After utilising the new ball splendidly to raze England's top-order, India would have anticipated smooth sailing during the fourth day's play at Trent Bridge. At 62/4, the hosts were staring down the barrel in their improbable pursuit of 521.
Jasprit Bumrah steamed in to procure Jos Buttler's outside edge with a delivery which straightened at the last instant. However, the 24-year old's awkward angle had left wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant wrong-footed. As a consequence, the young gloveman dropped what could have otherwise been a regulation catch.
Little did Bumrah and India know what was about to ensue. Capitalising on the early reprieve when he was batting on 1, Buttler responded by playing the innings of his Test career thus far. With the emergence of the sun flattening the pitch, he cut and drove adeptly to form a defiant partnership alongside Ben Stokes.
Buttler registered his maiden Test century and frustrated the Indian bowlers to a significant extent. The third session of the day was almost halfway through. Yet, they could only obtain four wickets until that point in time.
The luxury of a mammoth amount of runs as well as the availability of another day meant that the visitors were still on track. But they were no longer allowed to dictate terms as Buttler spurred England's resilient fightback from a seemingly hopeless situation. What followed was yet another reiteration of the uniqueness of Test cricket as the second new ball changed the complexion of the day.
Bumrah runs rampant at Trent Bridge
Skipper Virat Kohli immediately took the second new ball and brought Bumrah back into the attack. The 81st over of the innings gave a preview of the tornado that was about to hit England. Operating from wider over the stumps, the unorthodox seamer unsettled Buttler by getting some to swerve in and some to straighten alarmingly.
In the next over of his spell, Bumrah broke the door open for India. Despite the angle suggesting otherwise, Buttler decided to shoulder arms. But the ball swung back sharply and trapped him in front. Umpire Chris Gaffeney had no hesitation in lifting the dreaded finger. The centurion sent the decision upstairs. But to no avail as the umpire's call was upheld.
Jonny Bairstow, who had broken a finger bone, walked into the middle gingerly. Bumrah welcomed him with a frighteningly unplayable delivery which held its line after creating the illusion of swinging in. The wicket-keeper batsman was bowled neck and crop.
Following a rather lengthy phase wherein there were lingering doubts as where the next wicket was going to come from, Bumrah had cleared India's road to victory by picking two in two. Chris Woakes managed to avert the hat-trick. But he was soon left undone by a vicious bouncer from the right-arm pacer.
With the furious bouncer approaching for his head, Woakes could only fend and offer a collectable catch to Pant. After helping India see the back of Joe Root earlier in the day, Bumrah had returned to wreck England's lower-order towards the end of the day.
Even as the writing began to appear on the wall for England, there was still time left for some more drama. Bumrah's impending second five-wicket haul was slightly delayed as he was found to have overstepped in Adil Rashid's case.
Rashid and Stuart Broad counterattacked without any inhibition to defer the inevitable. Returning after a short breather, Bumrah silenced the crowd by dismissing the left-hander. The perfect length to draw the outside edge gave him a well-deserved five-wicket haul.Published 21 Aug 2018, 23:40 IST