India lose Sharma to give England glimmer of hope in first Test
NOTTINGHAM, United Kingdom, Aug 5, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - Rohit Sharma was dismissed on the stroke of lunch on the second day of the first Test at Trent Bridge on Thursday as England finally ended an impressive stand by India's openers.
India were poised to bat through the session without losing a wicket when, with a rare short delivery, the recalled Ollie Robinson had Sharma pulling straight to Sam Curran at fine leg for 36.
Sharma's exit led the umpires to call lunch, with India well-placed at 97-1 in reply to England's first innings 183 -- a deficit of just 86 runs -- with KL Rahul unbeaten on 48.
India's four-man pace attack performed superbly to dismiss England on Wednesday, with Jasprit Bumrah taking 4-46.
Only England captain Joe Root, who won the toss, with 64 passed 29 as the hosts suffered yet another batting collapse.
The innings featured four ducks -- the third time this had happened to England in their last five Tests.
India then consolidated their advantage, reaching 21 without loss at stumps.
The India openers were watchful Wednesday as James Anderson and Robinson took up the attack in overcast conditions.
Robinson was returning to Test cricket after serving a ban after old racist and sexist tweets re-emerged during his debut against New Zealand in June.
Both Sharma and Rahul -- only drafted in after Mayank Agwaral suffered a suspected concussion while batting in the nets on Monday -- resumed Thursday on nine not out.
Sharma had made 13 when he was given not out playing no stroke to Robinson as England appealed for lbw, with the hosts wasting a review trying to overturn the decision.
That meant England, who had also squandered a review on Wednesday, had just one left for the rest of the innings.
Soon afterwards, Rohit drove Robinson down the ground before cover-driving the Sussex seamer for another well-struck boundary.
Neither Stuart Broad, on his Nottinghamshire home ground, nor left-armer Curran were able to penetrate the batsmen's watchful defence with a succession of full-length deliveries.
Rahul then punished Curran for over-pitching with an excellent off-driven four before Robinson, seemingly surprising Sharma with a short ball, induced an error.