England's frustrations continued at Trent Bridge as an unbroken last-wicket stand of 87 took India well past 400 by tea on day two of the Investec Test series.
For the second time in successive summers at this ground, where Australia's debutant number 11 Ashton Agar came within two runs of an Ashes century 12 months ago, England were shut out by a record 10th-wicket partnership.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami carried India from 346 for nine, after four wickets had fallen for just two runs, to 433 without futher loss in the highest last stand in any Test between these two countries.
Shami in particular was surpassing himself, having previously reached an all-time high of 33 in his professional career and ‘boasting’ a Test average of 3.33.
Murali Vijay (146) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (82) had completed a century stand as just one wicket fell before lunch.
The lop-sided events which followed were a dramatic contrast to the established narrative of a match which had inched along within the apparent limitations of a curiously slow pitch.
Alastair Cook exhausted the conventional captain's manual on day one, and had to explore another set of unlikely methods on another sunny morning. They included an 8-1 off-side field for James Anderson at one point, and at others the abandonment of slip as a catching position in favour of four fielders on the drive in the ring.
There was a hint of irony in Vijay’s departure, lbw on the back foot to a delivery from Anderson which simulation demonstrated — unlike so many on this surface — would have cleared the stumps.
But India, by their own unilateral volition, have no recourse to DRS in this series — so Vijay’s 361-ball, near eight-hour vigil was over at last. England had just two other opportunities to make progress in the morning session.
The first came in only the third over when Dhoni, without addition to his overnight 50, was dropped by Matt Prior off Stuart Broad — a tough one-handed chance diving to his right.
Dhoni instead picked up two runs for the edged drive, his only scoring shot from the first 30 balls he faced on the resumption. Vijay very nearly dragged an attempted cut at Broad on to his stumps, surviving to add another 15 to his personal tally in a stand of 126.
But for all Cook's continued invention, the nearest England came to a second morning wicket was when the India captain called Ravindra Jadeja for a single to the final ball of an Anderson over only for Ben Stokes to miss his shy at the stumps from cover.
Not only did Jadeja survive on four, but the ball sped across an almost entirely unguarded half of the field for four overthrows. For good measure, Jadeja made his way back on strike to Moeen Ali and promptly desposited England’s sole spinner for two straight sixes in three balls.
If that was a break from preceding attrition, it was still more so when England started the afternoon session with four wickets in 21 balls. Jadeja edged behind chasing a short ball from Stokes — and in the same bowler's next over, first Dhoni pushed an attempted single to mid off and was run out by an athletic direct hit from Anderson, then debutant Stuart Binny speared a catch straight to point.
Broad, England’s most deserving bowler, had his second wicket when Ishant Sharma left one that hit the top of off-stump.
It seeemed Cook’s men were suddenly on the fast track, but Kumar and Shami had other ideas — delaying tea by 30 minutes in the process.
The two tailenders were conspicuously untroubled too, until — with a new first-class career-best already in the bag — Shami edged Liam Plunkett behind yet was reprieved on 37 by an entirely unconvincing appeal which perhaps persuaded Bruce Oxenford not-out was still in order.