England vs India report: Record-breaking stand between centurion Joe Root and James Anderson rescues England

Report on Day Four of the Test: Last-wicket stand rewrites history books amid all the drudgery to provide the crowd with an emotional charge as tail wags ferociously

Trent Bridge

A humdrum pitch equals a monotonous match. Yet from this unpromising combination, unforgettable deeds have sprung. The latest and most extraordinary of them – unless there is to be a remarkable added twist, which in Test cricket can never be entirely unexpected – was performed today.

It was epic in its scale and, on any surface, wholly unpredictable. On the fourth day of the first Investec Test, Joe Root and Jimmy Anderson shared a Test record 10th-wicket partnership of 198. Root scored an exemplary 154 not out, overcoming a patent lack of rhythm at the start of his innings to bat magisterially.

But it was Anderson, a fast bowler born to bat at No 11, who earned the plaudits and won the hearts of the crowd. He made 81, comfortably the highest score by any England last man, and played with such authority and pizzazz it was a surprise when he essayed an errant drive to slip which ended this improbably exuberant affair. That England led on first innings having been 202 for 7 was the real statistical measure of its worth.

It was genuinely rip-roaring, uplifting stuff, enough to melt the flintiest soul. But it could not conceal the drudgery of the match and the probability that it is drifting towards a draw. The taking of two wickets by England late in the day to remove Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara, who seemed bedded in, offered the glimmer of an opening that there might after all be somewhere for it go.

At the close, India were 167 for 3, 128 runs ahead, and will feel the need to bat for most of today to secure a certain draw. Any side would and should have struggled to take wickets on the sort of surface provided, though Matt Prior dropped a fairly straightforward offering to give England an early breakthrough. It is becoming increasingly clear that England are in need of a spinner.

Joe Root celebrates his fourth Test century Joe Root celebrates his fourth Test century

Moeen Ali is not up to the front-line role despite his two wickets today and Simon Kerrigan, of Lancashire, will probably come into the party for the Third Test starting at Lord’s on Thursday. After his horrific experience when he made his debut against Australia last year, Kerrigan is not a shoo-in to play. He is having a reasonable but hardly spectacular season for Lancashire, but he was with the squad at Nottinghamshire last week.

England, it is plain, have to do something. Throughout this morning none of this mattered as, somehow, the match provided its second glittering 10th-wicket interlude. India, who began the day still 105 runs ahead, were left bereft of ideas and staring down a tactical black hole, which is where both sides might have wanted to drop this pitch. Such a benign surface as this demanded pinpoint strategies but their celebrated captain, MS Dhoni, stuck for far too long with an umbrella field and short-ball attack.

For several overs his supposed short leg was so far from the bat he may as well have been standing at deep mid-wicket. It should have taken Dhoni about five minutes to work out that more bounce could be extracted by dropping marbles into cold custard.

But it would not do to dwell on Dhoni’s squandered ploys. Anderson, who had played with studious aplomb the night before in reaching 23, recognised that this was his big chance. In 210 previous first-class innings he had never made more than 37, in all senior cricket for Lancashire, England and his hometown club, Burnley, his best effort was 49 not out, which was for the latter against Todmorden 12 years ago.

James Anderson celebrates reaching his first ever half-century James Anderson celebrates reaching his first ever half-century

This was of an altogether different hue. Anderson’s first, indeed primary, job was to bat long enough for Root to reach his fourth Test hundred. By doing that he would not only help a colleague achieve a significant milestone but the team to cut their deficit.

Root exuded canniness. He protected Anderson from the strike when necessary, turning down copious singles, but he found the gap for twos and hit the bad balls for four. Anderson did not waver in his duty. Root reached his hundred with his 12th four, drilled accurately through the covers.

The next target now was for Anderson to reach his maiden fifty. When he was 45 he prodded to gully, where Vijay did not react quickly enough to take a low chance. It seemed that Anderson might yet be undone by his lack of a pull stroke, but just as the musing on this shortcoming was reaching its zenith he unfurled a classic of the genre, standing tall at the crease, which sped to the mid-wicket boundary.

Had Joe Hardstaff Jnr, the most prolific of Nottinghamshire’s former Test batsmen, scored a triple hundred, the crowd could not have been more generous. They rose to Anderson in a genuine outpouring of admiration and jubilation. To a man, woman and child they were happy for him.

There was a little more where that came from. The pair went on and looked like going on some more. Pace, medium pace, spin, occasional spin – nothing worked for India. The pair sailed past England’s Test 10th-wicket record, which was set 111 years ago in Sydney, and then overhauled the world record of 163 set on this very ground only last year by Australia’s Phil Hughes and Ashton Agar.

The 200 partnership and Anderson’s hundred both beckoned. But the fairytale and Anderson’s vigil ended with a tumbling catch at slip. This has been an unsatisfactory match, but it has been adorned with moments to cherish.

Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Arts and Entertainment
books
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone