IND vs ENG 2021: 3 talking points from Day 2 of 1st Test
Playing his first Test since 2019, KL Rahul was the pick of the Indian batsmen on Day 2. He ended the day on an unbeaten 57 off 151 balls, striking nine boundaries over the course of his long vigil at the crease.
Classy KL Rahul turns heads with composed fifty
The 29-year-old showed exceptional judgment outside off as he refused to be sucked into loose drives. Rahul treated the England swing bowlers with respect and only attempted to capitalize on the few boundary balls on offer. He also held up one end as wickets tumbled in a heap during the second session.
Rahul needed injuries to Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal to get this opportunity, with the team management appearing to initially consider him a middle-order backup. But he has grabbed the chance with both hands and will look to build on his display on Day 3.
James Anderson just doesn't age. With ample cloud cover at Nottingham providing him with considerable and consistent lateral movement, the veteran pacer broke the backbone of the Indian batting lineup by dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli off consecutive deliveries.
James Anderson reignites his rivalry with Virat Kohli
Surprisingly, Anderson bowled in the high 130s throughout his spell, even breaching the 140-mark on occasion. He moved the ball both ways in the corridor of uncertainty and pulled level with Anil Kumble as the third-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket. The 39-year-old could've even moved ahead of Kumble had Dom Sibley not handed Rahul a reprieve by shelling a catch in the slips.
Anderson not only gave England a way back into the Test but also reignited his famous rivalry with Kohli, whom he dominated in 2014 before going wicketless against in 2018. The second innings, as well as the next four Tests, promise to be box-office.
Trailing England by 58 runs with six wickets to spare in their first innings, India are still ahead in the first Test despite a few horrible moments on Day 2. On the stroke of lunch, Rohit Sharma pulled a rare Ollie Robinson bouncer straight to fine leg. It was a strange dismissal for someone who's so good against the short ball.
India are ahead in the Test despite moments of carelessness
As Indian fans lamented Rohit failing to convert another start, things got worse. Anderson prized out Pujara and Kohli, bringing the under-fire Ajinkya Rahane to the crease. India's Test vice-captain lasted only five nervous balls at the crease as he survived a run-out chance before being caught short the second time around.
Both Rohit and Rahane's dismissals were inexcusable, especially since they are among the senior-most batsmen in the team. India could've been in a much better position had these moments of misfortune not transpired, but they will be quietly confident of their chances of taking a sizeable lead on Day 3.