England, India draw 1st test after rain wipes out 5th day
The prospect of a dramatic finale to the first test between England and India was washed out at Trent Bridge on Sunday, with play on the fifth and final day called off due to rain without a ball being bowled.
The test was finely poised with India 52-1 overnight in its second innings and chasing 209 for the victory. With 157 runs or nine wickets needed to settle things, even a half day’s play may have been enough to get a positive result.
But the players never even made it out of the pavilion, with morning showers continuing into the afternoon and gradually eating away at the available time. Eventually, the umpires made the inevitable call to abandon the match.
While England was still in with a chance of victory after a fightback on Saturday built around Joe Root’s second-innings 109, it’s the tourists who will feel most aggrieved by the result after putting themselves into a winning position from the moment they dismissed England for 183 on the first evening.
India scored 278 all out in its first innings.
For Root, the result maintained a proud record of never losing a test in which he scored a century, with his 21 hundreds contributing to 16 wins and five draws.
“I’d be lying if I said that India weren’t in the driving seat going into today but we know, on a wicket like that, the game can turn on its head,” the England captain said.
“From my perspective, at one stage it looked like we could have potentially had 40 overs out there and, in that period, it felt like we’d have been able to create nine chances on a surface like that. So in many ways I think actually the weather’s robbed us all of a fantastic final day’s test cricket, which is a shame.”
But the room for improvement by England is self-evident: Too many batters are failing to offer Root the required level of support and its catching has not been good for some time.
“We know there are areas we need to be better: We need to take our chances in the field and we need to make big first-innings runs,” Root said. “We are capable of doing it.”
The sides will now head to London, where they will begin the second test of a five-match series at Lord’s on Thursday.