A surprise bowling change, and it works second ball! Moeen, probably brought on to bowl at the left-handed Jadeja, decides to dish up a beauty to the right-handed Shami, drifting away, turning back in and bowling him through the gate. England are in dreamland again: it’s back to day one.
94th over: India 253-6 (Jadeja 8, Shami 6) The finger goes up again! Only to be overturned on review. Robinson thinks he’s got another five-for as Shami plays all round a full nip-backer, but HawkEye reckons it was doing too much and would have missed the leg bail. Shami, who somehow turned into a decent tailender at Lord’s, cashes in with a tuck for two and a glance for four. India trail by 101.
93rd over: India 247-6 (Jadeja 8, Shami 0) Jadeja pushes Anderson crisply down the ground for four, just to remind everyone that there’s one decent batter left. Then he too edges, at catchable height, and he would be out if there was a gully. Even when his opponents are reeling at minus 100 for six, Joe Root shies away from all-out attack.
92nd over: India 239-6 (Jadeja 0, Shami 0) So England have got down to the Indian tail already. The game needs it to wag, even more than it did at Lord’s, but the momentum says that’s unlikely.
Wicket!! Pant c Overton b Robinson 2 (India 239-6)
Pant goes too! A regulation edge to third slip, where Overton demonstrates his no-fuss all-round skills. What a morning for England: scrap those pessimistic calculations, they are storming to 1-1 here.
91st over: India 239-5 (Pant 1, Jadeja 0) India are in a deep hole now: all their glue has gone, with the possible exception of Jadeja. Pant can produce the pyrotechnics, and knock off the 115-run deficit, but who’s going to stick around to give them the extra 130-odd on top of that that they need to have a faint chance of a win?
That, by the way, was Jimmy Anderson’s 400th Test wicket at home. Before him, no English seamer had got 400 all over the world.
Wicket! Rahane c Buttler b Anderson 10 (India 239-5)
One brings three! It’s a classic Anderson delivery, of the kind that the batsmen have been missing this morning – but now Rahane gets a nibble, and Jos Buttler does the rest. That’s drinks, with England all over India, as Shane Warne once said, like a cheap soup.
90th over: India 237-4 (Rahane 9, Pant 0) So both the well-set batters are back in the dressing-room. And now we have the most explosive player in the Indian line-up – the guy who likes to dance down the track to the fast bowlers. Stay tuned!
Wicket!!! KOHLI c Root b Robinson 55 (India 237-4)
Got him now! And it’s not Anderson, it’s Ollie Robinson again, jagging one away off a good length to give Joe Root a reasonably straightforward catch to his left at first slip. That’s not the big one – it’s the absolutely huge one.
Fifty to Kohli!!
Up at Robinson’s end for once, Kohli clips for four to reach fifty off 120 balls, his first chance to wave a bat this series. He’s been immensely determined, and disciplined. Now his team just need another hundred from him.
89th over: India 229-3 (Kohli 47, Rahane 9) Kohli has been either leaving, defending or missing against Anderson, but now he finally finds a single, pushing into the covers off the first ball of the over. And it’s Rahane’s turn to play and miss. If his bat was an inch wider, he’d be gone.
88th over: India 228-3 (Kohli 46, Rahane 9) Robinson v Rahane is now just a sideshow, fine cricketers though they are. This over is five dots and another drive for four, through the covers this time.
87th over: India 224-3 (Kohli 46, Rahane 5) This is a fabulous over, a cracking little episode of The Anderson-Kohli Show. First, a caption tells us that Kohli has left 45 per cent of the deliveries he’s received in this innings, compared to 28pc earlier in the series. Then Anderson beats him again – with an even better outswinger, because it was closer to off stump, no chance of leaving that. And then, finally, Jimmy produces the inswinger, beats the inside edge, and goes up for LBW! But it’s a touch high. They don’t review, and HawkEye says they were right not to – going over middle. Then comes the big appeal for caught behind, and Kohli is almost on his way, until Rahane says you’ve got to review that. So a great over bears no fruit. Anderson is so good, and so old, that he may be about to be offered a contract by Manchester United.
NOT OUT! Kohli survives
The bat clipped the pad! “Clear daylight,” as the TV umpire says.
Wicket? KOHLI given c Buttler b Anderson 46
The big one! But he’s reviewing…
86th over: India 224-3 (Kohli 46, Rahane 5) And now we get the first four of the morning – an off drive from Rahane off Robinson, not thumped, just eased, the shot of a player in better form than he was before that long vigil at Lord’s.
85th over: India 219-3 (Kohli 45, Rahane 1) Rahane gets off the mark with a push into the covers, the first scoring stroke of the morning in the fifth over. Anderson finally gets the line of his outswinger right – fourth stump, not fifth – and has Kohli playing at thin air, the first dent in the imperial armour.
A thoughtful email comes in from Tom van der Gucht. “Watching the Blast last night, I briefly became confused as to why Jake Lintott was bowling for rather than against Birmingham.” I watched it too – wasn’t he great? “It struck me how invested I’d become in individual players rather than teams, or rather, franchises. During the final I’d been pumped up for the battle between Livingstone / Ali and Mills / Jordan / Garton / Lintott but couldn’t really care less about which team won.
“Even in the Blast, I was more interested in how Woakes, or Bresnan got on than Birmingham and the same went for willing Crawley on. If I was the ECB, I would focus on marketing this gladiatorial and mercenary aspect of the game as a means of getting more youngsters engaged. There’s been a significant amount of coverage questioning whether people would support made-up teams rather than their counties as they’ll be less likely to form such bonds. Perhaps this is a actually a strength of the format – a strengh that could lead to more international support too.
“By developing a free app that’s similar to the Telegraph’s Fantasy cricket, where people can create their own super teams, they’ll be encouraged to follow more games as their players would be spread across the league rather than just their team – especially if the app updated their points in real-time as you’d want to keep up-to-date with events. The top performers are more likely to gain international recognition which in turn would encourage youngsters to follow their new heroes into other forms of the game too.”
84th over: India 217-3 (Kohli 45, Rahane 0) Well done Mr Robinson, who has 20 wickets in his Test career at an average of just 19. He is now, officially, the best thing since Toby Roland-Jones.
Wicket!! Pujara LBW b Robinson 91 (India 215-3)
The breakthrough! And a good review by England! That was the killer inswinger, hitting off stump 3/4 of the way up, and the only surprise was that umpire Kettleborough didn’t fancy it. The new ball does the trick and Pujara misses out on what would have been a hard-earned hundred.
Review! Pujara not given LBW Robinson
It’s full, there’s no stroke…
83rd over: India 215-2 (Pujara 91, Kohli 45) Anderson is still bowling at fifth stump, as the pros say, and Kohli is still busy leaving the ball well alone. Again, only the sixth ball of the over requires a shot to be played. Is Jimmy up to something? Let’s hope this is the old 13-card trick, with a killer inswinger on its way shortly.
82nd over: India 215-2 (Pujara 91, Kohli 45) At the other end it’s Ollie Robinson, who’s made such an assured start to his Test career but seemed to be running low on fuel last night. He’s still a bit leggy and medium-priced, but his bounce and accuracy mean that no liberties can be taken. Pujara is watchful as ever, but he leaves one that’s too close to the off bail for comfort. In the stand, the trumpeter plays Mrs Robinson in Ollie’s honour, or his mum’s.
81st over: India 215-2 (Pujara 91, Kohli 45) Anderson looks fit, which is a big plus for England, and he’s finding swing with the new ball as you’d expect. But the swing is all outwards and he’s starting wide of off, so Kohli can easily let the ball go until the last delivery, which pitches on middle-and-off. and demands a defensive prod. That’s a maiden, which will warm Jimmy’s stony old heart, still reeling from that spell yesterday of 2-0-20-0.
It’s going to be Jimmy, so here comes another instalment of The Anderson-Kohli Show, season six.
Preamble: proper creekit
Morning everyone and welcome to the fourth day of an absorbing contest. The first two days of this match were action-packed. India collapsed in a heap – when in England, do as the English do – and England, just to be perverse, didn’t, or not until they had piled up a massive lead. Yesterday, though, the age-old rhythms of Test cricket reasserted themselves. Slow, slow, slow-slow, slow.
Finding themselves in a tight corner, where many teams would have flopped again, India lost only two wickets. Cheteshwar Pujara, their most stolid batter, set out his stall and even returned to fluency. Virat Kohli calmed down and carried on. India’s chances of a win, which had been rated at precisely 0 per cent by WinViz, shot up to 5.
England’s chances are still far higher, at 81, but they need to use the new ball well this morning. They were not flattered by their figures yesterday, but then the flattery had been laid on thick on Wednesday. That’s why they call it Test creekit: it’s a stern examination. Today will ask plenty of questions of this largely makeshift attack. Is Jimmy Anderson fit? Is Sam Curran now more of a white-ball cricketer? Can Moeen grab the game by the scruff? Are Robinson and Overton, admirable as they are, a little too alike? We will find out from 11am, UK time.