Are you ready? It's time for Test cricket to take centre stage again as India and England come together for the first of a five-match series at Trent Bridge. What does day one have in store? Perhaps a Virat Kohli century? Or a James Anderson five-for? A Cheteshwar Pujara masterclass? Or a Stuart Broad demolition job? ESPNcricinfo's live updates will keep you posted on everything so stay tuned. (Please refresh your page to get the latest)
They left out their highest wicket-taker and possibly their biggest match-winner in Test, but so well did they perform there is no debate needed on the selections. Of course we said at the start it wasn't a dramatic or unexpected move given the conditions, but it was on the bowlers to prove that right. India did so by bowling England out for 183 followed by their openers batting out the last hour to make it comprehensively India's day.
Here is a teaser from the end-of-the-day report. See you tomorrow
India took the last seven England wickets for 45 runs to bowl the hosts out for 183 after they won the toss and batted in tough batting conditions. Their openers knocked 21 off those without being separated. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, the two senior bowlers in the absence of Ishant Sharma and R Ashwin, took seven wickets between them in 37.4 overs. Once again, Joe Root looked like a level above his batting team-mates, scoring 64 assured runs off 108 balls in an innings that went at 2.78 an over.
England will look at five or six wickets that they didn't make India work hard enough for. It started early as Rory Burns fell for Bumrah's two-card trick in the first over in a hectic start. India the country had no even had time to properly debate the exclusion of Ashwin, in the form of his life, to find a combination that fit the conditions and addressed India's long tail. Ishant failed a fitness test in the morning.
7 for 45
England have lost their last seven wickets for 45 runs to be bowled out for 183. This will please India no end because this is what usually happens with India's lower order in these away Tests. High-quality bowling, a review goes your way, clouds swing in, and this is what Test cricket in England can do. Bumrah 10.4-1-22-3 in this spell. Shami ends with 17-2-28-3. These two created enough pressure for the other two, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj, to be effective with their highly attacking lines and lengths. England will look at at least five or six wickets that they will think were given away too easily for Test level. Burmah and Shami won't complain; they have had wretched luck for long.India have a maximum of 22 overs tonight, which we won't get. It is more like a little under an hour, light and weather permitting.
Nose or toes? It's toes this time
Sam Curran gives Stuart Broad one ball to survive from Jasprit Bumrah in the 60th over. And with really quick bowlers, it is either toes or nose for Broad, who is caught deep in the crease as Bumrah bowls a really full awayswinger and traps him right in front. File that away under "too easy" in the wickets. England 160 for 9 in 60 overs, Broad gone for 4 off 3. Rory Burns, Dan Lawrence, Jos Buttler, Ollie Robinson and Broad, all their dismissals fall under "too easy" today.
Thakur gets Root, India in control
And the man whose selection caused a lot of debate in the morning, Shardul Thakur, has got the big wicket of Joe Root. Thakur is a highly attacking and optimistic bowler for a man his pace. He knows his strength is swing, and accordingly bowls really full lengths. And often he strives to get that swing from the stumps so as to make batters play. So at times he has to sacrifice catchers and get men in the covers and midwicket to prevent runs. But he doesn't compromise on his full lengths.
This one, at the start of a new spell, is a really full outswinger that starts from around middle. Root plays for the swing, but the ball pitches and seams in to beat the inside edge. Any shorter, and the ball from that line misses leg. This one, though, traps him in front because it is that full. This is the kind of bowler that can survive in a really strong attack, which India's is.
And as a reward, later in the over, Ollie Robsinson just chips one in the air for an easy catch to mid-on to make it 155 for 8 in 58.4 overs. Root gone for 64 off 108, Robinson gets a duck. Thakur now 10.4-3-29-2.
Bumrah plays with Buttler, gets him out
It was like a cat playing with a mouse it has trapped. Seventeen balls, no run, six false responses, and Bumrah then teases him outside off once again, this time closer to him than the one that had missed the edge earlier in the over, and took the edge through. They just didn't give Buttler anything to drive, the dots built up, and then the eventual loose drive arrived. Bumrah's reaction was to suggest I could have got out in many different ways much sooner but I chose to have some fun.
England 145 for 6 in 55.5 overs. Buttler gone for 0 off 18, Root unbeaten on 59 off 102.
It was the seventh ball that Joe Rot faced. Japsrit Bumrah had just come back for an over before lunch. This was short of a length, wide outside off. Not quite the cutting length, not the driving length. The perfect length to leave alone in the last over before a session, especially when you have just walked in. Root played a punch shot away from the body. Root went to lunch, came back and drove at the first ball after the break. In the next over, bowled by Bumrah, he repeated that punch away from the body.
In an innings that is stuttering along at 2.69 an over, Root is going at 58.18 per 100 balls, the only batter to strike at over 50. He has hit 10 of the 20 boundaries. The intent from Root right from the time he has come in has been to score runs. Root has attacked seven balls for seven boundaries out of 98 according to our intent log, he has defended 24, left alone 18 and has looked to score off other 49 balls without being out-and0out aggressive. That is positive intent. He has played eight cover-drives, 10 flicks, 12 late-cuts, two square-drives, two cuts, one pull and five off-drives.
No other batter has been this positive. His control percentage has been 85, which is higher than the overall 79.
England 143 for 5 in 53 overs, Root 57 off 98, Buttler 0 off 5
Unlucky Shami? Never again
Can you believe it? He has had a wicket off a leg-stump half-volley, he has had one successful review, and now, just after tea, Mohammed Shami has a strangle down the leg side. Cricketing gods are smiling on him. Dan Lawrence is gone without scoring a run. England 138 for 5 in 51 overs. Shami is 14-2-18-3 here.
Mind you, Lawrence seemed like a candidate there. A ball before too, he moved too far across to a leg-stump half-volley. This one was short of a length and closer to hi, and took the edge.
On the right side of DRS, again
Last over before tea, a length ball from Shami seams in, big appeal for lbw, and Umpire Richard Kettleborough says no. Another big discussion, and Kohli keeps asking anyone who was in front of the wicket if there is any bat involved. All, I presume, they are telling him is there were two sounds but nobody is saying there was definitely bat on it. Kohli takes hi time, but at the last moment, asks for the review.
The replay shows the two sounds are from the ball hitting the front pad and then the back pad. The ball is perfect. On a length, just outside off, seaming enough to miss the bat but not enough to miss the leg stump. Three reds. India have overturned two decisions today. England 138 for 4 in 50.2 overs. Bairstow gone for 29 off 71, ending a 72-run stand with captain Joe Root, who is unbeaten on 52 off 91. Yet another shared session. There is not much to separate these two sides today.
Jadeja, no-balls and the third umpire
Taking off from an offline discussion with Kartikeya Date, Cricinfo contributor who also writes at Cricketing View, I just went to do a bit of investigation on Ravindra Jadeja's newfound habit of bowling no-balls. Look what I have found. Jadeja has bowled 11 front-foot no-balls in his Test career. All of them have been called by the third umpire. Two on DRS reviews were discovered to be no-balls, and nine in Tests that third umpires have taken over the responsibility of calling no-balls.
These are mostly those peculiarly marginal calls. His foot goes well over the line in the air, then lands on the toe, and the umpire has to decide live time whether a straight line drawn from his heel at that point is on the line or behind it. So there is a possibility he got away with a few before the third umpires were given the job.
To add to it, Jadeja's two IPL no-balls in more than 10 seasons have come in 2021. The third umpire took over the no-balls in the IPL in 2020. He has bowled four front-foot no-balls in ODIs; all of them have been called by the on-field umpire. None in T20Is.
On the field, the partnership between Root and Bairstow continues to grow. England are now 131 for 3 in 48 overs, but the ball is still doing things. The last ball of the 48th over, from Bumrah, jagged back in sharply and took the inside edge from Root for a four. Root 49 off 87, Bairstow 29 off 60.
Deja vu all over again? Nearly
Day one of the 2018 seies. Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow batting beautifully without a care in the world. Then Root is run out going for a second. Kohli mic-drops and the Test turn arounds. England are nowhere near as comfortable right now as they were in 2018, but the two are involved in a horrible call again. Root punched Ravindra Jadeja forward of deep midwicket, and the immediate call from Pant is "bowling, bowling, bowling", asking the fielder to throw at the bowler's end. The throw is accurate and at the bowling end, but Root is well inside his crease there. It is Bairstow who gets a reprieve as he runs nearly 70% of the pitch and goes back just in time. England 93 for 3 in 38.4 overs at afternoon drinks. Root 31 off 55, Bairstow 7 off 36.
It wasn't all luck
I have now watched a couple of replays, and on that Sibley dismissal I see there is a short forward square leg too, right at the edge of the frame. So while the ball might still have stopped at him, there seemed to be a plan on to bowl straight at Sibley. That is reinforced a little later with Shami and Bumrah bowling to Bairstow and Root with a midwicket and a a square leg. Are India moving to the leg trap they used so effectively in Australia?
Unlucky Shami, what unlucky Shami?
Ten minutes into the afternoon session, Shami has Dom Sibley caught at short midwicket with a leg-side half-volley. Sibley looks at the pitch to suggest this has stopped at him. He is looking to play square or even behind square, and gets a front edge. That's what cricket is. Messy. After 8.3 overs of high-quality pace bowling, inducing 15 false response, he gets the wicket with an innocuous-looking delivery. England 66 for 3 in 27.3 overs. Sibley gone for 18 off 70, Root not out on 17 off 22.
Some lunch-time thoughts to think then. Yet again, Mohammed Shami has looked unplayable but has no wicket. So S Rajesh did some numbers for fast bowlers in England since 2014. And it turns out, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah have had to work the hardest to get their wickets in England. James Anderson and Stuart Broad get a wicket every 10 mistakes induced, but the number is close to 19 for Shami and Bumrah.
A further look at the lengths, and Shami tends to be unluckier in England when bowls a good length or short of a good length. In India mistakes induced of these lengths get him wickets twice as quickly.
Lunch on day 1
So in the last 15 minutes of the session, Joe Root struck three boundaries, one of them streaky and India asked a few more questions. The score at the break reads 61 for 2 in 25 overs. Sibley there with 18 off 67, Root, 12 off 10. Bumrah and Siraj have the wickets, but Bumrah and Shami have been the most threatening bowlers. Bumrah: 7-2-16-1, Shami 7-2-9-0, Siraj 6-1-21-1, Thakur 5-2-10-0. No spin used in that session. England's control percentage is 74.45.
Always trust Pant's instinct
two balls after losing a review, with seconds running out, Virat Kohli does the opposite of what India have done in Rishabh Pant the batter's young career: trust his instinct. They go for a review, and India have their second wicket.
Okay this is what happened. On ball 20.3, Mohammed Siraj goes past Zak Zrawley's bat, but there are two sounds as the ball hits the pad and goes on the full to Pant. Both Virat Kohli and Pant are convinced of an inside edge on what is otherwise a pretty close lbw shout too. So they know they have a bob each way and go for it. Replays show the bat is nowhere close to the ball, the two sounds are front pad and back pad, and the ball is sailing over. India lose the review.
On 20.6, a similar appeal, and it is not out again. This time Kohli is not so quick with the trigger. He asks Siraj if there is bat, but gets no definitive response. And again he is left with no choice but to rely on Pant, who is insistent. To Kohli's credit, he goes for the review, and the replays show an inside edge.
England 42 for 2 in 21 overs, Crawley gone for 27 off 68. Sibley not out on 12 off 53.
Another half hour, no wicket
India have now gone to their string of seamers of Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur. The intensity of the examination has dipped a a little too. Thakur started with a beautiful ouswinger, but they don't have the pace and the accuracy of Bumrah and Shami. Consequently, a man has come out of slip to cover. Leg side has been reinforced too. Interesting that Thakur is looking to bowl a more attacking, full length, but has only two slips and a gully because he is liable to be driven. And that man in the covers has stopped a few boundaries already.
England's control percentage still stuck at 71, but the partnership is still in tact.
England 37 for 1 after 19 overs, Zrawley 23 off 58, Sibley 11 off 51.
Crawley, Sibley survive first hour
After losing Rory Burns in the first over, England have made it to the drinks at 29 for 1. It has been a testing first hour where Japsrit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have often gone past the bat. In all, there have been 20 false responses from England, which means their control percentage is under 75.
India have bowled aggressively, which shows in the two-three half-volleys Bumrah and Shami have bowled. However, Zak Crawley, in particular, has been good and has made full use of scoring opportunities. Mohammed Siraj has bowled just the one over where he has bowled two half-volleys and one length ball down the pads.
England 29 for 1, Crawley 21 off 37, Sibley 8 off 36
Bumrah on the board already
Jasprit Bumrah endured a difficult Test in the WTC final when he looked good but didn't quite have the luck to get him the wickets. Here, though, you might argue he has got one a little too easily. It is high skill and precision, don't get me wrong. Away swing, away swing, away swing, followed by inswing precise enough to pitch within the stumps of a left-hand batter and then straighten enough to beat the bat and hit the pad in front. However, at Test level, you usually expect a batter to not fall for it as early as the first over.
Back in 2018, when Keaton Jennings was looked to make inadequate against the same exact set-up, you could say there was an element of surprise because Bumrah had just started to bowl that inswinger to left-hand batters. Now he mixes both, and you know that is precisely what he is going for when he has taken a few balls away from the batter. Burns will be disappointed he was not ready for the first ball that swung back in and was beaten comprehensively.
England 1 for 1 after three overs.
Ashwin out, but why?
That is the debate of the moment. India's best spinner as a bowler alone is left out for the start of the series. In the corresponding fixture three years ago, Ashwin got India the first breakthrough. In the WTC final earlier this summer, Ashwin looked in great touch. And he has been left out for Shardul Thakur here, a combination only 6% of the 36,246 respondents to our team-selection poll backed. Why drop your aggressive spinner then?
This is not as outrageous a move as it first sounds. Conventional wisdom suggests that if your spinner is not likely to be the attacking option in given conditions, you might choose the better batter, especially if you have a long tail. India have Rishabh Pant at No. 6, and the moment they decide the conditions are not conducive for two spinners and pick Shardul Thakur, they need some batting reinforcement at No. 7.
Another possible reason is that there is more than a bit of rain expected on all the rest of the days of the Test. That can sometimes mean there is hardly any wear and tear for a spinner to use. So perhaps better off taking the less attacking option if he happens to be the better batter.
Also there are only two left-hand batters in England's top eight. Not to suggest that Ashwin is ordinary against right-hand batters, but he is different gravy against left-hand ones. Perhaps just another thing going against him.
I mean Ashwin would have been an excellent pick here, but his replacement - Jadeja or Thakur - is not a bad pick given the conditions and team combination either.
Welcome to the Live Report for the first Test of the series, and we have a hectic first post. Pending any late news of an injury, India have dropped R Ashwin, which might be surprising to many and will definitely spark debate, but is not that bad a move. More on that later. Toss news first.
England have won the toss and are batting first. They have leant on the side of the conservative and picked an extra batter, leaving out specialist spinner Jack Leach. It is a tricky XI to pick now that Ben Stokes is not available. This is the kind of dilemma India go through on overseas tours because they don't have a seam-bowling allrounder.
Here is England's XI
1 RJ Burns, 1 DP Sibley, 3 Z Crawley, 4 JE Root (capt.), 5 JM Bairstow, 6 DW Lawrence, 7 JC Buttler (wk), 8 SM Curran, 9 OE Robinson, 10 SCJ Broad, 11 JM Anderson
India had three choices to make. Whom to open with in the absence of Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal? They have gone with KL Rahul. Which three specialist quicks to play? Ishant Sharma seems to have failed a fitness test so that leaves the easy choice Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj. Which two to play at 7 and 8? They have gone for the extra seam bowler, leaving out R Ashwin. Here is India's XI:
1 RG Sharma, 2 KL Rahul, 3 CA Pujara, 4 V Kohli (capt.), 5 AM Rahane, 6 RR Pant (wk), 7 RA Jadeja, 8 SN Thakur, 9 JJ Bumrah, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Mohammed Siraj
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo