India drew their first cricket Test with England thanks to some heroics from Stuart Binny, Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar on the final day at the Trent Bridge on Sunday.
India finished the day with 391 for nine declared in the second innings, a massive lead of 430 runs, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar unbeaten on 63, his second half-century of the match, and Mohammad Shami, who was not out on four.
England raised hopes of an unlikely win after picking up three quick wickets for 17 runs in the vital first session to reduce India to a precarious 184 for six. But followed next was a great fight-back by the tailenders, who ensured that England continue their winless streak to nine matches, with some gutsy batting.
Binny struck a valuable 78, his debut Test fifty, to save the day for India. It was an entertaining knock from Binny, who had two crucial partnerships with Ravindra Jadeja (31) and Bhuvneshwar.
Binny, who hit eight fours and a six in his 114-ball knock, was first involved in a 65-run stand with Jadeja that helped the team recover from a precarious 184 for six and then took India to a position of strength adding 91-runs for the eighth wicket with Bhuvneshwar.
Resuming the day at 167/3, India were put on the back-foot right in the first over of the day after Virat Kohli (8) was trapped plumb in front by fast bowler Stuart Broad. The local boy struck again in his next over to get rid of Ajinkya Rahane (24), who flashed outside the off and edged to wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
With India struggling at 173 for five, the expectations were immense from India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for a repeat of his heroic 82 in the first innings. But Dhoni managed barely 11 before being castled by a Liam Plunkett.
Jadeja, who took 38 balls to get his first run, and Binny then fought back valiantly with their 46-run stand for the unfinished seventh wicket stand. Jadeja had a tough time right from the start and finally found the first run, a four straight over the pacer James Anderson’s head that also drew an applause from the bowler.
Having gone wicketless, Binny was also determined to prove his credentials as a handy batsman. The Karnataka all-rounder used his feet well for his three fours and the cover drive off Liam Plunkett was a treat to watch.
Binny and Jadeja helped India recover well from a precarious 184 for six to reach 230 at lunch. It was the introduction of the new ball that ended the partnership after Jadeja edged to Prior off Anderson ending his 98-ball vigil that had five fours. It was the first time in his career that Jadeja played more than 50 deliveries.
Binny and Bhuvneshwar then scored quickly as 91 runs of the partnership came from 19 overs. Binny got to his debut Test half-century in style plundering Plunkett for 11 runs in the 90th over that also had two well-timed fours. He had a century in sight but was trapped lbw by Moeen Ali with a tossed up delivery.
Bhuvneshwar got to his second half-century of the match in style as he struck part-time spinner Joe Root for two crisply timed fours as he scored nine runs from the over. Bhuvneshwar and Ishant Sharma (13) added another valuable 47 runs for the ninth wicket to take the lead past the 400-run mark. Ishant became England skipper Alastair Cook’s maiden Test wicket before both the sides decided to settle for a draw.