Nottingham: India’s last-wicket pair of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami produced a stunning rearguard century partnership as India recovered from a middle-order collapse to post a commendable 457 in their first innings, on the second day of the first Test against England, here, at Trent Bridge, on Thursday.
One may think that having Rahul Dravid in an advisory role in the lead-up to the series may have helped the bowlers, along with the batsmen, to sharpen their batting skills.
But Bhuvneshwar, speaking after the match, revealed that Dravid helped them enhance their bowling as well.
“We got to know about what line to bowl," said Bhuvneshwar, who added 111 runs with Shami for the final wicket.
Bhuvneshwar (58) and Shami (51 not out) turned out to be the unlikely batting heroes for India after England had the visitors reeling at 346 for nine at one stage with fours wickets falling for just two runs within a span of 20 balls.
At stumps, England were 43 for one with Shami removing an out-of-form Alastair Cook, who managed just five. The hosts still trail India by 414 runs with three days still left in the match.
Sam Robson (20) and Gary Ballance (15) were at the crease. The duo so far added 34 runs for the second wicket.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni deployed all his five primary bowlers - Bhuvneshwar, Shami, Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Stuart Binny - in short bursts in the 17 overs they managed in the day.
Earlier, opener Murali Vijay struck a fine 146, while Dhoni made 82 to take India forward.
With his pacers tiring out and devoid of any ideas, Cook brought back Moeen Ali into the attack in the 161st over and the move worked as Bhuvneshwar holed out to Joe Root at mid-on while going for a big shot.
On how the day turned out
Definitely a good day for India, it is not a good wicket for the bowlers and we needed 400 runs.
The partnership with Shami
We didn’t decide anything. Initially I wanted him to play less in the first three to four overs… Later he played his shots and we wanted to bat as long as we could. He has scored runs at the domestic level and I know he can bat.
If having Rahul Dravid with the team, in the lead-up to the Test, helped the bowlers
Having Dravid with the team was great for the bowlers, too… He was of great help.
We got to know about what line to bowl… but yes this is a different wicket, it’s like an Indian wicket.
Whether the bowlers are confident about getting 20 wickets
We are confident and we have to do that… of course the wicket isn’t doing much and we have to plan different strategies.
Yes it is getting slower and slower… It will not be easy for medium pacers to bowl.