STUART BROAD: Brilliant performances show the England hunt as a package

<pre><pre>STUART BROAD: Brilliant performances show the England hunt as a package

There was a lot of noise in this game about how we could cope without our talisman Ben Stokes, but I think we have responded fantastically well.

This game is far from being won, but being 250 ahead with four terrains still in the bag is an excellent effort after we found ourselves 131 by five, not long after Saturday's lunch.

It says a lot to the character on the side that we found a way out of problems, just like we did in Edgbaston.

England, led by Chris Woakes, showed more character to build a 250 advantage against India

We were playing as a unit on Friday, when we exploded magnificently, especially Jimmy Anderson, who showed why he is called King of Swing, and then Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes batted very well on Saturday.

The fingers crossed the weather now behaves well, because we have given ourselves the opportunity to take a 2-0 lead to Trent Bridge, where we all love to play, and that's not a bad place to be against Team No. 1 ranked in the world.

THE HUNT AS A PACK

Jimmy and I always talk about creating pressure early. Against Pakistan at Headingley in early summer, we limited them to one race in the first six overs and never lost control.

Here against India, they did not skip the mark for a quarter of an hour, and by then Jimmy had already set the tone by throwing Murali Vijay with absolute beauty.

This summer we discovered that the ball does not really swing until the lacquer comes off, around the 12 to 15 mark. Then, from posts 15 to 30, there is a big change, and we are making good use of it.

& # 39; King of Swing & # 39; Jimmy Anderson set the tone when England created early pressure

& # 39; King of Swing & # 39; Jimmy Anderson set the tone when England created early pressure

& # 39; King of Swing & # 39; Jimmy Anderson set the tone when England created early pressure

On Friday, you could see how we did not pursue a more complete length immediately, because it did not swing first. Then, when we begin to move through the air, we raise it a little more.

In the three innings of India in this series, we have given them very little to hit. Jimmy and I keep things right with the new ball, so people like Sam Curran, Stokes and Woakes have kept up the pressure.

It makes it difficult for us to defend ourselves, especially in our own conditions, and the Indians came across a perfect storm on Friday.

RUNNING FOR COVER

Speaking of which, that was a great moment a few seconds before the rain started hitting on Friday morning, when we ran Cheteshwar Pujara.

He did not play in the first test in Edgbaston, despite having an excellent career record, so it was important that we keep him quiet in his first appearance in the series.

By the time he ran out of the mix with Virat Kohli, he had scored a race in 41 minutes, which was very nice from our perspective. India went 15-for-3 when we left the field, and that gave us a big boost during that long recess for the rain.

The exhaustion of Cheteshwar Pujara was a great moment just before the rain fell on Friday morning

The exhaustion of Cheteshwar Pujara was a great moment just before the rain fell on Friday morning

The exhaustion of Cheteshwar Pujara was a great moment just before the rain fell on Friday morning

It reminded me of the last morning in Edgbaston, where we deprived Kohli of the strike when the game was in the balance.

You could see it happening again after the game resumed on Friday, when Jimmy kept Kohli still one more time.

I think that contributed to his way of hitting Woakesy, it was like he was trying to hit all the balls for four. That comes from creating pressure as a group.

FULL BRILLIANCE

That was a great partnership between Jonny Bairstow and Woakes, and we really needed it.

The game was not quite in balance, but another pair of fast terrains would have made it interesting. So, for those two to show their class and attitude with the bat was vital for us.

Jonny is such a wonderfully powerful player that to be outdone in a position of 189 he says he took a very mature approach in difficult conditions. He deserved a hundred.

The sixth wicket association between Woakes and Jonny Bairstow, worth 189, was important

The sixth wicket association between Woakes and Jonny Bairstow, worth 189, was important

The sixth wicket association between Woakes and Jonny Bairstow, worth 189, was important

It also says how well Woakes played. Look at his statistics in England, where he averages 52 with the bat and 23 with the ball, and it's clear what a good cricketer he is. It was lovely to cheer on three figures from the balcony of our dressing room.

I also thought that he deserved more than two plots on Friday. He went into a great rhythm, and his bowling al Kohli in particular was first class.

It is not often that you have the best hitter in the world that dropped a ball, and then was caught by the same fielder in the next installment.

It feels as if Woakesy had not been much this summer because of the quadruple injury he suffered against Pakistan in Headingley. Now it feels like I've never been outside.

THE RIGHT THING

That was a very clean debut entry by Ollie Pope. Sure, he's only 28, but it's already a mix between Ian Bell and Joe Root, which is a decent compliment to pay a guy who's only 20 years old.

It seemed technically safe, but just as important is an impressive character. Surrey seems to be taking out a few cricketers like now, look at the way Sam Curran has gotten himself, and that's credit for the way they operate as a county.

They are placing young boys in situations of pressure and producing cricketers who are capable of taking the step towards England.

It is one thing to train a child to score runs or take wickets. Another thing is to teach them how to deal with all the things that Test Cricket can offer you, and at such an early age.

Despite only scoring 28 points, debutant Ollie Pope enjoyed a very clean debut innings for England

Despite only scoring 28 points, debutant Ollie Pope enjoyed a very clean debut innings for England

Despite only scoring 28 points, debutant Ollie Pope enjoyed a very clean debut innings for England

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