Root rescues England

England

Joe Root's ugly but effective half century kept England in the match on day three of the first Test against India at Trent Bridge, leading his side to 352 for nine at the close after they collapsed in the middle session.

Joe Root's ugly but effective half century kept England in the match on day three of the first Test against India at Trent Bridge, leading his side to 352 for nine at the close after they collapsed in the middle session.

England still trailed by 105 runs, but it could have been much worse if not for Root's unbeaten 78, and a stubborn 23 from James Anderson, after they looked set to fall short of the follow-on target.

England endured a horrific afternoon session, losing six wickets for 74 runs to sit on 205 for seven at tea, negating all the good work done in the first session. The score at lunch had been 131 for one.

The hosts started the day on 43 for the same loss of wickets and hugely behind India's 457. Sam Robson, who began the day on 20, advanced to 59 at lunch, while Gary Ballance had started on 15 and also reached 59.

There was only one slight chance in the morning, when Robson edged into the slips, but with the deck being as quick as a marshmallow, it fell two feet short of Virat Kohli. Otherwise, the bowlers toiled and only smiled when lunch was called.

The afternoon was an entirely different kettle of fish, as Ishant Sharma injected some life into the wicket, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took advantage of that later on. Ishant took three wickets, and Kumar two in one over.

Robson and Ballance both departed soon after lunch, both trapped LBW by Ishant. Robson's dismissal was dubious, but Ballance was plumb, and it was the fist of two instances that DRS was sorely missed.

Ian Bell then added a neat 25 to the score, but fell to Ishant as well. He tried to pull out of a shot against a short ball, but only succeeded in the running the ball off the face of the bat to MS Dhoni behind the stumps.

Moeen Ali was next in and also next out, to Mohammed Shami this time. The paceman dug it in short but the track kept low, with Moeen evading the ball and seeing it hit his dropped gloves instead, and flying to the slips.

Kumar then removed the wickets of Matt Prior and Ben Stokes in the same over. Prior was given caught behind but had hit his pads, and was astonished to see the finger lifted. Stokes was well out though, catching the outside edge for a duck.

At tea, England were still behind the follow-on target, trailing by 252, with Root and Stuart Broad batting. Root was on 13, and Broad on one.

The early evening saw Broad add to his impressive average at this venue, scoring 47 at better than a run a ball. He played some innovative strokes, showing up his supposedly better-with-the-bat colleagues, before falling to Kumar, trapped LBW.

Root then continued alongside Liam Plunkett, who was only able to add seven before edging Kumar onto his stumps. This brought Anderson to the middle and he surprised everyone by playing more than one reverse sweep against the new ball pace.

The number 11 and Root added 54 runs for the final wicket, imitating India's final pairing in their resistance, and ensured they would begin the fourth day still with a wicket in hand, when all had seemed lost half an hour earlier.

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