Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India debutant Stuart Binny and pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar both scored half-centuries to ensure the first Test against England in Nottingham ended as a draw.
Binny and Kumar steered India to safety after the tourists found themselves in trouble early on.
One of the main highlights of the day came right at the end of the match when England skipper Alastair Cook picked up his first Test wicket.
Starting out the day on 167/3, India’s batting duo of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane only managed to add one run onto their 27-run partnership before Kohli was given out lbw off the bowling of Stuart Broad for eight runs.
Rahane went on to score 24 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Broad.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni only made 11 runs before he was clean bowled by Liam Plunkett.
Ravindra Jadeja and Binny stabilised the innings with a 65-run partnership before Jadeja was caught behind off the bowling of James Anderson for 31.
Binny and Kumar kept the runs flowing with a 91-run partnership, during which Binny brought up his maiden half-century, before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Moeen Ali.
Binny’s dismissal stirred up some controversy as replays showed that it was missing the stumps.
Binny’s brilliant knock of 78 came off 114 balls and included eight boundaries and a six.
Ishant Sharma scored 13 runs before he was caught behind to give Cook his maiden Test wicket.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Following Cook’s hilarious yet successful over, both teams agreed to end the game as a draw.
Kumar finished unbeaten on 63 off 138 balls, which included 10 boundaries, while Mohammed Shami remained undefeated on four off three deliveries, which included one boundary.
With a half-century in the first and second innings, Kumar became only the second number nine batsman in Test history to score half-centuries in both innings of a Test match. The first player to accomplish this feat was Australia pace bowler Peter Siddle, who did it against India in 2013.
Ali was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Broad and Plunkett snapped up two wickets apiece and Anderson and Cook claimed one wicket each.
Cook was impressed with his team’s performance and ecstatic about his wicket as well, and said: “A few people aren’t taking to me, for me to have more wickets than David Saker is something special! And that was a Bob Willis impersonation!
“In this game we had a poor session, losing six wickets on a really good pitch. Thankfully we got out of it. Joe Root has come back really well, leading the time and marshalling those partnerships.
“It’s a tough job being a groundsman and he’s admitted he’s got it wrong but you have to adapt and we adapted well. As captain, you just had to try things and that’s all you can do. When it was reversing and the ball was hard, it became a bit more even.
“Simon[Kerrigan] had a tough experience but his record has turned out well. He might expect a bit more if he plays in four days time. He’s a tough lad and he’s come back from the experience at The Oval.”
Dhoni was pleased that his team kept England at bay following the poor start they had at the beginning of the day.
“We needed a partnership this morning and we got it,” he said. “It was a good Test match for us, we managed to put pressure on them and then we held up well when we were under pressure. We haven’t had a seaming all-rounder but Stuart Binny can be someone who can really contribute for us in the future.
“I don’t regret not playing Ravichandran Ashwin because there was no help for the spinner. We had good combinations and I was happy with the bowling attack. I don’t think I could have changed much when Root and Anderson were going, we tried a few things but the ball got soft and the bowlers go tired and I don’t think there was much else we could have done. A lot of youngsters have played really well. We wanted to see what kind of fight they are putting in and we’re pleased.”
Anderson was named Man of the Match for scoring his maiden half-century and being involved in a historic 198-run partnership with batsman Joe Root.