The visitors made up for the disappointment of their reversals at Edgbaston and Lord’s and now trail 2-1 in the series with two Tests remaining.
One man has shone above all at Trent Bridge and that is India skipper Virat Kohli. The stylish right-hander struck 97 in the first innings before following it up with a 103 in the second.
Here, we take a closer look at his performance in the Test.
The India skipper was the man of the match with a total of 200 runs combined in the two innings. He made up for the disappointment of missing out on a century first time around by slamming his 23rd Test ton in the second to move level with Steve Smith.
His 159-run stand with Ajinkya Rahane in the first innings also paved the way for India’s challenging total and he made sure that the visitors seized the initiative with his 103-run knock to give the tourists a commanding lead. Kohli led by example in the field and showcased his athleticism by pulling off a spectacular catch in the slip cordon to dismiss Ollie Pope in England’s second innings.
India were in danger of repeating their batting failures from the first two Tests when they lost three wickets in quick succession on day one. However, a determined Kohli ensured mitigated that possibility through an uncharacteristically dogged innings.
The 29-year-old curbed his free-flowing stroke-play, especially against James Anderson to whom he has not been dismissed by in this series so far. He had the rub of the green in getting to his century in the second innings when batting on 93 as Keaton Jennings dropping a chance at slip off the bowling of Anderson but a 23rd ton was just reward for his perseverance and determination.
Any one (especially young professional batsmen) who want to know how to bat in a test match, watch Virat Kohli’s test century today. Not the highlights, they don’t show how he left the ball, & played defensively, for they were the cornerstone of his innings.— Graemefowler (@GFoxyFowler) August 20, 2018
There is barely any fault that can be found in Kohli the batsman currently but there were a few captaincy decisions which he could have played better. He kept Ishant Sharma away from the new ball in the first innings opting to instead open the bowling with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.
He did make amends in the second innings by throwing the new ball to Ishant. He will be angry with himself for his lapse in concentration in the first innings where he once again threw away his wicket to Adil Rashid while being extremely cavalier against the England leg-spinner.
VERDICT – 9/10
Kohli is looking like a batsman very much at the prime of his game as he continues to breach new landmarks. Having seen India’s batting failures from close hand in the series, the skipper has taken it upon himself to lead from the front and how! Backing up his Edgbaston display with another Herculean performance, Kohli has well and truly banished the demons of his disastrous 2014 tour.
With Kohli batting like a man possessed, the rest of the Indian batsmen are beginning to take a cue from his game and it has reflected in a vastly improved collective batting performance. The Delhi-born star’s hunger for runs shows no signs of stopping having gone past 400 runs in the series and there could be more milestones breached by the superstar in the remaining two Tests at this rate.
What a difference a Test makes. England entered the Trent Bridge match riding the crest of a wave and 2-0 up, aiming to clinch the five-game series against a confidence-stricken India with Ben Stokes back in situ.
But now, after a brilliant 203-run comeback win by the tourists in Nottingham, it’s game on and the hosts are the side that now seem to have all the problems.
For better for worse and whatever your allegiance, we certainly wouldn’t have the ebb and flow of Test cricket any other way.
The fourth Test gets underway in eight days time in Southampton (August 30) and while world No1-ranked India will have their tails up, for England, it is a different proposition.
England selection debate
Stokes’ recall to the eleven was the big discussion point ahead of the third match as Sam Curran unluckily missed out. Joe Root made plenty of noises about how difficult that decision was but he and the selectors have even more to make for the fourth Test.
Injury was added to insult when Jonny Bairstow sustained a fractured finger at Trent Bridge and with England’s in-form batsman set to miss the remaining two matches, a replacement could be needed despite suggestions he will play as a specialist batter.
Do England look to someone like Surrey gloveman Ben Foakes to make his Test bow? Unlikely. Expect Jos Buttler – fresh from his maiden Test ton – to keep wicket as well as play a decisive role down the order with what English fans will hope is increased confidence levels on his part.
There are plenty of more questions to ponder. England desperately missed Curran’s left-arm variety and swashbuckling youth with the bat. The most damning thing about his omission was that it gave India a mental boost by not seeing his name on the teamsheet.
Promising youngster Ollie Pope is just 20 but as harsh as it is, Test cricket is not a place to groom that potential in such a big series and it would be a wise move to take him out of the firing line.
He may, however, have to play. Out-of-sorts opener Alastair Cook could miss the next match to be present at the birth of his third child while the axe seems set to come down on Keaton Jennings’ England career. The opener, who was given his second chance in Test cricket this summer, has struggled to resolve his frailties outside off-stump while his drops in the slip cordon speak volumes of a man whose self-belief is low.
Potentially, England could need a new opening combination with Surrey’s Rory Burns an option to bring in for his Test bow and it is also a genuine possibility to recall Moeen Ali, who this week pressed home his hopes with a double hundred and a handful of wickets for Worcestershire. Meanwhile, at 36, Ian Bell’s international career is pretty much done.
Chief selector Ed Smith and his second in command James Taylor – who were openly criticised by Steve Harmison for watching the third Test live instead of being present at county matches – face difficult choices in the intervening period between matches.
A shift in momentum
Led by Virat Kohli‘s superb batting and fine on field leadership, the Men in Blue reacted in the finest way possible to that humbling defeat at Lord’s.
All of a sudden, India have a big opportunity to level the series at Southampton and flip the English summer on its head.
Unlike England, India reaped the benefits of spot-on selection with the return of fit-again Jasprit Bumrah giving the tourists’ attack much-need cut and thrust, as well as real pace, while Rishabh Pant’s effectiveness behind the stumps has brought a renewed sense of calm that every chance will be taken.
For the first time in his captaincy reign, Kohli could name an unchanged side for the fourth Test providing Ravi Ashwin completely shrugs off his hip injury.
The picture is much brighter for the subcontinental giants than it was last week and a complete turnaround is now a distinct possibility.
Some stern words had to be said
England’s batting collapse woes and tendency to self-destruct is of great concern.
Root’s men lost all 10 wickets in a single session, between lunch and tea, to be dismissed for 161 in their first innings and let’s not forget in the second innings at Edgbaston they were 87-7 and 131-5 at Lord’s.
Since the start of 2016, in 61 innings, England have lost their first four wickets having scored 100 runs or less on 30 occasions.
For too long, the top-order has struggled – no matter what the personnel – with the onus often on the lower middle-order as a get of jail card option.
Reportedly, Root and Trevor Bayliss had a fiery exchange when discussing England’s plight with the bat at Trent Bridge and more collapses of that nature will probably prove series-defining.