The all-rounder powered Joe Root's side to a 1-0 series lead over India at Edgbaston with a stirring three-wicket burst that included the prized pelt of Virat Kohli but now sits out the second instalment given his long-awaited trial for affray begins in Bristol on Monday.
The immediate prize of Kohli was not to be, but second-best was Dinesh Karthik - ending a troublesome stand of 34 which had narrowed the margins while England's bowlers exhausted on Friday.
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. I loathe practice for the sake of practice - that's why David Gower would have been my dream captain - but this undoubtedly made us better.
"I spoke to the boys at the start, and said, "Just go out there with that belief and desire that you have shown the previous two days on the field" - and they didn't disappoint", Root said. At the end of day one, Indians were happier among the two sides having reduced England to 285 runs for 9 wickets from a commanding position of 213 runs for 3 wickets courtesy Ravichandran Ashiwn's 4-wicket haul.
"It gives us a lot of confidence but at the same time Karthik´s positive intent has also given us confidence", said Sharma. He singlehandedly brought India back into the Test match. The openers didn't play their part while the middle-order lineup of KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane and Dinesh Karthik fumbled about as if they didn't know what their goal in the team was in the first place.
Curran, son of former Zimbabwe all-rounder, the late Kevin, said: "I have looked up to Stokes".
"I've been encouraged by the way I've bowled at him in this game", said Anderson, who had Kohli dropped on 21 in the first innings.
Struggling at 18/2, Root along with new man Malan played out Ashwin watchfully but the offie constantly kept asking questions before prevailing over the English captain. "We need to think how to regroup and get back for the next match". He deserved to be on the winning side for the way he played with the tail. To his credit, Kohli's didn't and he made England pay for this initial diffidence steeply in the first innings, in which he top-scored with 149.
"Sam Curran has a great amount of skill, very exciting and promising cricketer".
"Definitely could have applied ourselves better but I'm still proud of the fight that we showed and it sets up the series really nicely".
"We need five wickets, simple as that, fairly quickly - otherwise, they´ll get the runs". If we had won, it would have been No. 1.
Kohli now leads Smith (who had held the top spot since December 2015) by five points, but will have to maintain the form in the remaining four Tests to finish the series as the world's highest-ranked batsman.
"I was thinking of making sure we didn't give any boundaries away, and made it very hard for them to score freely".