By Matt Somerford
Stuart Broad admits England face a “big day” with the bat tomorrow after spending the majority of the opening two days of the first Investec Test against India in the field.
England will resume on 43 for one and with the sole task of batting through the third day as they set after India’s first-innings 457.
That total was ballooned by a record last-wicket stand of 111 between Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami, who frustrated England’s weary bowlers for almost three hours.
When Moeen Ali finally drew a miscue from Bhuvneshwar – not before he and Shami both recorded maiden Test half-centuries – England had spent a total of 161 overs battling against an unresponsive surface.
Unsurprisingly, Broad hopes he is required only to watch on from the sidelines tomorrow as England’s batsmen continue their long-haul task.
“Tomorrow is a really big day for us because it’s all right saying the wicket is pretty flat and slow, but you can’t really comment on a wicket until both teams have batted on it,” Broad told ecb.co.uk.
“If we end the day tomorrow on 300 for four then it’s a flat wicket. If we’re 150 all out it’s not.
“It’s a big day for us and we just have to try and bat as big as we can.”
England will attempt to erase India’s advantage with out-of-form skipper Alastair Cook back in the pavilion after he failed to see out the 17 overs England were left to bat tonight.
The left-hander endured misfortune when he was bowled by Shami behind his legs. Cook had got along way across his stumps, but could feel aggrieved when the ball hit his thigh-pad before taking an unlikely pathway to his leg stump.
“It was important that we didn’t lose more (wickets) than one because tomorrow we’ll come here with the shine off the ball and hopefully it will be a decent day to bat,” he said.
“If it is a bit cloudy then it will obviously do a bit more. We see when the sun is out here at Trent Bridge that it doesn’t do a huge amount.
“Hopefully the bowlers won’t have to pull the pads on.”
England had looked set to begin their innings far earlier when, for the second successive day, Cook and his men earned rich reward for invention immediately after lunch.
India lost four for two during a devastating 21-ball burst that left them on 346 for nine and someway short of the sizeable total they might have envisaged when Mahendra Singh Dhoni opted to bat first yesterday morning.
Ben Stokes kick-started the tumble of wickets when Ravindra Jadeja wafted at a widish delivery before Anderson then expertly ran out Dhoni, for 82, with a direct-hit.
Stokes struck again when debutant Stuart Binny picked out Joe Root at backward point before Ishant Sharma failed to offer a stroke to a Broad delivery that pinned back his off stump.
That wicket was a deserved moment for Broad, who returned thrifty figures of 33-13-53-2.
“It was economical and that was part of my role,” Broad said.
“I think it shows that the wicket is quite hard to score on as well if you hold your length and have a good line.
“Maidens aren’t a big strength of mine. It is something that I have become aware of that I need to get more of so it was quite nice to bowl 13 maidens in that innings.
“I would have liked a few wickets and got us off the field quicker, but I thought we held fantastically well.
“We didn’t get frustrated and we didn’t get annoyed. We just did our stuff and we’re pretty happy with that.
“I know 460 is a lot, but it could easily have been 600 on that wicket."