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08-Aug-2021 15:05:00 GMT
Eng vs Ind - 1st Test, Trent Bridge, day 5

First England-India Test drawn as rain ruins final day

India 278 (Rahul 87, Jadeja 56, Robinson 5-85, Anderson 4-54) and 52 for 1 (Rahul 26) drew with England 183 (Root 64, Bumrah 4-46, Shami 3-28) and 303 (Root 109, Curran 32, Bumrah 5-64, Thakur 2-37)

Nottingham| England's first Test against India was abandoned as a draw after persistent rain prevented any play on the final day Trent Bridge.

The Nottingham weather denied the chance for what could have been a superb finish, with all four results still possible on Sunday morning.

At 52-1, chasing 209, India were favourites, although England were given an outside chance by captain Joe Root's magnificent fourth-day century.

However, wet weather delayed the scheduled start of 11:00 BST on Sunday and continued to sweep in throughout the day.

There was a dry period that promised an inspection at 14:30, but the rain came again and the match was called of at 15:50.

The second Test of the five-match series begins on Thursday at Lord's.

Even though England were given some hope of victory by the brilliance of Root, this is realistically something of an escape after they were bowled out for 183 in the first innings.

Without Root, their batting is brittle: they have been dismissed for less than 200 in eight of their past 13 completed Test innings.

Most of the current top six will feel like their place in the side is vulnerable, with Zak Crawley - averaging only 11 in Tests this year - looking most at risk.

Haseeb Hameed could come into the top three, while Ollie Pope looks set to be fit for Lord's. There is likely to be space for only two of Pope, Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence.

England's fragile batting complicates their attempt to cover for the absence of Ben Stokes, the talismanic all-rounder who has taken an indefinite break from the game to focus on his mental wellbeing.

Without Stokes, England have been playing without a specialist spinner in a four-man attack.

One solution could be a recall for Moeen Ali, who could bowl off-breaks and bat in the top seven, but fellow spinners Jack Leach and Dom Bess were preferred when the squad for the first Test was chosen.

If England stick with four bowlers at Lord's, any decision to include Leach or the extra pace of Mark Wood would probably come at the expense of Stuart Broad or Sam Curran.

India had the better of this match, only to be denied the opportunity to win a series opener in the UK for the first time since 1986.

After injuries ruled out openers Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul looked assured for scores of 84 and 26, answering the biggest question India had over their batting line-up.

As for their bowlers, they have an embarrassment of riches, to the point that mesmeric off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin - with 413 Test wickets - was omitted for this match.

Pace bowler Ishant Sharma had a hand injury, but practised at Nottingham before the game at Lord's, where he bowled India to victory in 2014.

India were highly competitive on their last tour in 2018, and a victory margin of 4-1 was a scoreline that flattered England.

Until proven otherwise, there will remain doubts that India's batting line-up can consistently stand up to English conditions, but the tourists will head to London as favourites to win this series.

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