James Anderson believes he can find a way past Virat Kohli to win Birmingham Test

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James Anderson still believes he can get Virat Kohli out to win the titanic Edgbaston Test for England – because even the India captain is not invincible.

Kohli has looked just that at times over the past two days, and was still unbeaten on 43 at stumps on day three as he again proved England’s stumbling block. Anderson would have had him for just 21 in his first-innings 149, though, if Dawid Malan had held a regulation slip catch – and England’s all-time leading wicket-taker is keeping the faith he can get his man before India make the 84 runs they need to win after reaching 110-5.

Asked if it will be a case of dismissing Kohli on the fourth morning, or going 1-0 down in the series, Anderson said: “More than likely, yes.

“We’ve just got to give it everything we’ve got in the morning for the first 15-20 overs – leave absolutely nothing out there.

“It’s a really exciting place to be, because you know we could do something special tomorrow by winning this – such a close Test match. So we’ll go to bed dreaming about getting Kohli out first thing.”

Anderson insists it is reality, not fantasy, that he can stop Kohli.

“I’ve been encouraged the way I’ve bowled at him in this game so far, found the edge a few times in the first innings – and on another day I could have got him for 20, and then we’re not talking about how brilliant he is.

“You can’t drop Virat Kohli on 21, because he’s one of the best players in the world, and he’ll capitalise on that – which he did. But we’ve just got to go away and know we can get him.

“No one is invincible in world cricket. We can get him out, and we’ll be trying to do that in the morning.”

England are still in with a chance largely thanks to the all-round contribution of 20-year-old Sam Curran who followed his first-innings four-wicket haul with a maiden Test half-century to inspire the recovery second time round from 87-7 to 180 all out.

Asked if he can credit how quickly Curran has risen to the challenge in just his second Test, Anderson said: “I can believe it, yes, because he’s a really impressive lad. I remember me as a 20-year-old, and I didn’t know what was going on … I was in awe of everyone.

“But he knows exactly what he’s doing, how to set batsmen up, and we saw he has talent with the bat as well. He’s obviously got a little bit of fight in him as well – to go out in that situation and show the guts and determination he did to get the team back into the match, when it looked like we were down and out, I thought was brilliant to see from such a young guy.”

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England's Sam Curran lauds Virat Kohli's innings but still pleased with his bowling display against India

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Sam Curran had an extraordinary day after taking 4-74

Virat Kohli‘s brilliant century was an “eye-opener” to Sam Curran on the day the young England left-armer proved he too has the ability to be a match-winner in Test cricket.

Curran (four for 74) took three wickets in eight balls at one stage, but Kohli’s crucially was not among them as the India captain instead hit 149 to drag India right back into contention in the first Test at Edgbaston.

The tourists recovered from 100 for five, and then 182 for eight, to reach 274 all out and therefore concede a lead of only 13 runs to England, who then stumbled to nine for one after losing Alastair Cook to the last ball of day two.

England’s 20-year-old seamer understandably had mixed feelings in just his second Test.

“Credit to a great innings there,” he said.

“That’s what Test cricket is about, you play against the best players.

“I’m only in my second game, but I think it was a little eye-opener for me, watching the way he bats and how precise you’ve got to be with your lengths (to him).”

As for his own performance, Curran said: “Personally, it was a pretty special day for me with the ball.

“Coming on and taking a few early wickets, I can’t really remember it, it was so unreal.

“Obviously, it’s massive for me.

“In my first Test a couple of months ago against Pakistan, I was probably a little bit nervous.

“To get some wickets here, I felt like I was running in at The Oval for Surrey – I forgot about what I’m actually doing, and just stuck to what I’m good at.”
England were powerless to stop Kohli, although he was twice dropped in the slips – on 21 and 51.

“We had them 100 for five, and felt in the game, then Virat played really well with their tail and frustrated us a little bit,” said Curran.

“But he did nick a lot of balls outside off-stump that didn’t carry as well.

“No one means to drop catches, and on another day they would be taken.

“But you can’t dwell on those things too much, especially in a game like this, because there’s going to be another chance coming at you straightaway.”

Curran is delighted to find himself in the thick of such a gripping match.

“Everyone (here today) got what they paid for, it’s going to be a great Test,” he said.

“We’ve just got to bat big tomorrow, get as many runs as possible day three and day four, and put pressure on India, especially with the wicket starting to go up and down a little bit, and a bit of spin.”

Kohli had let the bat do his talking as he set the record straight so emphatically after averaging only 13.4 and mustering a tour aggregate of 134 runs on his only previous Test tour of England four years ago.

He did not feel the need to add to that statement by attending a post-match press conference, leaving India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar to illustrate his achievement instead.

“His innings has narrowed the gap massively between the two teams,” said Bangar.

“At one stage we were staring down the barrel, and the gap was huge, but because of his brilliance and the commitment shown by the batsmen around him, it’s still even.

“Virat had to play through various phases where run making wasn’t that easy.

“But he showed terrific discipline. The way he batted with the tail was a lesson in itself.”

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England v India Test Live: India take opening day honours at Edgbaston

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England collapsed after Joe Root's run-out.

Off-spinner Ravi Ashwin bowled opener Alastair Cook in the first hour before England fought their way to 83-1 after 28 overs at lunch. India hit back with a second wicket early into the second session with pacer Mohammed Shami getting the better of Keaton Jennings who departed for 42. The India pacer then had Dawid Malan trapped lbw soon after to reduce England to 112-3. Joe Root has since gone on to register another Test half-century as the hosts went into tea at 163-3.

Jonny Bairstow then notched up his half-century in just 72 balls as England went past the 200-run mark. The England skipper missed out on a Test century once again after he was run-out by Virat Kohli for 80 runs. Bairstow joined his skipper back in the pavilion almost immediately after he dragged an Umesh Yadav delivery on to his stumps. The hosts’ woes were further heightened in the next over with Ashwin dismissing Jos Buttler for a duck to reduce England to 224-6. Stokes fell to the off-spinner soon after before Ishant Sharma removed Adil Rashid with the second new-ball.

The hosts were batting on 285-9 when stumps were drawn at Birmingham.

Joe Root chose to bat first after winning the toss in England‘s 1,000th Test match against India at Edgbaston. The hosts were as announced on the eve of this landmark occasion, the first of five Tests over the next six weeks, with Adil Rashid confirmed as their only spinner.

India left out Cheteshwar Pujara, replacing him with KL Rahul after his run of poor form with the bat, and they too picked just one spinner – Ravi Ashwin unsurprisingly getting the nod.

Catch all the live updates from the Tets below.

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