By BV Swagath
The first Test at Trent Bridge is heading towards a draw with the Indian top order putting on a solid show to stretch their second innings lead to 128 runs with 7 wickets in hand. Ajinkya Rahane is at the crease batting well on 18 along with a determined Virat Kohli (8*) who is looking to stamp his class in this Test series.
India having conceded a first innings lead of 39 runs got off to a busy start from its openers. The three wickets that the visitors lost in the 48 overs of their second innings came through aggressive shot selection. Shikhar Dhawan got out smashing a full toss back to the bowler Moeen Ali after a run-a-ball 29.
Murali Vijay followed his first innings hundred with a fifty while steadying the ship with Cheteshwar Pujara who also scored a half century. Vijay got himself caught behind for 52 having jumped out of the crease to loft Moeen Ali for a six. Pujara got out a ball later for 55 when his full blooded cut shot off Plunkett was held at backward point.
Earlier, India managed to deny a maiden Test century to James Anderson and a double century for Joe Root. Anderson was the last man out for 81 when his big cover drive off Bhuvneshwar was caught by the diving Shikhar Dhawan in the slips. Root remained unbeaten on 154 while his last wicket stand with Anderson is a new world record at 198 runs. England were bowled out for 496 with their innings lasting 144.5 overs.
Update at Lunch on Day 4: The opening Test match at Trent Bridge looks to be heading towards a draw with the first innings of England yet to be completed even on the penultimate day. England are the only side with a remote chance to force a win as they have got into a lead of 28 runs with the last wicket still intact.
The overnight pair of Joe Root and James Anderson continued to defy India all through the morning session to take the hosts to 489 for 9 in 140 overs. Both the batsmen are not looking like getting out. Anderson who has registered a maiden Test fifty is now on way to a maiden Test century with just another 19 runs to score.
Joe Root is going strong on 143 not out. His partnership with Anderson is 187 so far and has gone past the previous world record of 167 held by Australians Phil Hughes and Ashton Agar.