Sports

Curran behind England win in 1st Test, says Nasser Hussain

Curran behind England win in 1st Test, says Nasser Hussain

The tourists started the day on 110 for five needing 84 runs for victory.

England captain Joe Root displayed a gambler's instinct when with 42 needed he brought on leg-spinner Adil Rashid. And two, whether Kohli would get the mickey off his back this time around.

India started the first session on Day 3 well.

He is still just a year into his tenure, but after such a chastening Ashes winter it said plenty that England held their nerve to go 1-0 up on the fourth morning of this Specsavers series opener.

It was a particularly timely reminder to the England and Wales Cricket Board of the long game's enduring worth as they continue planning to reinvent the wheel by launching a proposed 100-ball format in 2020. Broad and Curran were at the crease.

Picked up where he left off with the ball in the first innings as he took the crucial wicket of Cook. Credit to India, they played some fantastic cricket along the way.

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But, across both innings, it was a performance where determination resonated.

He lauded the players for showing determination in tough situations.

Given the ball to open the innings, it took a while for the top-ranked Test bowler to settle but any issues of how he would fare following a six-week rest on his shoulder were put to bed when he claimed two wickets. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising to note if Kohli were to brush aside the subject of records completely and focus on the result itself and how the team planned to go from here on.

There may have been a few England nerves as Sharma got the ball to the boundary twice in a Stokes over, using the edge of his bat to good effect, and a few verbals between Stokes and Pandya at the end of the over showed neither side were taking anything for granted just yet.

Speaking of the team's road ahead, Kohli's aggressiveness would be another aspect which would be pored about.

As Joe Root and Kohli, waiting on the outfield for their TV interviews, chatted quietly together, their body language emitted mutual warmth and respect. The 29-year-old kept up the aggression throughout which also buoyed the team's morale. They played 89.4 overs totally. If they had been looking for motivation, they had in the man leading them but not a single player seemed inclined to share responsibilities with the skipper.

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"I hope they don't need me, and Virat and Dinesh (Karthik) will do the job".

But it should have been even better for England with dangerman Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya dropped in the slip cordon off successive deliveries.

"I'm just trying to learn as much as I can and take all of it in".

Curran came in to bat when England were reeling at 87/7 in the second innings and looked down the barrel with the visiting bowlers, especially Ishant Sharma, having their tails up.

He overtook Steve Smith after his performances in the recently concluded Edgbaston Test against England, and has now become the seventh Indian overall (the first since Sachin Tendulkar in June 2011) to occupy the top spot in Test cricket.

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