for 44, unable to add to his overnight score.

Rahane also missed out on a half-century, falling a run shy of the landmark when he popped Neil Wagner (2-40) to Tom Latham at midwicket. That made it 182-6 – Rishabh Pant had grown frustrated at failing to get off the mark for 20 balls before throwing his bat at the 22nd and edging Jamieson to Latham for four.

Ravindra Jadeja (15) and Ravichandran Ashwin (22) offered a modicum of lower-order resistance but Jamieson had his fifth when he pinned Jasprit Bumrah lbw.

Mohammed Shami's average of 47.95 across nine Tests in England is by far his worst in any country, although the India paceman was desperately unlucky not to improve upon those numbers across a 11 probing overs, with Conway and Latham both ballooning edges over the cordon.

Off-spinner Ashwin (1-20) gave one some extra flight to have Latham taken by Kohli at short extra cover for 30, ending a 70-run opening stand.

After bringing up a fine half century to sit alongside 200 and 80 in his debut series against England, Conway will be frustrated to have flicked to wide mid-on when Ishant Sharma overpitched.

Williamson (12 not out) remained when bad light intervened once more – the elements now arguably more likely to deny his side glory as opposed to anything India might muster in Southampton.

Kyle the king of swing and seam

Jamieson might not be the sort of express pace bowler whose emergence on the scene provokes widespread excitement, but he is a relentless performer and his nagging line, length and lift proved perfect in gloomy English conditions. He might race to 50 Test wickets before this game is out, currently on 44 at a remarkable average of 14.13.

India's big hitters come up short

Kohli's review for a plum lbw certainly fell into the L'Oreal category and India's day did not improve. It feels slightly harsh to highlight Rahane, who top-scored when batting was tough, but the manner in which he plonked himself into an obvious trap set by Wagner will gnaw away at him. The richly gifted Pant never looked like matching Kohli and Rahane's efforts during a torturous stay where he appeared completely ill-suited to the situation.

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