Indian skipper Virat Kohli and his trusted lieutenant Ajinkya Rahane showed batting masterclass as India ended Day One at 307 for 6 in the third Test against England at Trent Bridge. The two shared a gigantic 159-run partnership for the fourth wicket to help the visitors take front seat in a must-win match.
Kohli looked at his ominous best, playing some wonderful strokes and showed no signs of a player returning from a back injury. A 23rd Test century and second in the series looked certain, before Adil Rashid got him caught at slips by Ben Stokes for 97.
Vice-captain Rahane, who was short of form heading into the third Test, complemented his skipper during their stay at the crease. In fact, there were times when he looked better than his skipper, playing some delightful shots on the off-side. But a sensational one-handed catch in first slip by Alastair Cook ended his knock of 81.
Earlier the in the day, Joe Root had won the toss and decided to bowl first. The visitors had brought in Stokes for wonder boy Sam Curran as their only change in the playing XI. Kohli on the other hand, made three changes. Shikhar Dhawan had come in place of Murali Vijay, Rishabh Pant earned his Test debut replacing Dinesh Karthik and Jasprit Bumran in for Kuldeep Yadav.
India had made a solid start for the first time in this series, with Dhawan and Rahul looking comfortable against the English pacers, who were not being much of a threat. The two shared visitors' first 50-run opening partnership of the series, and looked set to get big scores.
But the wicket of Dhawan started a mini collapse for India. The left-hander was caught at second slip by Jos Buttler of Chris Woakes' bowling. Minutes later, Rahul followed him back to the pavilion, after an inswinger by Woakes caught him in front.
Cheteshwar Pujara, with Kohli tried to rebuild. But he also perished on the stroke of lunch, getting caught in deep by Adil Rashid. India ended the first session at 82 for 3, with Woakes taking all the wickets for the hosts'.
The second session was dominated by the visitors, as Kohli and Rahane milked runs at a very good pace. It seemed the two will end the day together, before another mini-collapse struck the visitors.
Rahane was sent to the pavilion after a blinder by Cook. Soon after, Kohli, just three short of his century, fell to Rashid's looping delivery. Hardik Pandya and Pant stitched a promising partnership after the two dismissals. But right at the end of the day, Pandya was caught at slips by Buttler for James Anderson's first wicket in the match.