- England vs India, fourth Test scoreboard
- Jennings and Root rebuild after early wickets
- Shami takes two in two balls either side of lunch
- Buttler half-century takes England’s lead beyond 200
Close of play – ENG 260/8 (lead of 233 runs)
That wicket will bring an end to what has been a gritty day’s Test cricket that leaves this match totally in the balance – as it was at lunch and tea. The Indian bowlers have stuck to their task and been rewarded with eight wickets in the sun, while England have pushed their lead to 233. With Curran still at the crease and unbeaten on 37, it is probably the home side who are in a marginally stronger position. But all is to play for. Return tomorrow for a fascinating day.
WICKET! Rashid c Pant b Shami 11
So Shami will bowl the final over of the day and he finishes with a wicket! The ball just nibbles off the surface and climbs on Rashid, flicking the bat on its way through to the keeper. FOW 260/8
OVER 91: ENG 259/7 (Curran 36* Rashid 11*)
Time for Ashwin to have one more tweak before they all trudge off for the day. Can he get one to rip from the rough outside Rashid’s off stump? Nope. Defended with aplomb. Maiden. One more over to go.
OVER 90: ENG 259/7 (Curran 36* Rashid 11*)
Four more for Rashid, who opens the face and guides the ball down through third man off Shami. You get the feeling that this lead is now getting towards something decisive. If they can push it beyond 250 and anywhere near 300, you have to fancy England to win this.
OVER 89: ENG 253/7 (Curran 35* Rashid 6*)
One Rashid run and one bye off Sharma’s over. Just in case you were wondering, play will finish at 6.30pm. England’s lead is now 226.
OVER 88: ENG 251/7 (Curran 35* Rashid 5*)
Bumrah is taken off in place of Shami and Curran greets him by pushing the first delivery of his spell for a single through cover. Shami then manages to get the ball past the Surrey youngster’s outside edge, but Curran lifts the final delivery with ease up and over the slip cordon for an aerial four. So impressive.
OVER 87: ENG 245/7 (Curran 30* Rashid 4*)
The shadows are exceptionally long at the Ageas Bowl now as Rashid takes strike to Sharma. A short one hits the splice and Rashid decides that’s done for his bat, which leads to a delay while he waits for a new one. Five dot balls and then a terrific flick off his pads to end things with a four which races fine of deep square leg.
OVER 86: ENG 241/7 (Curran 30* Rashid 0*)
Fabulous shot from Curran, who gives himself space by moving his legs out of line and creaming a drive off middle stump through cover for four. And then he repeats the trick very next ball! This boy can bat and there is nothing Bumrah can do about it.
OVER 85: ENG 233/7 (Curran 22* Rashid 0*)
The new ball does the trick and now India are into England’s tail. How much they wag could well determine the course of this match.
WICKET! Buttler lbw Sharma 69
Ashwin’s spell finally comes to an end and he is replaced by Sharma, who is on a final warning for running on the pitch. Some fine running sees England pick up five runs before Sharma gets one to angle into Buttler’s pads and the umpire puts his finger up. Buttler wastes no time in reviewing, but the decision stays with the umpire and he has to go. FOW 233/7
OVER 84: ENG 228/6 (Buttler 66* Curran 20*)
Now we’re talking, with Bumrah into the attack and a shiny ball in hand. No worries for Buttler though, who blocks anything straight and leaves anything wide. Not a huge amount of movement. Maiden.
OVER 83: ENG 228/6 (Buttler 66* Curran 20*)
Here we go. The new ball has been taken… but it is Ashwin who will start with it. I’d give it to Bumrah and Sharma, especially considering how long Ashwin has been bowling for, but Kohli thinks differently. Not a great deal of concern for England here, bar a half-appeal for lbw going way down leg, and Curran smashes the final delivery for four through extra cover to bring up the 50-partnership.
Drinks all round for England’s all-rounders. They’ve maintained their team’s chance of winning the series here in Southampton. 220-6, Buttler 65, n.o. lead approaching 200.
— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) September 1, 2018
OVER 82: ENG 223/6 (Buttler 65* Curran 16*)
A discussion between Kohli and some of his senior men, but Pandya will bowl another one with this old ball. The fact that these two batsmen have scored 40 in 13 overs suggests that’s not a great idea, but what do I know? Three easy singles precede a slashed two from Curran to make it five from the over.
OVER 81: ENG 218/6 (Buttler 63* Curran 13*)
The new ball has been brought out into the middle and is now in the umpire’s possession, but Kohli doesn’t fancy it yet and wants Ashwin to bowl the 21st consecutive over of his spell. Curran, looking as assured as he has throughout his short Test career, just blocks it out.
OVER 80: ENG 218/6 (Buttler 63* Curran 13*)
Pandya will bowl the final over before the new ball. India will be desperate for the new cherry to bring about the end of England this evening because this old one is doing nothing to cause Buttler any trouble. The England man waits for a full off-cutter from Pandya that he drives expertly wide of mid-off for four.
OVER 79: ENG 214/6 (Buttler 59* Curran 13*)
Ashwin to Curran. Straight bat in defence. Maiden.
OVER 78: ENG 214/6 (Buttler 59* Curran 13*)
Just three more overs until the new ball is due so Pandya will continue. Buttler steers two through backward point before then repeating the trick with a bit more oomph to bring up four more. England’s wicketkeeper is guiding his side into a strong position here.
OVER 77: ENG 206/6 (Buttler 52* Curran 12*)
Oh yes, please. That’s a lovely way to bring up your half-century as Buttler takes a step down the track and turns an Ashwin delivery into a full toss, creaming a cover drive to the boundary. Very well played today. Curran then receives a ball that no one on the planet can play, turning sharply from outside leg and bouncing high and wide of off stump. In fact, it bounced so much that it caught Pant in the throat and the India keeper will require some treatment, which involves the physio checking him over and the groundstaff coming on to sawdust over the vomit that came out of his mouth. The less said about that the better. All is soon ok.
OVER 76: ENG 201/6 (Buttler 47* Curran 12*)
A Curran pull brings up England’s 200, which is a lead of 173. They are slowly edging their way towards a position that might make them favourites. That will be drinks.
OVER 75: ENG 199/6 (Buttler 46* Curran 11*)
Curran looks hugely composed for a man so inexperienced at this level. This time he waits for a full Ashwin delivery and swipes it into the leg side for two. Pant is then most unfortunate to concede two byes from a ball that spits a mile outside Curran’s off stump.
OVER 74: ENG 194/6 (Buttler 46* Curran 8*)
Two runs from Pandya’s over courtesy of a Buttler flick to deep square-leg.
OVER 73: ENG 192/6 (Buttler 44* Curran 8*)
Ashwin continues to Buttler, who watches the ball spit out of the rough stuff before hacking a single to deep square-leg.
OVER 72: ENG 190/6 (Buttler 43* Curran 7*)
Wallop. Full and wide from Pandya, and Curran gives it the big’un with a crashing drive through point for four.
OVER 71: ENG 185/6 (Buttler 43* Curran 2*)
Too short from Ashwin, which allows Buttler to swipe a couple to the boundary sweep on the leg side. Curran then gets down the business end and is beaten by a jaffa that turns and bounces past the outside edge. Close to unplayable that. What do you reckon England will need to win this? A lead of 220? 250?
OVER 70: ENG 181/6 (Buttler 40* Curran 1*)
Yet again, Pandya sees the ball miss Buttler’s dangled bat by millimetres outside off stump. One run from the over.
OVER 69: ENG 180/6 (Buttler 39* Curran 1*)
It has taken Ashwin 26 overs, but he finally has a wicket to his name, which brings England’s man of the moment Sam Curran to the crease. The left hander takes two balls to get off the mark with a punch to mid-wicket.
WICKET! Stokes c Rahane b Ashwin 30
Ashwin has only one man around the bat and it is Rahane at first slip… and he’s the man who snaffles the chance. Bowling round the wicket, Ashwin bowls full on off stump, Stokes prods at it and Rahane takes a smart catch low to his left. Stokes’ 110-ball vigil comes to an end. FOW 178/6
OVER 68: ENG 178/5 (Stokes 30* Buttler 38*)
Textbook cover drive from Buttler, who waits for the full delivery and creams it for four past the diving cover fielder. No real movement from Pandya here.
OVER 67: ENG 174/5 (Stokes 30* Buttler 34*)
This is Ashwin’s 14th successive over, with tea in the middle of the spell, and he has Pant convinced of a wicket off his first ball. Buttler went back to it and the keeper is adamant there was an edge on the way through to him. Strangely, he is the only person who thinks so, with Ashwin not at all interested. Kohli decides trust his keeper and calls for the review… which shows no edge. That was very strange and India now have no more reviews to call on. A single brings Stokes to the business end and he plays a back foot drive with an impeccable high elbow that races through extra cover for four. That’s the 50 partnership off 126 balls.
OVER 66: ENG 169/5 (Stokes 26* Buttler 33*)
Here we go. A change of bowling and a first glimpse of Pandya, who immediately concedes two with a Buttler flick to deep square-leg. Pandya then offers some width to Stokes, who licks his lips and throws everything he can at it with an ugly slash that misses everything. He doesn’t want to be giving his wicket away like that.
OVER 65: ENG 166/5 (Stokes 26* Buttler 30*)
Slow, loopy and bang in the middle of the foot hole from Ashwin, which sparks the ball to life and rips into Buttler’s pad. Some of the fielders launch a slight appeal, but the ball wouldn’t have hit the stumps. A fine delivery though and it prompts the commentators to question why Ashwin is generally bowling so fast and flat rather than aiming for those foot holes more often.
OVER 64: ENG 165/5 (Stokes 26* Buttler 29*)
Buttler is doing a fine job of failing to edge deliveries when dangling his bat outside off stump, much to Bumrah’s annoyance. What that does is force the seamer straight for Buttler to help on its way and clip fine for four.
All of these deliveries were played and missed by Buttler.
OVER 63: ENG 160/5 (Stokes 26* Buttler 24*)
Still no sign of Pandya with the ball in this innings as Ashwin continues to bowl round the wicket to Stokes. The trumpeter has moved onto The Kinks’ Sunny Afternoon now and finishes his rendition in time for Stokes to push Ashwin off the back foot for a couple through mid-wicket.
OVER 62: ENG 158/5 (Stokes 24* Buttler 24*)
Stokes takes a step or two down the track to Bumrah, who sees him coming and thuds in a bumper to keep him in check. Two more singles to continue the run of only singles scored since tea.
OVER 61: ENG 156/5 (Stokes 23* Buttler 23*)
A post-tea lull has descended over the Ageas Bowl, where a lone trumpeter is playing the Grandstand theme. Just think, a whole generation of people won’t have a clue what that is. It’s been a hot day for those in the stands, with the sun baking down since the start. Two singles from Ashwin’s over.
OVER 60: ENG 154/5 (Stokes 22* Buttler 22*)
Bumrah continues after the break and immediately squares Stokes up with a single taken to cover off a leading edge. That’s all for now. Today’s cricket has been attritional. Slow, gritty stuff.
OVER 59: ENG 153/5 (Stokes 21* Buttler 22*)
The first man to operate with the ball in this final session is Ashwin. Unlike before tea, he is now round the wicket to Stokes, who repeatedly plonks his front leg down the track in defence. The fifth ball of the over is marginally more flighted than the others and finds the outside edge, which falls just short (and wide) of first slip for a single.
Stokes and Buttler are chatting and joking on their way to the middle. Which team will be doing so in a couple of hours?
Tea – ENG 152/5
Where do things stand after that second session? Pretty much the same as lunch I reckon. England have batted very well since Bairstow’s rash shot first ball after the break and Root was the only other man to fall when he attempted a foolish run. Stokes has batted exactly as the situation has dictated with 20 off 79 balls and England’s lead is now up to 125. That’s still nowhere near enough so this game remains in the balance. Back shortly.
OVER 58: ENG 152/5 (Stokes 20* Buttler 22*)
Bumrah is going to have a crack before tea. Can he replicate what Shami did just before lunch? A lovely shot from Buttler brings two to the deep mid-wicket fielder and the England keeper blocks out the rest of the over to make it to tea unscathed.
Side thought: Is cricket the only sphere in which autographs are still a thing? It’s wonderfully quaint. This chap wants Dhawan to sign his shoe.
OVER 57: ENG 150/5 (Stokes 20* Buttler 20*)
Buttler is looking to show attacking intent to Ashwin without much luck. Two hard-hit swipes find the man stationed at mid-wicket and Buttler then misses at attempted cut. A single brings up England’s 150 – that third 50 took 130 balls.
OVER 56: ENG 149/5 (Stokes 20* Buttler 19*)
Just the one Buttler single from Shami’s over.
Who wants to tell this bloke that these two have scored 27 runs from the 10 overs they have been at the crease together…
OVER 55: ENG 148/5 (Stokes 20* Buttler 18*)
Ashwin into his 20th over now and he still has nothing to show for it in the wickets column. Stokes is on strike and he tickles two runs to fine leg by dropping down on one knee and gently sweeping.
OVER 54: ENG 146/5 (Stokes 18* Buttler 18*)
A short interlude while the players wait for a rather rotund (he was huge) chap to move from behind the bowler’s arm throws Shami off his line and allows Buttler to slip a single through leg before Stokes does likewise through point. Can these two survive until tea?
OVER 53: ENG 144/5 (Stokes 17* Buttler 17*)
Not an enormous amount of turn for Ashwin. He isn’t getting much tap, but isn’t ragging the ball past the bat regularly either. The suggestion from Harbajan Singh in the commentary box is that Ashwin needs to slow his pace down. Four runs from the over.
OVER 52: ENG 140/5 (Stokes 14* Buttler 16*)
The Indian fielders are working hard on the ball at the moment, which has started reversing for Shami. He throws one full for Buttler, who can’t resist and attempts an almighty drive which he totally misses. Don’t do that Jos. Stupid, stupid shot. Both batsmen add a single apiece, before a thick outside edge brings up two more for Buttler.
OVER 51: ENG 136/5 (Stokes 13* Buttler 13*)
Ashwin is persisting over the wicket to the left-handed Stokes, which allows him to just kick the ball away outside leg stump. A couple of singles from the over.
OVER 50: ENG 134/5 (Stokes 12* Buttler 12*)
Lovely timing from Buttler. Slightly too straight from new man Shami and Buttler just leans into it to pick up four runs through mid-wicket. Shami then comes back with a beauty: seam and bounce to beat Buttler all ends up. It’s not easy out there but every run England can accrue is so valuable. If they can somehow get their lead beyond 200…
OVER 48: ENG 129/5 (Stokes 12* Buttler 7*)
Buttler is on strike to Sharma and he gets off the mark in rather fortunate fashion, edging inches short of second slip before the ball rolls all the way to the boundary for four. Sharma is then too full and straight, which allows England’s keeper to plonk his bat down and pick up three more to the mid-wicket boundary. That also takes England’s lead beyond 100.
OVER 47: ENG 122/5 (Stokes 12* Buttler 0*)
I‘m not sure why Root didn’t dive to make his ground. He certainly hesitated when the call was made, but it was worth throwing himself to the deck in a bid to make his ground. Ashwin decides to go over the wicket to Stokes and produces a maiden that causes a few problems for the left hander.
OVER 46: ENG 122/5 (Stokes 12* Buttler 0*)
A run out off the final ball of an over that had produced four runs. Very silly. England’s lead is 95.
WICKET! Root run out 48
Ooooooooooooooooooooo. Is it? Is it? Is it? Is it? No. Sharma literally puts Stokes on the floor with a yorker that catches him by surprise and flattens him. The bowler is adamant the ball would have crashed into the stumps, but the umpire says no and Kohli eventually decides not to review. Correct call because it had pitched outside leg stump. But…
Gah, I think Stokes has just run Root out! Stokes pushed one to mid-on and called his captain through for a sharp single that wasn’t there to be taken. Shami charges in and produces the direct hit to leave Root a metre short. Uneccessary. FOW 122/5
OVER 45: ENG 118/4 (Root 48* Stokes 8*)
Drinks all round and then back to the action. Slowly does it for England since Bairstow’s dismissal. Ashwin resumes to Stokes who goes back in his crease and pushes a wrong’un for one. These two have added 26 runs in 13 overs.
OVER 44: ENG 117/4 (Root 48* Stokes 7*)
Sharma is bowling some beauties to Root. He passed the bat with the final ball of his last over and he does the same again early in this over. Another maiden.
Look away now Jonny:
OVER 43: ENG 117/4 (Root 48* Stokes 7*)
One thing Ashwin has not been able to do with much success to Root is use the foot holes outside his off stump. He doesn’t look at his brilliant best today and is probably not fully fit. He’s got Stokes in his sights here and the result is a maiden.
OVER 42: ENG 117/4 (Root 48* Stokes 7*)
An angled bat gives Stokes two more down to third man as England’s lead moves closer to triple figures. Stokes is looking to be more active this over and stepping down the pitch to Shami, not necessarily to clobber him over the top but to try and throw the bowler off his length.
OVER 41: ENG 114/4 (Root 48* Stokes 4*)
A double change sees Ashwin return and he fizzes one past Root’s outside edge with a slider. A single brings Stokes on strike and he moves back in the crease before punching for three through mid-wicket.
OVER 40: ENG 108/4 (Root 45* Stokes 1*)
Sharma is back into the attack in place of Shami. Remember, he has been warned twice for running on the pitch so will be whipped away for the rest of the innings with one further transgression. No problems bowling to the right-handed Root though, who picks up one run.
OVER 39: ENG 107/4 (Root 44* Stokes 1*)
This is such a pivotal time in this Test. Root and Stokes are being watchful and resolute in defence. Indeed, Stokes has faced 22 balls for his one run. Bumrah is offering precious little to work with and he passes Stokes’ outside edge with a snorter of a delivery. That almost knocked Pant over as it hit the gloves. What a nut.
OVER 38: ENG 106/4 (Root 43* Stokes 1*)
Cracking delivery from Shami, who beats Root with the England skipper attempting – and missing – an expansive drive. A tucked single will do for the over.
OVER 37: ENG 105/4 (Root 42* Stokes 1*)
Bumrah is getting plenty of bounce, rattling the top of Stokes’ new bat. A staunch outside off stump line and Stokes plays out another maiden.
OVER 36: ENG 105/4 (Root 42* Stokes 1*)
A rare bad ball from Shami slips down the leg side and Root rolls his wrists to help it on its way for four. That also brings up England’s 100 (a lead of 76). A punch wide of cover adds a couple more.
OVER 35: ENG 99/4 (Root 36* Stokes 1*)
Bumrah has opted to go round the wicket to Stokes and is hitting the deck hard. So hard, in fact, that Stokes’ bat has broken. Maiden.
OVER 34: ENG 99/4 (Root 36* Stokes 1*)
Here comes Shami on his hattrick bowling to Root. Not to be. An open face from the England captain and the ball races away for four through the vacant third-man region. An inside edge down to fine leg gets Stokes off the mark.
OVER 33: ENG 93/4 (Root 31* Stokes 0*)
Bumrah to Root… big appeal, but the umpire shakes his head. That was close and ball tracker says it would have been umpire’s call had India reviewed it. “Who’s 2-1 up boys? Who’s 2-1 up?” bellows Kohli from the slips. He’s loving this.
OVER 32: ENG 92/4 (Root 30* Stokes 0*)
Would you believe that?? Bairstow waited the entire lunch break to come to the crease, he played an awful attacking shot to a ball that was crying out to be defended and was cleaned up. Shami is on a hattrick now… but that will have to wait until the start of his next over.
WICKET! Bairstow b Shami 0
HE’S CLEANED BOWLED HIM FIRST BALL AFTER LUNCH. Literally the very first ball. Full, straight and Bairstow is bowled through the gate. Wowzer. FOW 92/4
The players are back out on the pitch and it is Bairstow who joins Root in the middle.
Lunch – ENG 92/3
That wicket of Jennings signals the end of the first session and India have the breakthrough they wanted. Jennings, after much resistance, has to go. He had batted so well with Root to help England rebuild after those early wickets, but this match is now right in the balance. England’s lead is just 65. A huge session coming up after lunch.
WICKET! Jennings lbw Shami 36
So this is the final over before lunch and Shami will bowl it. Can India take one more wicket before the break? Root dabs a single through point, Jennings picks up four wide of the slips… and then he’s given out! A monster appeal from Shami and the Indians after Jennings is hit on the pads with the penultimate ball of the session. The batsmen take an age before deciding to review… but that is very much out, hitting halfway up leg stump. FOW 92/3
OVER 31: ENG 87/2 (Jennings 32* Root 29*)
Ashwin continues with what should be the penultimate over before lunch and he tosses one up, which Root opens the face to and guides for three through backward point. Jennings then kicks away the rest of the over with Ashwin bowling outside leg stump to the leftie.
OVER 30: ENG 83/2 (Jennings 31* Root 26*)
Lovely shot from Root. A beautiful straight bat and four runs as the ball races straight back past Shami. Ooh, there are few shots as aesthetically pleasing as a straight drive. Shami thinks he has the breakthrough with Root hit on the pad again, but the umpire shakes his head. It’s close but, after much deliberation, Kohli opts against the review and the ball tracker shows it would have passed over the stumps. Fifty partnership between these two.
OVER 29: ENG 77/2 (Jennings 30* Root 21*)
Thoughts will start turning to lunch now, with these two having batted for almost an hour together. How England need them to survive until the break. Ashwin gives a fairly hefty lbw appeal with Root struck on the front pad, but he was a) struck outside off and b) it was missing leg. Would have been out aside from those two minor issues.
OVER 28: ENG 75/2 (Jennings 29* Root 21*)
Verbals galore from Kohli, but Root doesn’t seem the type to be bothered by it. Shami dishes up a juicy half-tracker well wide outside off stump, which Root slashes hard but straight to the man at deepish point. No run and Root gives a rueful smile in the knowledge that he has missed out there. Not a second time though – this time Root guides his cut shot finer and it races away for four.
OVER 27: ENG 71/2 (Jennings 29* Root 17*)
Jennings is looking to be positive here against Ashwin. That attitude has served him well in recent overs, but nothing doing here and it is a maiden.
OVER 26: ENG 71/2 (Jennings 29* Root 17*)
Time for Bumrah to have a breather and a first glimpse of Shami in this innings. Oh Joe, you DO NOT want to be doing that. Wide outside off stump from Shami, which prompts Root to flash and miss. That was so close to taking the outside edge. There are plenty of words being exchanged between the two skippers here.
OVER 25: ENG 70/2 (Jennings 28* Root 17*)
These two are playing Ashwin well currently. Root spots one drifting leg side and takes the opportunity to drop down on one knee and leather it through backward square leg for four.
OVER 24: ENG 66/2 (Jennings 28* Root 13*)
Four more runs to a total that is shifting rather quickly at the moment as Bumrah bangs the ball in short, off Root’s hip and past the diving Pant behind the stumps.
OVER 23: ENG 61/2 (Jennings 28* Root 12*)
Oi oi, hello Keaton Jennings! A cracking reverse sweep for four is then followed by a creamed conventional sweep for four. Putting the pressure right back on Ashwin. Great batting. Wonderful stuff.
OVER 22: ENG 51/2 (Jennings 18* Root 12*)
Ooh, what have we here? Root is struck on the pad and the Indians give it the big’un with a huge appeal, but the umpire says not out. Kohli has a long think and then gives the signal to review. This is too high. I’m sure this is too high. Let’s see what the ball tracker says… yes, way too high. That was a terrible review. And Root then tucks in with a sumptuous drive on the up for four through cover. Very nice.
OVER 21: ENG 45/2 (Jennings 18* Root 6*)
Wide from Ashwin to Root, who drives with an open face and picks up two runs through backward point.
OVER 20: ENG 42/2 (Jennings 18* Root 3*)
Sharma’s warnings have meant a change of ends for Bumrah, who is bowling over the wicket to the left-handed Jennings. He has been so impressive this series – Bumrah, not Jennings… obviously. This ball is a gimme though, with Jennings gloving four runs off his hip and wide of the keeper.
Sky Sports have just pointed out some major double standards here, with a series of replays showing that Anderson lands in the banned bit of the pitch EVERY SINGLE BALL when bowling over the wicket to the lefties. No warnings for him.
OVER 19: ENG 38/2 (Jennings 14* Root 3*)
After a quick drink, Ashwin returns to the attack and is welcomed by Root flicking a full delivery for two through mid-wicket. Let’s see if he can get one to rip out of Sharma’s foot marks. Oof, yes he can. Bang in the middle of the rough and it turns a long way to thud into Root’s pad.
OVER 18: ENG 36/2 (Jennings 14* Root 1*)
The umpire continues to have a close look at where Sharma’s feet are landing when bowling round the wicket to the leftie and Root is prodding the exact area just to hammer home the point. Most helpful from the England captain. If England get enough runs on the board (LOL), they have a couple of spinners who won’t mind those patches of rough in the fourth innings.
Hold on… the umpire has just given Sharma his second and final official warning for running on the pitch. If he commits the offence again, he will not be allowed to bowl for the rest of the innings. Which means he will now bowl over the wicket. Blimey, replays show that was a harsh call from the umpire. It was an inch of heel encroaching on the danger zone, nothing more.
OVER 17: ENG 34/2 (Jennings 13* Root 0*)
Kohli is dishing it out good and proper from the slip cordon. And this is tough for the England captain. Now Bumrah rags one between bat and pad. To be fair, Root is playing with his bat far, far too wide of his body.
OVER 16: ENG 33/2 (Jennings 12* Root 0*)
Well this is all just so inevitable isn’t it. Yet another top-order failure, which brings Root to the crease at number four. Unsurprisingly, Kohli is straight into him with a barrage of comments about the England skipper dropping himself one place down the order. A wicket maiden from Sharma. Yeah… I suppose that’s why Kohli’s captain of his country and I don’t know what I’m talking about.
WICKET! Moeen c Rahul b Sharma 9
I don’t really understand why Sharma is still bowling. Sure, he’s only gone for nine runs off his five overs, but he’s not causing many problems (cue the inevitable wicket…).
Oh, are you actually kidding me??? I’m a moron. A moron. Sharma first gets one to spit into Moeen’s abdomen and then finds the outside edge, which is snaffled by Rahul low in front of him at second slip. The third umpire is going to have a look at this to see if it carried… which it did. The Moeen experiment is over. FOW 33/2
OVER 15: ENG 33/1 (Jennings 12* Moeen 9*)
Can’t help but feel Moeen has been given something of a hospital pass with his promotion to three here. Bumrah is ragging the ball through at pace and angling it across the left hander, asking all sorts of questions. Moeen plays with soft hands to edge the ball for four more wide of the slip cordon.
OVER 14: ENG 28/1 (Jennings 12* Moeen 4*)
Sharma continues… and he has just been given an official warning for running on the pitch. He will have to be careful from now on. Plenty passing outside off stump without troubling Jennings. Maiden. Now for the real business of Bumrah v Moeen…
OVER 13: ENG 28/1 (Jennings 12* Moeen 4*)
Hold on a minute, who is this??? It’s Moeen Ali batting at three!!! Are England just picking their batting order out of a hat???
My word, Bumrah is on fire. He cuts Moeen in half with his very first delivery, which bounces an inch over middle stump. Moeen then tries to leave the ball but edges for four short of the slip cordon. And he is then beaten all ends up just with a beauty just outside off stump. What an over from Bumrah. Sublime seam bowling. Good luck Moeen.
WICKET! Cook c Rahul b Bumrah 12
Bumrah has the breakthrough. Bowling over the wicket he angles a full ball across Cook, forcing the England opener to play it just outside off stump. The result is an edge that flies fast to Rahul who juggles once, juggles twice and then holds on behind the keeper. Oh Alastair. FOW 24/1
OVER 12: ENG 24/0 (Cook 12*, Jennings 12*)
These Sharma overs are being played in repeat. Wait for him to stray too straight (safe in the knowledge that he is finding very little swing) and then tuck into the leg side. No worries for Cook here and I suspect Sharma may be given a breather after this.
OVER 11: ENG 21/0 (Cook 9*, Jennings 12*)
Just a short spell for Ashwin and Bumrah is now into the attack. It was he who totally bamboozled Jennings in the first innings with an unexpected in swinger, but Jennings cuts him away for four here wide of the slip cordon. Bumrah responds with a beauty that passes dangerously close to the outside edge, but no harm done.
OVER 10: ENG 16/0 (Cook 8*, Jennings 8*)
These openers are playing Sharma perfectly at the moment. Watch and leave outside off stump, show a straight bat to anything on off stump and wait for the inevitable loose one on middle/leg that can be turned with ease for a single. One of them apiece for Cook and Jennings.
OVER 9: ENG 14/0 (Cook 7*, Jennings 7*)
Ashwin resumes his battle with Jennings and the England opener is watchful outside off stump before tucking a straight one for a single behind square on the leg side.
OVER 8: ENG 13/0 (Cook 7*, Jennings 6*)
Lovely timing from Cook with one of those tucks off the pads that international batsmen make look so easy and the result is four runs straight of mid-wicket. Sharma soon readjusts his line and returns to off (or outside off) stump for the remainder of the over.
OVER 7: ENG 9/0 (Cook 3*, Jennings 6*)
This is not going to be easy for Jennings and Cook against a high-class spinner in Ashwin, who is finding plenty of purchase from this pitch. He overpitches slightly and Jennings capitalises with a big stride and a punchy drive through cover for two. Ashwin then half appeals for lbw, but the ball had bounced too high and hit Jennings on the back thigh pad. It was the big turn that meant the ball beat Jennings’ bat though.
OVER 6: ENG 7/0 (Cook 3*, Jennings 4*)
Sharma will share responsibilities with the ball from around the wicket to Cook and the umpire is immediately taking very close note of where the seamer’s feet are landing. It’s his second step that tends to venture near the danger zone. A tight off-stump line sees Cook solid in defence and the result is a maiden.
OVER 5: ENG 7/0 (Cook 3*, Jennings 4*)
Ashwin to Cook to kick things off and there is plenty of turn as usual to the leftie. Ashwin finds some rip outside Cook’s off stump, before the former England skipper nudges a single to mid-wicket to get the scoreboard moving.
A little bit of rough
Much talk on Sky Sports about the foot holes outside off stump to the right hander, which Ashwin will be looking to trouble today. They are there because Ishant Sharma has been bowling round the wicket and he has already been warned for encroaching on the pitch during this match.
Moeen had plenty of success using those foot holes yesterday:
‘You cannot bottle brilliance’
Although it was Moeen who took five wickets (and you can read more from him here: “It is about believing you are not a bad player after one bad winter”), Curran and Stokes played crucial roles for England and proved there is no such thing as too many all-rounders.
Our chief sports writer Paul Hayward has written an excellent piece on those two men. Here is a snippet and you can read the whole piece HERE.
Curran is youth, Stokes is experience – good and bad. One made a celebrity’s side-entrance return in Nottingham and was welcomed back as a talisman. The other, only 20, was told to stand aside despite a man of the match display at Edgbaston. Putting lightning back in a bottle is a risk but Curran’s electricity was not stuck in there for long. He took Virat Kohli’s wicket for 46 on this second day before Stokes removed Ajinkya Rahane with strategic swing for 11.
The either/or of Stokes and Curran at Trent Bridge has turned into ‘both.’ Even if England hang on in this series, the future shape of the side is unclear. An over-reliance on all-rounders and a dearth of specialist Test batsmen who can lay down a base is a challenge for the selectors. The topsy-turvy nature of this England-India series cannot disguise the need for a review.
The many changes to the starting XI have been dressed up as squad rotation. Some prefer to call them tinkering, or over-thinking. Whichever, Curran is the kind of talent a country can build the future around, for his temperament as much as his technique.
Training at dawn
Before we turn our attention to today, allow a brief closer look back at yesterday’s action. Our man Tim Wigmore has written this fascinating piece on the birth of Pujara’s brilliance. Below is a snippet and you can read the whole piece HERE.
Each morning before work, Arvind took Cheteshwar to the local parkland in Railways Colony, where Arvind, who now worked for Western Railways, lived. Arvind would station his son in front of a tree, give him a bat and bowl underarm – again and again – to teach Cheteshwar to come forward and play with a straight bat.
In the years ahead the training would become more obsessive, starting just after 5am every day, and then fitting in several more hours after school. Arvind started bowling with a hard leather ball even before Cheteshwar could fit into any pads; instead, Arvind tied strips of an old foam mattress around his son’s legs.
A post shared by Stuart Broad (@stuartbroad8) on Aug 31, 2018 at 11:28am PDT
Hello folks, this has turned out to be a cracking Test and Friday’s play has set it up superbly for the weekend.
After their top order woes, England looked to be staring down the barrel of a series-leveling defeat when India reached lunch on day two at 100/2. Enter Moeen Ali (and Sam Curran and Ben Stokes). England’s No 2 spinner (sort of) tweaked his way to a superb five-fer as the tourists crumbled to 195/8, only for Cheteshwar Pujara to complete a well-deserved, stoic hundred to give India the edge.
It all meant that Virat Kohli’s side gained a 27-run first-innings lead and, despite the fears of all England fans watching through their fingers, Keaton Jennings and Alastair Cook managed to survive a nasty four-over stint at the end of the day to finish on 6/0.
Which brings us to the here and now. Can Cook finally show what made him one of the world’s best opening batsmen for so long? Can Jennings save his Test career? Will Root make some runs? Or will England inevitably sink to 50/4 before one of the middle/lower-order bails them out? That man Jasprit Bumrah has wickets in him, I tell thee.
The weather is glorious down in Hampshire today so there should be no excuse for England’s batsmen. This has effectively turned into a one-innings match and it all begins at 11am.
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