England v India: Hosts collapse in first Test at Trent Bridge

By Sam SheringhamBBC Sport at Trent Bridge
India's Ishant Sharma traps Sam Robson lbw
Ishant Sharma traps Sam Robson lbw to spark England's collapse from 134-1 to 202-7
First Test, Trent Bridge (day three)
India 457 v England 352-9

England suffered another spectacular batting collapse as India cemented their advantage in the first Test in Trent Bridge.

Having reached 134-1 on a pitch that remains docile, the hosts lost six wickets for 68 runs after lunch to a combination of fine seam bowling, poor shot selection and umpiring errors.

Stuart Broad led a recovery with a brisk 47 and a spirited unbroken last-wicket stand of 54 between Joe Root and James Anderson frustrated the tourists, but England still closed on an underwhelming 352-9, 105 behind.

Root top-scored with 78 not out, Gary Ballance made 71 and Sam Robson scored 59 before he was controversially given out lbw when umpire Bruce Oxenford failed to spot an inside edge.

Matt Prior was also the victim of an umpiring howler, but India's insistence that the decision review system should not be used in their series left both batsmen powerless to appeal.

Ex-England batsman Geoffrey Boycott on Test Match Special
"This was the best day of the three. The pitch hasn't changed much - it's still damn hard for the bowlers. In the morning Robson and Ballance played sweetly. But just when you thought they were putting the pitch into context, it all happened. It was ridiculous. I don't see how England can win a Test match until they bat more consistently."

Officiating errors could not, however, mask a collapse reminiscent of those that plagued England throughout their 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia last winter and recurred in the second Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley in June.

Their latest slump, which puts India in a position to dictate the remainder of the match, was particularly galling given a pitch that lacked life and had been repeatedly bemoaned by England's bowlers.

"We've got a lot of inexperience and we'll only get better and learn more the more we play," Root told Sky Sports. "We've got to learn quickly at this level."

Asked about his own innings, Root told BBC Sport: "I was struggling a bit to start with. The ball had just been changed, they were bowling exceptionally well and it was hard, you've got to give them a bit of credit.

"But Broady took a lot of pressure off me, he put them under pressure and it made my life a lot easier."

The serenity of Robson and Ballance's progress in the morning session was in stark contrast to the total panic that ensued after lunch.

Ishant Sharma was the instigator with a superb spell of 3-21 runs in 35 balls.

Pitching the ball up from the Pavilion End, his first scalp nonetheless owed a lot to good fortune as Oxenford missed the contact with Robson's bat.

But there was no dispute about the ball that dismissed Ballance, a brilliant delivery that nipped back sharply into the left-hander's pads.

England's collapses in past eight Tests
8-54 & 7-49v Australia, Brisbane, Nov 2013
6-24v Australia, Adelaide, Dec 2013
6-61 & 4-17v Australia, Perth, Dec 2013
6-53 & 5-6v Australia, Melbourne, Dec 2013
5-17 & 4-8v Australia, Sydney, Jan 2014
6-75v Sri Lanka, Lord's, June 2014
5-18v Sri Lanka, Headingley, June 2014
6-68v India, Trent Bridge, July 2014

Ian Bell looked in fine touch for his 25 but he was the next to go as he made a late decision to play at a short ball from Ishant and glanced through to the wicketkeeper.

If Bell's demise was mildly embarrassing, Moeen Ali's was totally ignominious. He turned his back on a Mohammed Shami bouncer and gloved to first slip.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar got in on the act with two wickets in three balls. Prior looked justifiably horrified when the umpire upheld Dhoni's appeal for a catch behind to a ball he missed by some distance, but Ben Stokes could have nothing to quibble about when a thick edge carried through to the keeper.

At 202-7, England were still 56 adrift of the follow-on target, but a lively counter-attack from Broad delighted his home crowd.

Riding his luck at first, then timing the ball sweetly through the covers, Broad hit nine fours in his 42-ball innings before falling lbw to a Kumar ball that straightened and would have hit leg stump.

After Liam Plunkett was bowled by Kumar for seven, Anderson and Root mixed solid defence with inventive strokeplay to bat through the final hour and frustrate the tourists' efforts to finish England off before the close.

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

England's Matt Prior
Matt Prior's dismissal sparked a debate over India's refusal to use the decision review system
England's Stuart Broad
Stuart Broad initiated England's partial recovery from 202-7 with a 42-ball 47
England's Joe Root
Joe Root, alongside James Anderson, helps England compile their first half-century last-wicket stand since 2008