England first innings in tatters
Well, that’s answered the question – on hold at lunch – about whether India have it in them to bounce back from their defeat at Lord’s!
Six wickets in an explosive afternoon session have put MS Dhoni’s side in complete control of the second Test after the Indian captain won a vital toss and, unhesitatingly, chose to bowl first on a well-grassed pitch.
A Trent Bridge full house watched spellbound after England initially seemed to weather an early storm in the morning session, with Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen adding 50 for the third wicket and calming home nerves in the second hour following the early losses of Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott.
Pietersen, fresh from his brilliant double-century at Lord’s, looked in fine fettle as he twice pulled Sri Sreesanth for successive fours, but his dismissal in the first over after lunch sparked a collapse that claimed the rest of England’s prime batting strength.
At tea England are 124 for eight with Stuart Broad, on six, and Graeme Swann, yet to score, facing an almost impossible task of repairing the damage.
After losing the toss, Strauss – who would himself have jumped at the chance to bowl first – said that there were “no massive demons in the pitch”. Perhaps he was trying to kid the Indian seamers because, from the first, the ball nibbled around off the seam and in overcast conditions also swung. From the Pavilion End, there was also a bit of extra bounce available on or around the right-handers’ off stump.
All in all, then, it was a difficult day for batting and it did not help England’s cause when Cook was adjudged lbw in the sixth over to a ball which HawkEye predicted would go over the top of the stumps. Trott soon followed, caught at second slip, but from 23 for two England rallied while both Kumar and Sreesanth struggled to find a consistently right line.
Honours were even at lunch, and England might have thought the worst was behind them with the shine by now off the ball. How wrong they were. Pietersen edged to third slip, Strauss unworthily chased an outswinger from Kumar and was also caught by Suresh Raina and Eoin Morgan was lbw for nought three balls later.
When Matt Prior edged a beauty to first slip it was 88 for six. Bell was then dropped by Rahul Dravid at first slip, on 22, as Kumar wobbled another 75mph away-swinger in a spell of 6-4-7-2, and if the catch had stuck, as the diving Dravid hit the ground, England would have been 98 for seven.
Dravid, though, did cling on when Bresnan edged a ball from Sharma that angled in to the right-hander and straightened just enough. Five minutes before tea Bell, on 31, wafted at a wide one from Sharma and thin-edged to Dhoni.
It was a horror stroke to match England’s horror show – but credit, too, to India’s seam attack for exploiting the pitch and atmospheric conditions well enough to cause havoc.
Tea: Second Test, day one, Trent Bridge
Match score: England 124 for 8 (Broad 6, Swann 0) Full Scorecard
Session score: England 55-6, India win session