India and England started playing their one rescheduled Test Match from 2021 series that had to be deferred due to Covid-19 pandemic. Rohit Sharma, the regular captain, couldn’t be available due to Covid-19 infection and Cheteswar Pujara opened the innings instead of him. Shubman Gill and Pujara started off the innings after stand-in captain Jasprit Bumrah lost the toss and Ben Stokes, England Captain chose to field first at Birmingham.
Gill looked in good touch with 4 boundaries but he quickly fell to James Anderson. Then the greatest Test Fast Bowler got Pujara as well. With 46 on board, India lost both their openers. Virat Kohli and Hanuma Vihari fell to Potts quickly. Anderson came back to remove Shreyas Iye, who scored 15 runs off 11 balls. Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja came together with hardly 98 runs on board.
Just like New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell, India found their lower middle order batsmen – wicket keeper and all-rounder forming a match defining partnership. Mitchell and Blundell decided to long wearing out English bowlers to build their century partnerships. But with Rishabh Pant in the middle, we can expect fireworks all round the ground and that too in quick succession.
Even though he failed in white ball cricket and IPL, Pant found his great form in Test matches again. He scored quickly and did not let Jack Leach, Matthew Potts settle into any rhythm. Potts gave away 105 runs in his 20 overs. Leach gave away 71 runs in his 9 overs. Stokes and Root also found it hard to contain, a free flowing Pant. He scored quick hundred to turn a disappointing day into a fruitful one for India, on the first day. He fell after scoring 146 runs from 111 balls to Root, in pursuit of more quick runs.
Jadeja supported Pant by holding one side of the wicket tight. He did not go for onslaught like Pant and scored at his own pace. He looked quite composed at the crease too. He completed his well deserved century on the rain-hit second day in the morning session. He fell after scoring 104 from 194 balls to James Anderson.
Indian Innings looked like would wind up fast after Jadeja wicket at 375/9. Jadeja and Pant have put on 222 runs to rescue India and also put them in a strong position. Out of nowhere, Jasprit Bumrah decided to go after Stuart Broad who achieved 550 Test wickets milestone. He kept hitting every ball bowled by Broad and scored world record 35 runs from one over.
Stuart Board looked as bamboozled as he did while bowling the 36 run over against Yuvraj Singh. Bumrah kept finding boundary no matter if he edged or hooked or hit straight or handsomely pulled them to sixes. He hit 2 sixes, 4 boundaries while Broad over-stepped twice and gave away five runs on a wide, in the over. Bumrah scored 29 runs off the bat in the over and Broad gave away six runs in those two extra deliveries. 35 runs from one over is the highest ever a batter scored from one over in Tests. Previously, Brain Lara and George Bailey scored 28 runs from one over.
By the time, the rain delayed the second day’s play, Bumrah with ball too shone on his captaincy debut and took all 3 wickets to fall in England innings, till that time. England scored 60/3 in 15.1 overs between the rain delays, on second day. By the time, we updated this news article, India and England looked to take early tea, owing to rain delay.