Alastair Cook has lived to fight one final day as an England batsman. From 3pm until the 6.30 close on day three, Cook played and missed with all his old phlegmatism, blocked and accumulated, halted India’s surge and placed England in a position where they will win this match, and this series 4-1, barring miraculous interventions and rain.
Four more runs on day four will give Cook a worthy Test average of 45. 32 more runs will take him past Kumar Sangakkara into fifth place in the list of all-time Test run-scorers, though there can be little comparison between middle-order batsmen – as the top five are – and openers like himself. 54 more runs will give Cook his 33rd century and leave no eye dry in Essex, or even elsewhere.
Another 154 and Cook will surely have to cancel the announcement of his retirement, because another monumental double-century would prove that he has not lost his edge, and that the only thing missing this summer has been a true pitch.
Whatever the fourth day brings, however, Cook can celebrate the finest farewell any batsman of any Test country has staged at the Oval, following his 117 runs so far. Sir Jack Hobbs did not score a 50 and Sir Donald Bradman did not get off the mark.
Sir Vivian Richards scored 60 but West Indies lost; David Gower did not know he was playing his last Test, blithely assuming that selection would be based on merit. Of England’s more recent stalwarts, Alec Stewart managed 38 on his home ground, Michael Atherton 13 and eight before he was Warned and McGrathed one last time.
Before his final innings Cook waited at the top of the stairs that lead down from the Oval dressing-room, legs crossed and leaning on his bat, waiting for Keaton Jennings to join him. It was a lovely afternoon for a farewell, the ground full, and Cook would have been guaranteed yet another standing ovation if he had got a first-baller. But the old campaigner toughed it out one more time – and he might even have outlasted his partner as England opener.
Only famous American actresses have had more official partners than Cook: Jennings is one of twelve. But this summer, after a promising comeback against Pakistan, Jennings’s game has not progressed; he keeps getting out in the same ways, this time shouldering arms.
It is not as if Jennings has made himself indispensable in the field, as he has spilled chances wherever he has been posted: at silly point on the latest occasion, when his height and stiffness stopped him getting down low. He might yet win a place on the plane to Colombo, but James Vince and Liam Livingstone should be given boarding passes ahead of Jennings.
Moeen Ali again did his best at number three, without convincing, so the match was still in the balance when Root joined Cook, England 102 ahead. As a leading actor on the stage, Root used Cook’s platform to exhibit his skills again, one backfoot force off Ravi Jadeja bringing the house down.
With the weight lifted from his shoulders, the Pataudi Trophy in his bag, and this England team at their best in defending a target, as evidenced at Edgbaston and Southampton, Root has already almost taken the game away from India.
England needed Cook’s second innings because their lead was nothing like what they had been led – by India’s lower order in this series – to believe it would be, when India were 174 for six overnight. Previously it had been six and out – or, more specifically, six down and in effect all out. But two fresh India faces changed the pattern into which their teammates had got bogged down.
One was Hanuma Vihari, who had been extremely vulnerable to bouncers at the start of his innings and Test career. England had only to call for a review to have had him dismissed leg-before by Stuart Broad. But the debutant blossomed to unfurl a few sumptuous cover-drives and join four other Indian batsmen in this series to reach 50.
The second fresh Indian face had a luxuriant moustache and a rascal’s smile, especially when he drove James Anderson straight for six. The scoreline going into this Test would more likely have been 2-2 if Jadeja had been selected instead of the half-fit Ravi Ashwin at the Ageas Bowl, where the surface would have suited his brisk spinners. With his unbeaten 86 and four wickets so far Jadeja has shown India what they have missed.
Just as Jos Buttler and England’s tail had batted easily on the second morning to add 134 for their last three wickets, so did Jadeja in adding 118 for India’s last four wickets. Root’s good captaincy made Moeen switch to the Vauxhall end, so that the cross-wind drifted his offspin away from right-handers as well as beating the inside edge, resulting in two wickets. But the rest of England’s bowling was unthreatening on the third day by comparison with the second.
So, this was no occasion for sentiment when Cook batted again. To the end England have needed his virtues – as no replacement is yet in sight for Andrew Strauss, who retired six years ago, or himself. Cook will leave a hole in England’s top order, and their slip cordon, and even in the nation’s affections.
STUMPS: ENG 114/2 (Cook 46* Root 29*) – England lead by 154
England have fought well here after India managed to add a fair amount to their overnight total and get within touching distance of England’s 332. The crowd are very appreciative of Alastair Cook as he walks off with Joe Root. He’ll get another couple of great ovations tomorrow, for sure, whatever happens.
Keaton Jennings was out leaving a ball from Shami (but it seems that he’ll be going on tour) that hit the stumps and Moeen was bowled loosely driving Jadeja out of the rough. England lead by 154 runs with eight wickets left and two days remaining. They will want to double that tomorrow, at least. But tomorrow is another day.
It was a tight and good day of Test cricket. Thanks for joining me and Alan Tyers throughout the day and enjoy the rest of your weekends.
OVER 43: ENG 114/2 (Cook 46* Root 29*) – England lead by 154
Bumrah around the wicket draws a prod from Cook, who plays and misses. Super ball. Moved a lot. Cook then abs a single to get himself off strike – possibly for the rest of the day. Root sees out the rest of the over and takes a single off the last ball to see England through to the close of play.
Cook’s final innings continues…
Right, we’re into the final over of the day…
Looking good for England, currently. Root not happy with his decision to play that shot. Bumrah to bowl.
OVER 42: ENG 112/2 (Cook 45* Root 28*) – England lead by 152
Jadeja’s last over and he starts it to Root, the right-hander. Would prefer it to Cook, probably. With all that rough.
Still, Root nearly gets out to a skiddy delivery outside off, trying to cut off his off stump and missing.
OVER 41: ENG 112/2 (Cook 45* Root 28*) – England lead by 152
A single for Cook then a single for Root before Bumrah bowls a big swinging wide one outside off that the keeper fails to stop. Four byes. Moved a lot after pitching, though.
England’s lead now above 150 and the 50 partnership for these two at 3.75 runs. Cook 18, Root 28.
Two more overs left?
OVER 40: ENG 106/2 (Cook 44* Root 27*) – England lead by 146
Jadeja should have stayed on in my opinion. Anyway, here he is again, bowling with decent pace, aiming for the rough. Cook gets a single of the last ball. 10 minutes left in the day.
OVER 39: ENG 105/2 (Cook 43* Root 27*) – England lead by 145
As we move towards the closing moments of the day England are steadily extending their advantage. 37 runs for no wickets in the last 10 overs, Root’s four boundaries and his 23 from 27 have helped the rate.
The ball is going to be changed again, I think. I have lost count of the amount of times that has happened in this Test. Anyway, more ball changes than tennis and we start the over.
Root is being targeted for an LBW here by the Indian bowlers. The new ball swings a fair amount first up. Too much and down leg side, really. Pant takes well to his left.
Bumrah tries the same the next ball, it doesn’t swing as much, Root moves across to off and forward and clips it hard through square leg for four. Lovely stuff.
England in a good position. If they lose no more wickets today then a very good one.
OVER 38: ENG 101/2 (Cook 43* Root 23*)
A thick outside edge from an attempted cover drive gets Root a boundary as it goes well wide of the slips for four. Lucky. The next shot is much, much better as he stands and delivers a straight drive down to the long on boundary. Superbly timed.
That shot brings England’s 100 up and takes the lead to 140.
Another single for Root gives him the strike next over.
OVER 37: ENG 92/2 (Cook 43* Root 14*)
Bumrah continues, so Cook’s worries about playing from the rough end for now. We have 8 overs remaining and about 25 minutes to play. If England can get through to stumps only two down they will be very happy with their position.
Cook works it onto the leg side for two and then a single. No demons in the pitch when facing the seamers, well though they have bowled. Root whips one into the leg side for a single to keep strike and move to 14 off 20. Textbook Root. He’ll be into the thirties before you know it and out in the 60s shortly after…
OVER 36: ENG 88/2 (Cook 40* Root 13*)
The sun comes out in south London. Cook and Root rotate the strike but Cook takes a single off the penultimate ball to move into the 40s.
Mohammed Shami on from the Pavilion End
Can a change of end change his luck? Ironic that after so many plays and misses it’s a player leaving one to be bowled that gets him his only wicket of the Test so far.
OVER 35: ENG 85/2 (Cook 38* Root 12*)
Bumrah bowls an away seamer and gets Cook to push at one, no contact. Cook takes a single off the next and final ball of the over to deny Bumrah a maiden.
Jadeja close to back foot no balling?
Hate to bring this up again but I got called for a back foot no ball this season, playing in the Victoria Park Community Cricket League, bowling my off-spin. Slightly embarrassing, I admit. Not quite Test standard, that league. We were bowled out for 40 and the team chased it down in 2.3 overs…
OVER 34: ENG 84/2 (Cook 37* Root 12*)
Jadeja to continue spinning it from the rough and into the pads of the left-hander Cook who is keen to get forward to him.
OVER 33: ENG 83/2 (Cook 36* Root 12*)
Cook plays across the line and gets a leading edge off Bumrah, the ball flies off the bat, into the air through gulley…where there are no fielders. A bit of trouble for the England batsmen at the moment.
11 overs left after this one…a wicket or two wouldn’t be a surprise at the moment. Cook plays and misses outside off, the outgoing opener is looking a little shaky at current. Not the first false shot from him today. He takes a couple more and a single to move to 36 and to stretch England’s lead to 123.
OVER 32: ENG 78/2 (Cook 32* Root 11*)
Cook plays an aggressive shot first up and gets an inside edge. An ugly shot.
Jadeja spins another one off the pitch to Cook and it flies up into the air off something…dropped by Kohli at short leg. He had it but he dropped it as his elbow hit the ground on the way down. But it wasn’t off the bat anyway. Noooo worries.
OVER 31: ENG 75/2 (Cook 30* Root 10*)
Cook gets in on the run-scoring action with a nice three off the legs off Bumrah out to midwicket. That takes him to 100 runs for the test, the first time he has scored more than 100 runs in a test since his 244* in Melbourne in December last year. The time before that? With his 243 against the Windies in August last year.
Root sees out the rest of the over without scoring but with looking busy.
OVER 30: ENG 72/2 (Cook 27* Root 10*)
Root cuts away a loose, short delivery outside off by Jadeja through backward point for four. Root then repeats the act forward of point off a slightly fuller ball two balls later. Second one wasn’t quite as bad a ball though. Root won’t hang around, I suspect.
England lead by 112 runs.
OVER 29: ENG 64/2 (Cook 27* Root 2*)
Suspect Telegraph columnist Mr Boycott will be fuming at that Moeen dismissal. A loose drive from the rough with England’s lead just over a hundred. Cook sees out a maiden from Sharma without too much alarm aside from being hit on the thigh pad.
OVER 28: ENG 64/2 (Cook 27* Root 2*)
Jadeja spun and bounced one into Moeen’s midriff from the rough a couple of deliveries before and he stuck with that line for that wicket. Moeen played a little loosely at that one, to be honest. It was hardly a solid defence.
Great delivery helped by the surface. That brings Root to the crease, who is on a pair and gets off from it second ball with a two.
Moeen b Jadeja 20 (52)
Jadeja gets one to spin into the rough outside off and bowls Moeen all ends up.
OVER 27: ENG 59/1 (Cook 24* Moeen 20*)
England’s lead approaching 100.
The pitch still looks decent but India’s seamers have bowled well again. It’s only day three, though. Moeen Ali moves into the 20s off 49 balls. It took him a lot longer to do that in his first innings. He will be important with the bat here but perhaps more important with the ball if England can manage a half-decent second innings total.
England lead by 99.
OVER 26: ENG 57/1 (Cook 23* Moeen 19*)
England going okay here, solid-ish stuff with the odd attacking shot. Moeen unfurls a safe sweep behind square the most notable thing of the over. Two from it.
OVER 25: ENG 55/1 (Cook 22* Moeen 18*)
Dropped! Moeen goes at a wide one off Sharma, flashes a thick edge hard into the hands of Rahul at second slip and it goes down and for four! It went quickly and was in his eye-line but it’s an 8 or 9 out of tenner, especially for a slipper of Rahul’s quality.
Ishant is unhappy.
OVER 24: ENG 51/1 (Cook 22* Moeen 14*)
Good evening, I’ll be here to take you through to stumps.
After some dilly-dallying about the ball we finally get this over underway. It was changed and then inspected further. Not sure what all the fuss was about but there you go. It had obviously gone a little out of shape.
Cook sneaks a single off Jadeja to take England to 50. Moeen takes a single off the last ball to keep the strike.
OVER 23: ENG 49/1 (Cook 21* Moeen 13*)
Ishant Sharma comes on to replace the luckless Shami. Well, almost luckless: he did get Jennings. Does that count as a wicket? Getting some lift here off a length. I am going to take this opportunity to hand you over to Luke Slater for the rest of the day. G’orn, Alastair! Cheers.
OVER 21: ENG 48/1 (Cook 21* Moeen 12*)
Runs! Ali carves through the gully, streaky, but four. Cook though pings one down the ground, nice shot.
Poor old Pant has clanged another one, chalk up another bye.
OVER 20: ENG 38/1 (Cook 16* Moeen 8*)
Runs coming thick and fast now, no fewer than four in this over from Jadeja. Cook beaten sweeping. Fortunately for Cook/for India they cannot review this lbw situation.
OVER 19: ENG 34/1 (Cook 15* Moeen 5*)
Cook beaten again! What does Shami have to do? Finally some respite for ANC as Shami serves up a relatively tame ball, Cook donks it past point for a couple. Normal service is soon resumed: Shami beats Cook outside off. Feels like the bowlers on both sides have not had the luck in this match.
OVER 17: ENG 32/1 (Cook 13* Moeen 5*)
England becalmed. Cook has yet to score this session. He’s stuck at Shami’s end, and Shami is giving him a torrid time. Three balls this over seam away from Cook, beating him comprehensively. Shami could have had the veteran opener out half a dozen times so far this afternoon.
Three maidens in a row, harbinger of wickety doom.
OVER 16: ENG 32/1 (Cook 13* Moeen 5*)
Bumrah comes on. Starts with a couple of looseners down the leg. Moeen comfortable enough in a modest over.
OVER 15: ENG 32/1 (Cook 13* Moeen 5*)
Mohammed Shami is producing some high class seam bowling here. Cook prods, misses, survives. Maiden.
WICKET! Jennings b Mohammed Shami 10
Oh it’s horrible from Jennings. Horrible. He leaves the ball, it seams back in and smashes into middle and off. FOW 27/0
Grim viewing, to go with turning the ball into the hands of leg slip in the first dig and dropping Bumrah earlier on today, it’s another wretched match for Jennings, poor lad.
People who don’t know where Keaton Jennings’s off stump is:
— Ali Martin (@Cricket_Ali) September 9, 2018
Be interesting to see how Ed Smith handles this. I guess that retirement of Cook means that Jennings is more likely to cling on.
OVER 12: ENG 27/0 (Cook 13* Jennings 7*)
India have blown another review! It’s Jadeja from over the wicket, it turns out of the rough and it hits Cook on the back foot. Again India ask for the review, again it looks unwise, and again they lose it.
When you see where Jadeja is bowling it from, it becomes even less likely that this is going to hit him in-line, right?
OVER 11: ENG 27/0 (Cook 13* Jennings 7*)
Mohammed Shami produces a peach, which beats Jennings. It also beats the hapless keeper Pant as well, going for four byes. That’s 30 byes so far in the match.
OVER 10: ENG 23/0 (Cook 13* Jennings 7*)
It looks like it will be Jadeja to get us going from the Pavilion End… and second ball, Jennings is hit on the pad sweeping. Given not out, but India review. This does not look a good review to me, and Kohli doesn’t look exactly confident. It’s soon clear why.
That’s a poor review from India. He is hit outside the line, and frankly how could he not be? Kohli is at short midwicket. Michael Atherton says that Rahane, the vice captain at slip, and Pant the keeper should have given better advice there. David Lloyd is speculating that some players do not know the actual laws of the game.
The players will be out shortly
Can Cook make sure he gets a chance to take this walk again tomorrow?
TEA: England 20/0 (Cook 13* Jennings 7*)
England lead by 60. Both of these batsmen are lucky to be there, but that’s the game. Let’s see if Cook can give us one last big ‘un. See you shortly.
OVER 9: ENG 20/0 (Cook 13* Jennings 7*) lead by 40 on first innings
The batsmen trade singles. In this, the last over before tea, Shami gives Cook as tough an exam as he has had in his wonderful, long career. Three in a row angle in and fizz away. Beaten, beaten, beaten, like an MP in his private adult leisure time. But Cook lays a bat on the last one, grins broadly and strides off for a cuppa. Me too.
OVER 8: ENG 18/0 (Cook 12* Jennings 6*) lead by 40 on first innings
Jadeja, buoyed perhaps by his batting heroics, is given an early bowl and lasers in right away on that rough. Big ripper spits and hits Jennings in the breadbasket.
OVER 7: ENG 16/0 (Cook 11* Jennings 5*) lead by 40 on first innings
Mo Shammi comes on and this is a first-rate over, apart from one ball on the Cook pads that he clips for four.
Crikey, this is a close one! Cook’s heart must have been in his mouth here. Hit just outside the line but he was well foxed there.
Sends the next ball snaking past Cook’s prod. Gulp.
OVER 6: ENG 10/0 (Cook 5* Jennings 5*) lead by 40 on first innings
Keaton suive la mode Alastaire, clipping off the pads for three.
OVER 5: ENG 6/0 (Cook 4* Jennings 2*) lead by 40 on first innings
Jennings plants a single into the covers. And now Cook gets one that he can shovel off his pads, four runs to leg. How many times have we seen that? That’s 2219 runs he has scored off his hip in Tests! I wonder if that is the single most productive shot in the history of Tests?
OVER 4: ENG 1/0 (Cook 0* Jennings 1*) lead by 40 on first innings
Ooh, Cookie! He’s following Ishant’s deliveries across him… And now he’s thick edged one past the gully.
OVER 3: ENG 1/0 (Cook 0* Jennings 1*) lead by 40 on first innings
Four outswingers/across the left-hander from Bumrah. Here’s the pay-off, ball five, the inswinger. Keaton, on this occasion, is equal to it. Bumrah smiles. Jennings smiles. Kohli smiles.
OVER 2: ENG 1/0 (Cook 0* Jennings 1*) lead by 40 on first innings
Blimey, Keaton Jennings. Beaten outside off by Sharma first ball. Pinned in front by one that jags back second ball, saved on the height. He survives the over, singling off the last ball.
OVER 1: ENG 0/0 (Cook 0* Jennings 0*) lead by 40 on first innings
Nasty ball first up, a bit of jag to it at good pace, slaps Cook on the thigh pad. Third ball is across the bows, Cook fiddles and misses. Squared up again by the fifth ball. I wouldn’t bet on a Cook ton right now… I’m not sure I’d bet on Cook double figures in fact. Still. He survives the first over.
A tremendous standing ovation
The Indian team join in the applause. Nice moment. What a superb player he has been.
Jasprit Bumrah will bowl.
India all out for 292. England lead by 40
Well, that was a very satisfactory three and a quarter hours work for India. Resuming on 174/6, they were up against it, and they would definitely have taken a first innings deficit of 40. They owe their good position to some disciplined, promising batting from debutant Hanuma Vihari (56*) and an 86* from Ravi Jadeja that was by turns dogged, enterprising, flamboyant and provocative. What a man.
WICKET! Bumrah run out 0
Oh, shame for India – and for Ravi Jadeja as well, whose highest Test score of 90 was surely within reach. Jadeja plays out five dot balls against Ali, tries to pinch a single off the last ball (something he has done well), but Bumrah is never at the races here and Broad runs him out by a street. FOW 292/10
OVER 94: IND 292/9 (Jadeja 86* Bumrah 0*) replying to 332
Another little papercut for Rashid: Root takes him off and brings on Broad, with Bumrah on strike. I don’t think Joe Root rates Adil Rashid. Broad produces a couple of big inswingers, both sliding down. Bummers blocks another one, solid defence, solid citizen. And same again off the last ball. Well batted lad. Maiden.
OVER 93: IND 292/9 (Jadeja 86* Bumrah 0*) replying to 332
Another change: Ali on in place of Anderson. Rips one past Ravi’s bat. He tries to get a single, but he cannot. We will have drinks, and then Jasprit Bumrah will be on strike. India trail by 40
Keaton Jennings currently running at -8 this Test (23 scored minus runs his drop of Bumrah have cost). Will he be in debit by the end of his second innings?
— Chris Stocks (@StocksC_cricket) September 9, 2018
OVER 92: IND 292/9 (Jadeja 86* Bumrah 0*) replying to 332
That’s the lot from Broad. Rashid back on. Jadeja faces four dots. Single off the fifth. Rashid will have one ball at Bumrah. Bummers defends doggedly, his bat crunching the ball into the turf and killing it dead. Thirsty work, apparently – he has taken a drink! Even though we have a drinks break coming up. Umpires tell India to get on with it, Jadeja points out that Root is taking an age to set the field.
Slow old work, this. 23 minutes to bowl the last four overs.
OVER 91: IND 291/9 (Jadeja 85* Bumrah 0*) replying to 332
Jadeja turns down singles off the first two balls. Now he bunts it down the ground, and runs hard for two. Heaves across the line now, and the ball beats Sam Curran for four. Fifth ball, Jimmy tries a bouncer, Jadeja goes for the hook, mistimes it and it plugs into the ground at mid on. Could they have run three there? Perhaps. They settle for two. Can Anderson keep Jadeja down that end? No he cannot! Ravi Jadeja pinches a single, pinches the strike, and I bet Alastair Cook is on tenterhooks. England really want rid of this partnership: it’s already worth 31, off 31 balls. Burmah has scored zero of them and has faced just seven balls.
OVER 90: IND 282/9 (Jadeja 76* Bumrah 0*) replying to 332
Broad looking for the yorker. Jadeja digs it out. He’s beaten twice in this over, but manages to swat away a four to leg nevertheless. Root, Broad and Anderson having regular chats, and they’ve got a few headaches. The lead is down to fifty, the ball’s not doing a lot and Jadeja is looking dangerous.
OVER 89: IND 275/9 (Jadeja 71* Bumrah 0*) replying to 332
Yes Ravi! He’s enjoying this, and it’s a good spectacle for those watching. Turns down a single, and now mullers Anderson down the ground for six! What an entertaining player this man is. And he pinches the strike last ball of the over..
This knock is bringing India back on terms in the game. And it would not be a surprise to see a third innings skittling for the English… I fancy India here at 100-30.
OVER 88: IND 268/9 (Jadeja 64* Bumrah 0*) replying to 332
Double change, Broad. New ball. Bumrah on strike. Down leg, Jadeja tries to run a bye to the keeper, Bumrah doesn’t and there’s nearly a mix-up. Luckily for Jadeja, the throw is weak. Bumrah, more by luck than judgement manages to survive the over. Hit on the arm guard. Backs away from a bumper that follows him spitefully, Thommo style. Now he leaves a hooping inswinger and is lucky not to be castled.
OVER 87: IND 268/9 (Jadeja 64* Bumrah 0*) replying to 332
Anderson comes on. Still with the old ball. Handy over for the tourists. Jadeja drives a full ball away for a couple to point, clips it off the pads for a couple, and now slices through the slip region for four.
OVER 86: IND 260/9 (Jadeja 56* Bumrah 0*) replying to 332
Dropped!Bumrah’s first ball, last one of the over, it’s the googler, it takes the inside edge and Keaton Jennings has dropped it at silly point. Yet another blot in the copybook of the Johannesburg-born struggler.
WICKET! Shami c Broad b Rashid 1
Very poor cricket from Shami. Jadeja is just starting to put the hammer down, Ravi has walloped Rashid for a four before taking a single. Shami’s job should be just to stay there and let Jadeja have as much of the strike as possible. Instead, he goes for a big slog against the googly, doesn’t pick it, but he does pick out Stuart Broad at mid on. Stuart has been stationed there for just such an eventuality, and he takes a smart low catch. FOW 260/9 and I expect that Virat will be giving Shami a few choice words on his return to the rooms.
OVER 85: IND 254/8 (Jadeja 51* Shami 0*) replying to 332
Moeen. Jadeja hits the last ball of the over for four, bringing up his fifty. By way of celebration, he whirls and twirls his bat like a sword. He is a sort of Errol Flynn-ish character, Sir Jadeja.
OVER 84: IND 250/8 (Jadeja 47* Shami 0*) replying to 332
Rashid. Jadeja turns down a single off the third ball, takes it off the fifth. Ravi is batting in a cap now. He is very cool.
OVER 83: IND 246/8 (Jadeja 46* Shami 0*) replying to 332
Mohammed Shami comes in and survives the last ball of the over.
WICKET! Ishant c Bairstow b Moeen 4
Appeal for LBW first ball. Umpire says no and England decide not to review. Replays show umpires call. But Moeen does take a wicket moments later, getting the outside edge of Sharma. Bairstow does the rest. FOW 249/8
OVER 82: IND 246/7 (Jadeja 43* Ishant 4*) replying to 332
Rashid zips one down the legside and Bairstow does well to take the ball. Doesn’t look to be too much turn for the leg-spinner, though difficult to tell with a varied line. Two singles from the over.
OVER 81: IND 244/7 (Jadeja 42* Ishant 3*) replying to 332
Ishant Sharma gets a good stride in to Moeen and nudges the fourth ball into the off-side to take another single. The cap-wearing Jadeja cuts a shorter ball square for one, before Moeen squares Ishant up. His outside edge is safe and a third run for the over. India now trail by 88.
OVER 80: IND 241/7 (Jadeja 41* Ishant 1*) replying to 332
Rashid starts things off after lunch, with only a leg bye off the final ball conceded. New ball available, but Moeen Ali to resume at the other end.
Play about to resume…
…Ed Smith has been talking about his role on TMS. A few questions at the end:
Would you consider two new openers?
Would you rest players this winter?
“No decisions have been made on the make-up of the winter tour. It is something we would consider mapping out with senior players, what is the best way to manage. However, if the medical advice and the players and selectors are all aligned then perhaps we stick.”
Do you know any more about the Ben Stokes disciplinary hearing?
Smith says no more than is already out in the public domain.
He adds: “We’re still getting better. I look up and I see players aged 27/28 with their best years ahead.”
LUNCH: India 240/7 (Jadeja 41* Ishant 1*)
A good recovery from India. That’s their session: just one wicket in the morning’s play: 66 runs added for the loss of just one wicket, that of the debutant Vihari, who played nicely for a half-century. Moeen eventually did for him. England’s big two bowled well without luck first up. India have cut the England lead to 92, well done to Ravi Jadeja as well for a responsible 41*.
The new ball is due though, and England could reasonably hope to get rid of the tail in a warm order after lunch. I’ll see you just before 13.40.
OVER 79: IND 240/7 (Jadeja 41* Ishant 1*) replying to 332
Ravi takes a single third ball, Ishant survives the next two, and sweeps gamely off the last ball of the over. That’s lunch.
OVER 78: IND 238/7 (Jadeja 40* Ishant 0*) replying to 332
Rashid comes back on, England will fancy him to sort Ishant out pronto. Sure enough, he’s beaten him with a snorter second ball of the over. Jadeja needs the physio on: he has got cramp in his wrist. Delay now. Rashid gives Ishant the googly last ball of the over, he does not pick it, he plays back, but luckily for him it started too straight and it spins down the legside.
OVER 77: IND 237/7 (Jadeja 39* Ishant 0*) replying to 332
Nicely bowled from Moeen! Arm ball first up to Ishant, who hasnae got a scooby about that one. England will be hoping to send the lanky seamer back to the hutch in time for his lunch.
A top score of just 31* for Ishant in his 87 Tests, averaging 8.17, he’s probably a place higher on the card than India would like at nine.
WICKET! Vihari c Bairstow b Moeen Ali 56
but he reviews. He doesn’t look very confident. “I have no reason to overturn the decision based on the evidence I have,” says the third umpire, there’s a noise, it looks like curtains for young master Vihari and a very encouraging knock comes to an end. Well bowled Moeen, he got that into the rough and did the business. FOW 237/7
OVER 76: IND 234/6 (Vihari 56* Jadeja 36*) replying to 332
Time for a bit of Sam Curran. Leaks three singles off the first three balls as he struggles to find the right location for the left-hand / right-hand combo. Settles down now though with three good length balls in the channel to the right-hander Vihari.
OVER 75: IND 231/6 (Vihari 55* Jadeja 34*)
Strange shot from Vihari here, Stokes with the bouncer. Vihari ducks, sticks up the periscope and tries to donk it over the keeper. Misses.
OVER 74: IND 230/6 (Vihari 55* Jadeja 33*)
England, not before time, give Moeen a silly point as well as a short leg. But they’re all spectating as Vihari pings a nice slog sweep for four.
OVER 73: IND 224/6 (Vihari 50* Jadeja 32*)
Good contest in this over between two crackerjacks: Stokes is disgusted with himself as he dishes up a short, wide one to Jadeja. Ravi slaps it through point for four. Stokes comes back at him with a bouncer later in the over, and a spicy meatball it is too.
OVER 72: IND 220/6 (Vihari 50* Jadeja 28*)
Adil Rashid can have a well-earned rest (ahem): four overs either side of drinks for him. Instead, it is Moeen Ali. he’s getting some turn. Seems to be asking more questions of the right-hander Vihari than Adil did. Turn, and a bit of hustle on the ball.
OVER 71: IND 220/6 (Vihari 50* Jadeja 28*)
Stokes to Jadeja review for caught behind. Given not out, but England really like it. Root and Stokes slap palms together in triumph, they seem sure. Well, they are wrong. Clear daylight.
Earlier in the over, Vihari took a single to bring up his half century. Well batted. England a bit dozy with their fielding there, they should all have been in on the one…
OVER 70: IND 219/6 (Vihari 49* Jadeja 28*)
Three off the Rashid over. Vihari’s moved on to 49 with an edge to third man and a firm push into the covers.
No immediate joy with this replacement ball.
OVER 69: IND 216/6 (Vihari 46* Jadeja 28*)
After one ball of the Stokes over, the umpires decide that they should change the ball. England I assume have been kvetching about the shape of it, although I didn’t actually see that myself.
Vihari, though, is soon creaming the new cherry to the cover boundary with an attractive square drive.
OVER 67: IND 207/6 (Vihari 39* Jadeja 26*)
Stokes is the man who will open up after the interval. It’s a maiden to kick us off with. Ends the over with a bumper to Vihari.
Broad’s off the field by the way.
OVER 66: IND 207/6 (Vihari 39* Jadeja 26*)
Couple of singles off the Rashid over, that takes us up to drinks, and India will be well pleased with the morning so far.
They’ve cut the lead to 125 without loss.
OVER 65: IND 204/6 (Vihari 38* Jadeja 25*)
Jimmy’s going to go again. Over the wicket to Ravi. Just one off the over, no dramas.
OVER 64: IND 204/6 (Vihari 38* Jadeja 24*)
And it is indeed Rashid. A useful, tidy over. Two of the first three are googlies, but I think Vihari picked them okay.
Rob Key, on Sky comms, is telling a story about “my mate Nev”, who plays for Beckenham. Nev bats 8, doesn’t bowl, but is a smashing lad who is happy to do all the away games (some of the better cricketers cannot get away from family etc every Saturday). Rob is suggesting that there’s a Nevish quality to Rashers, who must surely have had one of the lightest workloads ever in a five Test series.
He’s bowled 63 overs in five Tests, taking a useful seven wickets at 33. He’s made 99 runs at 16.5 with a top score of 33*.
OVER 63: IND 204/6 (Vihari 38* Jadeja 24*)
Ticklish problem unfolding here for Joe. Anderson and Broad have been a constant threat, but they haven’t made the breakthrough. Who should he turn to? I’d like to see Rashid: maybe the change of scenery can tempt Jadeja into something rash?
He continues with Anderson for now. Jadeja guides it through the slips for four, legit shot. But next ball, he wafts, and thick edges past third slip. Four for each shot.
OVER 62: IND 196/6 (Vihari 38* Jadeja 16*)
Runs! Broad, straining for inswinger, ends up with half volley. It’s very wide, but Vihari manages to extend his arms and time it sweetly through the covers. And there’s a second boundary later in the over, when he finds the edge, but Vihari’s luck is in: it lands a yard short of, and perfectly bisects, Root and Cook at second and first slip.
OVER 61: IND 186/6 (Vihari 29* Jadeja 15*)
Jadeja leaves on length, the ball seams back but sails over the top. Another play and a miss against Anderson. England have had the luck in this match so far, but India enjoying some fortune of their own this morning.
OVER 60: IND 186/6 (Vihari 29* Jadeja 15*)
Broad puts a man back for the hook, but keeps it on a length. This tactic is a bluff, but is often for some reason mistakenly called a double bluff by cricket types. I don’t know why. Anyhow, Sir Jadeja, who I bet plays a good game of poker, is not buying.
India have scored 12 in 9 overs this morning and are fighting hard.
OVER 59: IND 185/6 (Vihari 29* Jadeja 14*)
Anderson finds the edge of Vihari’s bat, but he’s played with soft hands. Lands short of slips.
OVER 58: IND 185/6 (Vihari 29* Jadeja 14*)
Vihari plays an inswinger nicely for a single. This batting pair can be proud of how they’ve battled this morning. Haven’t just thrown their hands up in the air and said ‘stuff it’, gone down swinging.
OVER 57: IND 184/6 (Vihari 28* Jadeja 14*)
Jimmy comes around the wicket to Ravi. Conventional swing. Cuts him in half!
Ball’s almost doing too much for the England pair. Holding suggesting that Anderson could consider coming a bit wider on the crease to try a different angle. But Jim has his ways.
OVER 56: IND 183/6 (Vihari 27* Jadeja 14*)
Broad produces pretty much the perfect ball to Ravi: full, swings late, beats Jadeja. Next delivery, he finds the edge! But it falls short of slip. Broad, now looking for the inswinger maybe, strays onto the leg stump and Ravi, fair play to him, tucks that away for the first four of the day. Good shot.
OVER 55: IND 178/6 (Vihari 26* Jadeja 10*)
Jadeja a very long way from settled but less obvious alarms in this maiden. Anderson in formidable form.
OVER 54: IND 178/6 (Vihari 26* Jadeja 10*)
Broad is all over Jadeja. Perfect line, doing enough. Beaten. Beaten again! That’s 43 play-and-misses in the Indian innings so far. Good stat from Sky. Nasser: “I don’t think I have seen a Test match where there have been more.”
OVER 53: IND 177/6 (Vihari 26* Jadeja 10*)
Anderson with an over of the highest quality. What a bowler this man is. He’s got that outswinger on a string. Vihari edges the first ball short of the slips. Beaten neck and crop by three further deliveries in the maiden over. Couple of outswingers and then one that seems to swing in before holding its line. Vihari, no offence, not good enough to get an edge.
OVER 52: IND 177/6 (Vihari 26* Jadeja 10*)
Vihari gets a single second ball. Broad brings in a gully for Sir Jadeja, and that man (Keaton Jennings) is soon in the game with a half stop as Ravi plays it loosely. Now Broad, who is finding some wobble with the ball – conventional swing, not reverse (I think) – beats him comprehensively with one that angles in and then leaves the left-handed Jadeja.
The players are out on the pitch
He’s good, Harbie
Enjoyed his punditry this summer. Some good stuff right now on the telly about Moeen tightening up his action over the last year or two. Singh says that Moeen used to bowl leaning away from the pitch, with his bowling arm flapping about. Now he’s getting more of his body behind the ball in his delivery stride.
Here’s a bit of Ben Stokes news
Ben Stokes will finally face a cricket disciplinary hearing on December 5, four months after he was cleared of affray at Bristol Crown Court.
Atherton on Cook
“I think batting is mentally tougher than a lot of other activities in professional sport. You fail more often than you succeed in batting and that is very mentally demanding, how you deal with that. Alastair has a life away from cricket and is not on social media, so he has been able to park his cricket.”
If you have Sky Sports Cricket
Then there’s an excellent in-depth interview with Cook on right now, talking through his highs and lows. What a top fellow he is.
Tyers here, day three of the Test coming up. It’s a pleasant enough day in London, mild, quite cloudy, and England will be begin with every confidence of knocking over these remaining Indian batsmen and securing a lead. The tourists will resume on 174/6, a hefty 158 runs in arrears. Their not out men are the debutant Hanuma Vihari, who has 25*, and their flamboyant all-rounder Ravi Jadeja, who has made 8*.
At some point today, and (from the English point of view) the sooner the better, Alastair Nathan Cook will come to the crease for the last time in Tests. If you will forgive a little sentimentality, I for one should like to see him make a score.
A very enjoyable duel between Kohli and Anderson this summer, it seems fair to say that those two don’t like each other much. And an enjoyable piece by Nick Hoult on them here.
James Anderson has thrown everything at Virat Kohli this summer and it has been riveting to watch but once again he had to be content for someone else to steal his glory with Ben Stokes claiming the prized wicket to tip the fifth Test England’s way.
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