Claiming the final English wicket in no time on day five, Virat Kohli and his men scripted a crushing 203-run win in the third Test.
Having suffered losses at Edgbaston and Lord’s, India now trail 2-1 in the series with all to play for in the fourth Test at Southampton.
Here, we look at the winners and losers from the Trent Bridge Test.
If there’s one clear winner from the Test apart from the Indian team itself, it is the man-of-the-match Virat Kohli. This time around, the India skipper continues to go from strength to strength in England after his dismal tour of 2014.
The superstar is now making it a habit to score 200 runs precisely in the Tests. He laid down a marker at Edgbaston with innings of 149 and 51 and then bounced back from the disappointment at Lord’s with knocks of 97 and 103 at Trent Bridge.
His first innings display was crucial for India notching up a challenging 329 on the board with his 159-run stand for the fourth wicket with vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane sowing the seeds for India’s big win.
He would not be denied his century in the second innings as he notched up his 23rd Test ton before pulling off a spectacular diving catch in the slips to dismiss Ollie Pope.
England’s batting might have left plenty to be desired but if there is one batsman they cannot have any complaints about, then it is Jos Buttler. The right-hander continued his remarkable summer which has seen him light up the IPL before making a triumphant return to the Test side.
He played a lone hand with the tail for company in England’s first innings shambles before slamming a maiden Test ton in the second while forming a gritty partnership with Ben Stokes to frustrate the visitors.
England selection chief Ed Smith might have plenty to ponder for now but there is no denying his decision to recall Buttler into the Test fold has been a masterstroke.
The India all-rounder showed signs of finally coming off age with one of the most accurate spells of swing bowling in the first innings.
Within a span of just 29 deliveries, Pandya sent back five of England’s batsmen as the hosts went on to incredibly lose all 10 wickets in a single session. Getting the balls to move both ways at will, Pandya showed he can develop into a dependable seam option for India in overseas conditions.
He then displayed his abilities with the bat with a well-taken half-century in the second innings to drive home India’s advantage.
The England opener’s place in the squad has been under heavy scrutiny with the left-hander even dropped before being brought back for the series.
His display at Trent Bridge will do him no favours in that regard after another twin failure with the bat. In both the innings, Jennings’ susceptibility outside the off-stump proved to be his undoing as he displayed signs of tentativeness which one would normally associate with a batsman woefully short of confidence.
To top it all, he grassed a few chances in the slip cordon. If heads are to roll for England post their Trent Bridge defeat, then Jennings’ will be the first on the chopping block.
India might have picked up 20 wickets in convincing fashion at Trent Bridge but Shami’s display would have fallen well short of what is expected from a strike-bowler.
The Indian pacer was erratic with his lines and lengths in the first innings and leaked plenty of runs to relieve some of the pressure on the English batsmen.
He fared marginally better in the second innings but not by much. Struggling to generate his rhythm, Shami was scatter-gun in his approach plenty of times and will need to exert better control over the new ball in the coming Tests if India are to keep up the pressure.
It is highly unfair to mention the youngster just playing in his second Test in this column but England’s selectors are doing him no favours by rushing him onto the international stage.
While he did look composed and unflustered for the most part in both his innings, his manners of dismissals will leave England shaking their heads. In the first innings, he trickled a leg-side delivery into the hands of Rishabh Pant behind the stumps while he will quickly want to banish all memories of the shot he played to be dismissed in the second innings.
With England under immense pressure and batting to save their lives in the second innings, Pope had a rush of blood to the head and chased at a wide and full delivery from Mohammed Shami only to edge the ball towards the slips where Kohli pulled off the spectacular.
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.