England v India: Alastair Cook fails again after hosts' attack toils

By Sam SheringhamBBC Sport at Trent Bridge
England captain Alastair Cook is bowled for five
England captain Alastair Cook has gone 25 Test innings without scoring a century
First Test, Trent Bridge (day two)
India 457 v England 43-1

England captain Alastair Cook's batting woes continued as India took control of the first Test with a record last-wicket partnership.

The opener was bowled off his thigh pad for five as England closed on 43-1 in reply to India's 457 at Trent Bridge.

On a day of fluctuating fortunes, the hosts had hurtled back into contention with four wickets for two runs after lunch to reduce India to 346-9 following Murali Vijay's 146.

But an extraordinary stand of 111 - India's highest for the 10th wicket against England - between number nine Bhuvneshwar Kumar and number 11 Mohammed Shami, who both scored their maiden Test fifties, sapped the hosts' spirit and put the tourists firmly back in charge.

Having watched the unlikely duo punish his tiring attack for two-and-a-half hours, Cook walked to the crease desperate to end a run of 24 innings without a century.

However, in a moment typical of his recent cruel luck, he missed a ball from Shami down the leg side and watched in horror as it deflected off his thigh pad and down on to the stumps.

Cook, whose team have lost six of their last seven Tests, has now scored only 606 runs in his last 13 Tests at an average of 24.24.

Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special
"I don't think people can criticise Cook too much because of the pitch. He tried different things but you would have be an absolute crackerjack to get something out of this. The express pace of Waqar Younis or the tricks of Shane Warne or Muttiah Muralitharan - even they might have struggled on this."

England seamer Stuart Broad, who finished with impressive figures of 2-53 off 33 overs, told BBC Sport: "Cookie is going through one of those periods where everything is going against him.

"But it only takes a dropped catch or a great cover drive to change that. I'd put a lot of money on him getting a hundred in these next Tests."

England's predicament would have been far rosier without Kumar and Shami's remarkable effort.

The partnership started with Kumar farming the strike to protect a player with a highest Test score of 11, but, as both grew in confidence, they began to bat with real skill.

Deep into the evening session, they brought up their half-centuries in successive balls, with Shami heaving James Anderson for six to sum up another chastening day for England's seamers.

Soon afterwards, Kumar finally put an end to England's misery when he tamely holed out to mid-on off-spinner Moeen Ali, whose 18 overs cost 97 runs.

England are making habit of turning tailenders into star batsmen. Tino Best and Ashton Agar both came within a hit of scoring a century against them from number 11 in the past two years, while Rangana Herath helped put on 149 for Sri Lanka's eighth wicket to set up their victory at Headingley last month.

Broad added: "There was a moment in my 33rd over when the ball bounced twice through to Matt Prior and someone on his fifth pint shouted, 'bend your back, Broad'. I nearly stormed off and gave him the ball."

England's 10th-wicket turmoil
2013: Australia debutant Ashton Agar makes 98 at number 11 in a stand of 163 with Phil Hughes in the Ashes at Trent Bridge
2012: Last man Tino Best hits 95 and adds 143 with Denesh Ramdin for West Indies at Edgbaston

The tone was set for another difficult day for England when Matt Prior shelled a routine chance to remove Mahendra Dhoni off Broad inside the first 15 minutes after India resumed on 259-4.

The India captain, on 52, slashed loosely at a wide delivery and the England wicketkeeper - standing closer to the stumps to ensure the ball carried - could only push it aside with his fingertips.

Anderson gave England their only breakthrough before lunch when he brought an end to Vijay's innings with a ball that nipped back and trapped him lbw.

After lunch, a match that had meandered for five sessions suddenly took flight as four wickets fell in 21 balls.

Ravindra Jadeja, who had earlier clobbered Moeen for two sixes, started the rout when he swung at a ball outside off stump and got a thick edge through to Prior.

Dhoni was denied a first Test century outside Asia when he was brilliantly run out by a direct hit from Anderson at mid-off for 82 and, four balls later, debutant Stuart Binny chopped Ben Stokes straight to point.

When Ishant Sharma shouldered arms and was bowled by Broad, England looked to be back in the game.

Their ascendancy was short-lived, however, as a mammoth last-wicket stand and another Cook failure put India on a high.

Listen to Geoffrey Boycott and Jonathan Agnew review the day's play on the Test Match Special podcast.

India's Murali Vijay
Murali Vijay converts his overnight 122 into a fine 146
India captain Mahendra Dhoni is run out
Mahendra Dhoni is run out for 82 by James Anderson's direct hit
India's Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar helps add 111 with Mohammed Shami, an India record for the last wicket against England