India end rain-hit day two at 125/4 against England

India end rain-hit day two at 125/4 against England

KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant were batting on 57 and 7 on either side of the rain break before play was called off

The players leave the field a second brief restart following delay in play for bad light and rain on the second day of the first cricket Test match of the India Tour of England 2021. Credit: AFP Photo

India captain Virat Kohli was out for a golden duck in the first Test amid a collapse that saw England great James Anderson take two wickets with successive deliveries on Thursday's second day at Trent Bridge.

Kohli edged Anderson to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler one ball after Cheteshwar Pujara fell to the same combination for four.

By the time bad light and then rain combined to bring about an early finish, India were 125-4 in reply to England's seemingly meagre first-innings 183 -- a deficit of 58 runs.

One consolation for India was that recalled opener KL Rahul was still there on 57 not out after being reprieved on 52 when Dom Sibley dropped a regulation slip catch. Rishabh Pant was unbeaten on seven.

Anderson's double strike took him to 619 Test wickets, joint third place in the all-time list with retired India leg-spinner Anil Kumble.

The 39-year-old was already Test cricket's most successful fast bowler and now only two more retired spinners in Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (800 wickets) and Australia's Shane Warne (708) are ahead of him.

"We knew if we got one wicket we could get a cluster and that's what we did," Anderson told reporters.

"I thought we stuck at our task really well as a group and to get a couple of quick ones like that was important, especially with Virat being such an influential player for them -- always good to get him early."

India had been in total command at 97-0 in reply to England's meagre first innings 183 but then lost four wickets for 15 runs either side of lunch as they slumped to 112-4.

The collapse started when opener Rohit Sharma, having batted expertly for 36, appeared to lose concentration when he pulled a short ball from Ollie Robinson straight to Sam Curran at fine leg.

Sharma accepted getting out just before lunch "didn't look good" but he defended his approach by saying "that's my shot".

He added: "Five yards here or there, left and right of the fielder, it would have been challenging for the fielder as well.

"Those are my shots and you have play your shots to get runs against that kind of attack and in these kind of conditions."

The wickets were welcome news for England after it had been announced earlier Thursday that Jofra Archer, not playing in this match, would be ruled out for the rest of a year with a recurrence of an elbow injury, meaning the fast bowler would miss both the T20 World Cup and the Ashes tour of Australia.

Also Read | James Anderson equals Kumble's tally of 619 Test wickets

Star batsman Kohli was undone by a brilliant Anderson delivery that lifted and moved late to take the edge on its way through to Buttler.

The ball before Anderson had number three Pujara caught low down by Buttler for four.

Ajinkya Rahane survived the hat-trick when Anderson strayed down the legside, but the veteran still had figures of 2-15 in 13.4 overs at stumps.

Rahane, then the non-striker, was soon out for five when, left stranded by Rahul, he was run out by Jonny Bairstow's direct hit from backward point.

Rahul, having completed a 128-ball fifty, ought to have been Anderson's third wicket of the day but Sibley floored a catch at second slip despite getting both hands to the ball.

India had been in command for all but one ball of the morning's play after resuming on 21-0.

Both Rahul, recalled after Mayank Agwaral was hit on the head batting in the nets on Monday -- and Sharma blunted England's attack with disciplined skill before the latter's costly lapse.