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Robinson continues England resurgence

England 183: Root 64; Bumrah 4-46 & 25-0
India 278: Rahul 84, Jadeja 56; Robinson 5-85, Anderson 4-54
England trail by 70 runs

Ollie Robinson’s maiden five-wicket haul continued England’s resurgence in the first Test against India – but the hosts’ sloppiness in the field cost them on day three at Trent Bridge.

However, England dropped two catches and missed four clear run-out opportunities to go with a drop and a squandered run-out from day two.

One was particularly costly. Ravindra Jadeja should have been run out on four, going on to make a valuable 56.

He added 60 for the sixth wicket with KL Rahul, who was dropped for a second time by Joe Root on 78, only to be dismissed six runs later for 84.

India’s last three wickets added 73, with number 10 Jasprit Bumrah swinging his way to 28, to extend their lead to 95.

Faced with such a deficit, England’s fragile batting was under pressure, but Rory Burns and Dom Sibley were untroubled in moving to 25-0 when rain frustratingly arrived at 17:15 BST. Farcically, play was abandoned for the day an hour later, even though the ground was bathed in sunshine.

More bad weather is forecast on Saturday, potentially ruining a contest that could yet provide an intriguing conclusion.

England rue what could have been

This was an eventful day played in front of a lively crowd, and one that could have been even better for England had they been sharper in the field.

Just as when Sibley dropped Rahul when he had 52 on Thursday, Dan Lawrence’s failure to run out Jadeja may prove decisive in the outcome of this match.

With Jadeja well short of his ground, Lawrence’s throw from the covers should have gone to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, but instead he aimed to hit the stumps direct and missed.

England missed with three other shies at the stumps – Bumrah could have been run out before he had scored, with Anderson this time guilty of being off-target.

Reprieved, he was able to cause chaos, at one stage taking Sam Curran for 14 in three deliveries, as India’s tail wagged for priceless rewards.

England’s master and apprentice

England’s revival was begun on day two by the masterful Anderson and continued on Friday by Robinson, a pace bowler at the opposite end of his international career.

Robinson was banned after racist and sexist tweets were discovered on the first day of his Test debut against New Zealand in June, but his on-field performance at Lord’s suggested he had the skills to succeed in Test cricket.

That suspicion was confirmed at Trent Bridge, as he worked his way through the India lower-order with nagging length and seam movement.

Anderson had earlier been involved in an exchange with Rahul when the batsman wanted to leave the field during a shower and had the frustration of seeing him dropped by Root, before he produced a wonderful delivery that was feathered behind – a 620th Test wicket that took him above India spinner Anil Kumble to third on the all-time list.

Shardul Thakur edged Anderson to first slip Root, then Robinson got to work. Jadeja skied to mid-off, Mohammed Shami was bowled by one that nipped back and Bumrah was eventually well held by Stuart Broad at fine leg.

The combined nine-wicket return of Robinson and Anderson compensated for the struggles of Broad and Curran and, as Robinson took the applause, there was a sense that he may form an important part of England’s attack for some time to come.

Rahul and Jadeja show their worth

India were indebted to Rahul and Jadeja, two men who in other circumstances could have been left out of the side.

Opener Rahul is playing after Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal suffered injuries, while Jadeja was preferred to fellow spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

Rahul’s knock oozed class. He barely scored a run on the leg side, instead finding the cover boundary with sweet drives.

Left-hander Jadeja wristily whipped the ball off his pads, including flicking Anderson over square leg for six.

Bumrah’s late cameo could have given India a momentum they carried into their bowling, only for Burns and Sibley to show some much-needed steel – Sibley was cheered when he got off the mark from the 17th ball he faced.

The rain saved England from an extended examination, and it was bizarre to hear the announcement of the abandonment when the sun was shining brightly.

What they said – ‘surely only India can win from here’

Jonathan Agnew on BBC Test Match Special: “It was India’s day really, they got a crucial lead of 95 runs with some big shots near the end. KL Rahul made the big score of 84, but he was dropped twice and England’s fielding was pretty poor.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan: “The rain has certainly helped England but surely only India can get a win from here. If England can take anything, they’ll be delighted with a draw.”

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