England under pressure after Kohli, Rahane guide India to 307

Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya

But on the back of a 60-run opening stand, Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane walked into the middle for the second session rejuvenated.

This was the sort of day India had been waiting for all August.

Rahane also appreciated the young debutant Rishabh Pant, who started off his first test innings with a six. This time Dhawan rotated strike with his opening partner KL Rahul, who was circumspect in the first hour. Hardik saw off the crucial phase by consuming deliveries while Pant kept the scoreboard ticking. This was a slow surface, and perhaps more benign conditions than India's batsmen had encountered all month.

But to pull that off India will need to do a lot of things right.

Virat Kohli was frustrated to be dismissed three runs short of his century but another fine captain's knock inspired India on their best batting day of the series in the third test against England at Trent Bridge on Saturday.

Prior to this match, they had won only one of 11 Tests in England and passed 200 just once in their previous nine completed innings.

Kohli looked poised to mark the first test for 63 years in England to start on a Saturday with a serene ton until Adil Rashid's spin beat him, but India's champion batsman did most to guide them to 307-6 by close on a fascinating first day. The fact that the sun had come out and the ball got a little old helped both Kohli and Rahane, but they showed that they had worked out a method to play the swing.

The Indian team management's major responsibility on Saturday morning would be to find a flawless team combination as players are going through fitness and out of form issues.

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Rishabh will make his Test debut today against England and, in the process, will become 291st player to represent India in the longest format of the game.

Meanwhile, media reports suggest skipper Kohli has more or less recovered from his back problem and is expected to lead his side once again. Pacers Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami, along with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin are guaranteed to feature in the bowling department.

Stokes was cleared, and returns to the team in place of Sam Curran.

"It was one of the most hard decisions I've had to make as captain".

"The only conversation we've had is that the only option is to win this game and nothing else".

At 33, Karthik is the epitome of the journeyman Indian cricketer, and played because Wriddhiman Saha is injured. "There's always pressure to perform whenever you put the England shirt on - always people knocking on the door". "He feels ready to play", he added.

"He was obviously desperate to do well, desperate to perform for England", said Chris Woakes, the allrounder who had filled in for Stokes in the second Test at Lord's and who was England's most successful bowler with three wickets.

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