This article titled “India set England 521 to win third Test on day three – live!” was written by Daniel Harris (earlier) and Rob Smyth (now), for theguardian.com on Monday 20th August 2018 22.31 Asia/Kolkata
2nd over: England 3-0 (Cook 0, Jennings 3) I’ve been digging a bit on Statsguru re: Phil Hawkes’ question below. In the last five years, England have bowled first and conceded 200 or more, never mind 300, in 23 Tests. Their record in those games is sadly abysmal: W2 D3 L18.
Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma goes straight around the wicket to Keaton Jennings, who is beaten by a monstrous delivery that angles in and straightens past the edge.
1st over: England 0-0 (Cook 0, Jennings 0) Jasprit Bumrah opens the bowling to Alastair Cook, who pushes at a good delivery and is beaten. A maiden. India have a bizarre slip cordon, with first slip standing almost behind second slip. “I’ve never seen that before,” says Beefy on Sky Sports.
“When was the last time England won when the other team batted first and got over 300?” asks Phil Hawkes. “In recent times, as soon as the team batting first gets anywhere near a respectable total, the England batting just seems to fold. When the total is titchy, they come out all gung-ho and set about it.”
It’s only happened once since 2012, when Joe Root made that immense – and very aggressive – hundred at Johannesburg in 2016. But they are deadly when the opposition bat first and are bowled out for 60.
England have nine overs to survive tonight, although India could claim the extra half hour.
INDIA HAVE DECLARED
110th over: India 352-7 dec (Pandya 52, Ashwin 1) Virat Kohli has put England out of their misery – well, the first part of their misery. They now need to bat two and a bit days to draw the match, or score 521 to win it.
WICKET! India 349-7 (Shami c Cook b Rashid 3)
Pandya reaches an entertaining run-a-ball fifty, his fourth in Tests, and then Shami slogs Rashid to cow corner. India are going to continue batting, for reasons that are not entirely or even partially clear.
109th over: India 344-6 (Pandya 45, Shami 3) FOR THE LOVE OF TOM’S DINER BY SUZANNE VEGA PLEASE DECLARE.
108th over: India 339-6 (Pandya 44, Shami 1) Shami has been promoted up the order, which suggests Ashwin is still not fully fit. Meanwhile, Pandya swipes Rashid for a huge six over long on, the first of the innings. That takes the lead past 500, but there’s still no sign of a declaration.
“On the advice of an OBO-er earlier in the proceedings, I shelled out for Penguins Stop Play for my Kindle,” says Roger. “Laughed out loud by page two. Others might find it a welcome distraction during these difficult times.”
Oh yes, it’s a brilliant book, although after today’s play I’m in the mood for the relative frivolity of War and Peace.
WICKET! India 329-6 (Rahane b Rashid 29)
Rashid gets another Test wicket, slipping a googly past Rahane’s outside edge and onto off stump.
107th over: India 329-5 (Rahane 29, Pandya 35) Stuart Broad replaces Ben Stokes and is belted for consecutive fours by Pandya, who has raced past his partner Rahane’s score. India lead by 497.
106th over: India 321-5 (Rahane 29, Pandya 27) Stokes is struggling with what looks like a knee problem. “If he was at Newmarket,” says Mikey Holding on Sky, “I wouldn’t be backing him.”
105th over: India 318-5 (Rahane 28, Pandya 25) A wide half-volley from the weary the weary Stokes is screamed over extra cover for four by Pandya, who is having a great time. This match might be a significant breakthrough in his Test career. Or it might not!
104th over: India 313-5 (Rahane 28, Pandya 20) I assume/hope/pray Virat Kohli will declare when the lead gets to 500, but perhaps he’ll choose the old Allan Border approach of batting on and and on and on until a weary opposition barely has the will to live, never mind save a Test match. The lead is 481.
103rd over: India 310-5 (Rahane 28, Pandya 17) Rahane is beaten by an unplayable seaming lifter from Stokes. The ball has done plenty today, and it’ll do even more when England bat. That’s drinks.
“Just cannot believe all the negativity,” sniffs Tom Adam. “It’s all set up for Cooky’s glorious return to form with a majestic Daddy 200 over six sessions, plus the fairy tale of His Holiness’s maiden ton and a redemptive reincarnation of Stokes as the new Brigadier Block. Or it might rain for two days. Keep the faith, Rob!”
With India’s lead pushing 500, this is no time for banter.
102nd over: India 308-5 (Rahane 27, Pandya 16) An unpicked googly from Rashid almost gets through Rahane, and then Pandya blasts a spectacular four over wide mid off.
“Dear Rob and all other doom-mongers out there,” says Jonathan McCauley-Oliver. “Picture, if you will, the scene at half time during the Allies v Germany match in what can only be described as THE BEST FILM EVER – Escape to Victory. Having been on the wrong end of a first half drubbing, at one point 4-0 down, the Allies pulled one back just before the whistle which then led to a heated discussion in the dressing room as to whether to escape down the tunnel (helpfully dug by the French resistance) as was the original plan or go back out and try to win the match. If the OBOers are willing to face down the fervent exhortations of silver screen giants such as Bobby Moore, Russell Osman, Mike Summerbee, John Wark, and (lump in throat time), Pele then so be it. But we can win this. I’m off for a lie down.”
I’ll wake you up when India declare with a 12-0 half-time lead.
101st over: India 303-5 (Rahane 26, Pandya 12) A piece of filth from Stokes is slapped through the covers for four by Rahane to bring up the 300. England are taking one hell of a beating in this match. That said, there have been one or two more soul-crushing OBOs.
100th over: India 298-5 (Rahane 21, Pandya 12) Adil Rashid replaces the luckless Chris Woakes (22-4-49-1), and is dragged over midwicket for two by Rahane. The lead is 466, and I’ll wake you up when India declare.
99th over: India 295-5 (Rahane 18, Pandya 12) Ben Stokes replaces Jimmy Anderson and starts with a wide. Great stuff. Everyone is waiting for India to declare but there’s no sign of it, or of any declaration batting. Rahane has 19 from 69 balls.
98th over: India 292-5 (Rahane 18, Pandya 10) Woakes has bowled some superb outswingers today and produces another to beat Pandya, who then carts a short ball just short of the substitute Jack Blatherwick at third man.
“Considering we’re cartwheeling into abject humiliation (oh, that warm, comforting 1990s jacket), permission to say I’m pretty happy with India actually putting up a fight here, and not just Kohli’s superhuman skills being the reason?” says Guy Hornsby. “I love annihilation as much as the best man, but a whitewash here would’ve really been laughably unrepresentative of where this team really is. It’s funny how hot we can blow, only to collapse like an 18-year old in freshers’ week. ‘Twas ever thus.”
97th over: India 291-5 (Rahane 18, Pandya 9) Pandya improves Anderson’s mood some more by smacking two boundaries, one either side of the wicket. India lead by 459.
96th over: India 282-5 (Rahane 18, Pandya 0) Woakes beats Rahane with a beautiful outswinger from wide on the crease. If the weather is like this tomorrow, England will do well to make 200.
“Surely time for the part timers…” says Charles Sheldrick. “I know the Yarksher brigade will say give them nothing, be miserly, bowl maidens, but to be fair on Anderson and Broad they can’t go on for ever, the runs are irrelevant, we won’t get them but the last thing we need is one of the to get an injury….”
Yes I agree. It’s not injury that would worry me so much as cumulative fatigue.
95th over: India 282-5 (Rahane 18, Pandya 0) “Rob, you have made a couple of observations over the years,” says Digvijay Yadav. “First was at Edgbaston 2015 when in the second innings you said that if Smith scored a hundred he’d make a lot of people eat cake. Does that apply here as well? And second was at Perth 2017, when you suggested that Smith was the best batsman in the world and the only people who disagreed were Indians. Does that still hold true?”
Yes and no. I think this series, and the two in South Africa earlier this year, put Kohli above Smith. During the 2017 Perth Test I just wasn’t able to see the future, and I accept full responsibility for that.
WICKET! India 282-5 (Pant c Cook b Anderson 1)
Jimmy Anderson finally has his first wicket of the inning s, and you should see the smile on his face . Pant pushes tentatively at a fine delivery and edges it straight to first slip, where Cook takes a comfortable catch. Anderson acknowledges the wicket with a few hard-faced high-fives.
94th over: India 282-4 (Rahane 18, Pant 1) The next hour could be fun: Rishabh Pant is the new batsman.
“As a purist I find Kohli’s technical brilliance quite unruly,” says Abhijato Sensarma. “He is tampering with the fate of the game – how can a person single-handedly reignite the passion many fans had seemingly lost for the longest format of the game? Many people might point out that he and I are on the same side of the fight for Test cricket’s development in the modern era, but they will be disillusioned. I would quite like to see how he explains the footage of his near flawless application of mind on the pitch in the press conference. He needs to apologise. And then face the two year ban he deserves!”
WICKET! India 281-4 (Kohli LBW b Woakes 103)
Virat Kohli falls LBW to Chris Woakes. It was a similar dismissal to the one in the second innings at Edbgaston, as he played across the line of a delivery that was angled in from wider on the crease. Kohli reviewed but replays showed it was hitting the outside of leg stump. He walks off to a standing ovation from both sets of supporters, appropriate recognition of a preposterous genius.
93rd over: India 279-3 (Kohli 102, Rahane 17) A maiden from Anderson to Rahane. Anderson’s last 16 overs have gone for only 25 runs.
“If you were India,” says Richard O’Hagan, intriguingly assuming I’m not, “and you knew you had this Test as good as won, wouldn’t you be tempted to bat on until around lunch tomorrow? Most of your batsmen have spent little time in the middle these past few weeks and now seems an ideal time to knock off a few stress-free runs, especially for the newer players like Pandya and Pant.”
I’d definitely bat on, if only to enjoy the comedy of Jimmy’s meltdown.
VIRAT KOHLI GETS HIS 23rd TEST HUNDRED!
92nd over: India 279-3 (Kohli 102, Rahane 17) Kohli softens his hands to edge Woakes to third man for four and reach another immense hundred. After the misery of 2014, this series was always likely to settle his legacy one way or another; it has confirmed him as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket.
91st over: India 275-3 (Kohli 98, Rahane 17) Oh my goodness. Kohli edges Anderson straight through Jennings in a wide slip position. He must have lost sight of the ball because he didn’t even lay a hand on it. Anderson finds Kohli’s edge again with the next delivery, which lands just short of Cook at first slip. Anderson looks like he wants to chin someone, or everyone.
“Having recently been persuaded again that cricket is an exciting sport and well worth watching, albeit via the Guardian commentary due to living in France, the England collapse is staggering,” says Grahame Pigney. “Perhaps it has something to do with a monumental managerial faux-pas in messing with the team dynamic in order to accommodate a ‘star player’. Stokes enforced absence was a motivational factor for the team in the last Test, the same perhaps cannot be said for changing the line up to accommodate his return.”
There are many reasons why England have made a complete Horlicks of this match, but selecting Ben Stokes is not one of them. (In my opinion, etc.) And if it wasn’t for Stokes, they would be about to go 2-1 down in the series. (In my opinion, etc.)
90th over: India 270-3 (Kohli 93, Rahane 17) Chris Woakes comes into the attack after tea. He looks thrilled to be asked to bowl in these circumstances. England are 2-0 up, yet their faces suggest they are 4-0 down. Test cricket > everything else, ever.
“Kudos to David Jameson (88th over) for identifying the source of the ‘Jet’ Morgan nickname,” says Brian Withington. “The year of the great Chemistry lab evacuation at the Royal Liberty (Gidea Park) was in fact 1970 (my first). Our heroic master of the quick getaway had been in post for at least twenty years (possibly fifty!) and would already have been sufficiently long in the tooth by the 50s for the name to appeal ironically and be passed on to future generations with no knowledge of its origin.”
“Dear Rob,” says Robert Wilson. “Given Kohli’s one-man mission to destroy all hope and faith, I’ve got a notion for how to stop him. Am I the only one to sense something inexorably anti-Englishabout this cavalier crushing of a nation’s dreams? His grinding run-greed is faintly supremacist. His two hundreds per week dominance smacks of intolerance. And hey, lest you think that trying to get some random accusations of prejudice sounds pretty desperate, can I point out two things? First, work with what you got and secondly, nothing else seems to be working. Plus, we all know that being really, really good is tantamount to cheating.”
In the context of modern Test batsmanship, Kohli’s discipline, patience and technical excellence surely bring the game into disrepute. Two-year ban please!
Tea: India lead by 438 runs
89th over: India 270-3 (Kohli 93, Rahane 17) This is a nice move from Joe Root: Adil Rashid comes on just before tea to see if he can tempt Virat Kohli into a rash shot. He can’t, it’s a maiden, and that’s tea. You’re welcome!
“If you’re in the mood for a wager, don’t bother with REDRUM because he’s dead and buried,” writes John Starbuck. “Instead, Graeme Swann is 25/1 to win Strictly Come Dancing. Or you could probably gamble on when the next century happens – it can’t be far off now.”
88th over: India 270-3 (Kohli 93, Rahane 17) A maiden from Broad to Rahane. Anderson is now picking some stuff off the sole of his boot. He’s got a monumental cob on! He isn’t going round shouting or anything, but has the facial expression of a man who’s favourite rug has just been micturated upon for the fourth time this week. His internal monologue for the last hour is the best comedy we’ll never hear.
“The chemistry teacher known as Jet almost certainly got his nickname from the leading character in the BBC 1950s radio series Journey into Space,” says David Jameson. “You have to be well into your 70s to remember listening to it.”
Or to forget listening to it.
87th over: India 270-3 (Kohli 93, Rahane 17) The puss on Jimmy Anderson! You can’t blame him, really. I still can’t believe the batsmen gave him only 38.2 overs’ rest. Kohli, who still hasn’t been dismissed by Anderson in this series, flicks crisply through midwicket for four to move into the nineties.
86th over: India 264-3 (Kohli 87, Rahane 17) Rahane is beaten, chasing a wide one from his nemesis Broad, and then flicks a boundary to fine leg. Rahane’s return to form really was fundamental to India’s legendaray 3-2 series win.
“Is it time to start taking bets on how many wickets down England will be before the close?” says Tom Van der Gucht. “My money is either on four, or for them to be all out. Although I’d wager a couple of outside tenners on Kohli batting on and smashing out a triple century before declaring after lunch tomorrow – again, England will be all out by the close of play if that happens.”
My money is on REDRUM.
85th over: India 260-3 (Kohli 87, Rahane 13) Kohli reaches for an Anderson outswinger and inside edges it back onto the pad. Nasser Hussain thinks India might bat on until tomorrow. You can understand why: the forecast is good and the pitch is already showing signs of uneven bounce, so India obliterate England by 400 runs or so.
84th over: India 258-3 (Kohli 85, Rahane 13) A lifting inswinger from Broad hits Rahane on the glove. It looked painful but he seems fine. Just one from the over. India are in the lovely position of being able to extinguish England however and whenever they want. ifting inswinger from Broad hits Rahane on the glove. It looked painful but he seems fine. Just one from the over. India are in the lovely position of being able to extinguish England however and whenever they want.
83rd over: India 257-3 (Kohli 84, Rahane 13) A quiet over from Anderson to Kohli. India are in no hurry. There are two and a half days left, and they’re probably happy to let Anderson bowl more overs. There’s a slight break before the next Test, which starts a week on Thursday, but I still don’t really see the point of giving Anderson more work.
82nd over: India 256-3 (Kohli 83, Rahane 13) Now Jimmy is moaning at the other umpire, Marais Erasmus. “He’ll be talking to the match referee in a minute if he keeps this up,” says David Gower on Sky Sports. This has been a miserable day for England, who have to complete the formality of being absolutely stuffed. Trevor Bayliss should be allowed to throw a towel onto the field.
81st over: India 255-3 (Kohli 82, Rahane 13) England do take the new ball at the first opportunity. I don’t really understand that decision, but then I don’t really understand cognitive dissonance and that seems to be doing okay.
James Anderson is unhappy with the new ball and wants it changed before a ball has been bowled. “I didn’t pick this one,” says Anderson to Chris Gaffaney, who tells him to use it anyway. Anderson’s grumpometer is zinging furiously. And though a couple of deliveries swing nicely outside off stump, he has another moan to the umpire at the end of the over.
“Rob,” says Brian Withington. “Catching up on the various tales from the Chemistry lab, I recall our truly ancient teacher of Welsh origin, who was ironically called ‘Jet’ Morgan. His favourite catch phrase was to exclaim ‘Sit down and get out!’ whenever flustered by innocent student exuberance.
“During one memorable practical there was a sudden sheet of flame from Bunsen tip to ceiling in the middle row. Those scallywags at the back of the classroom bolted to the rear door that was, of course, bolted, creating the mother of desperate melees. Those of us more fortunately located at the front (aka swots) rushed to the front door, but none as quickly as “Jet” who lived up to his name in escaping down the corridor without a backwards glance. Happy days.”
80th over: India 254-3 (Kohli 81, Rahane 13) Rahane flicks the new bowler Root through midwicket for four. The new ball is due, and if England take it I’ll be ever so displeased.
“My six-a-side football team were called ‘Bar Stool Owner’,” says Ben Williams. “Our attack was a bit wooden…”
And you glassed anyone who got in your way?
79th over: India 250-3 (Kohli 81, Rahane 9) Rashid continues, and will hopefully bowl for the rest of the innings. No point putting unnecessary overs in the legs of the seamers. Kohli tries to flash a flighted wide delivery which beats the bat and turns straight into the hands of Stokes at slip. India lead by 418.
England fans need cheering up right now, so thanks to Richard Marsden for this comic gem from Aggers and Johnners. (No, not that one.)
“There’s so much great stuff in there,” says Richard. “Aggers’ laugh and strangled ‘Berkshire’; Johnners’ valiant attempt to take the sting out of the joke beforehand; a full 16 seconds of dead air punctuated by strange muffled knocking noises; Trevor Bailey all censorious, taking over like a man who’s just walked back into the wrong film after going to the bog at the cinema; Aggers’ final ‘you’ve dropped your letter Brian’. It’s a delight.”
78th over: India 249-3 (Kohli 81, Rahane 8) A half volley from Stokes is pinged sweetly through extra cover for four by Kohli. He doesn’t want to win this game; he wants to marmalise England with the fourth Test at the Ageas Bowl in mind. And what Virat wants, Virat usually gets.
77th over: India 243-3 (Kohli 76, Rahane 7) Thanks Daniel, hello everyone. Virat Kohli is so good that he can simultaneously put his foot on England’s throat while grinding their face into the dirt. He whips Rashid through midwicket for four, a majestic stroke, to move closer to the inevitable century.
“Is it too early to start debating who will replace YJB for the next Test?” says Richard O’Hagan. “The scrunched scheduling of this series gives him little time to recover. If we assume that Buttler will take the gloves, it can be a specialist batsman, but who?”
I don’t care who it is so long as they have a forward defensive.
Anyway, that’s halfway in the day, halfway in the match and halfway in the series; RA Smyth is now flexing and swinging his fingers, and he’ll take you through the rest of the day – please email him on firstname.lastname@example.org.
76th over: India 236-3 (Kohli 71, Rahane 5) There’s a pause before Stokes’ latest over for the ball to be dried, then Rahane takes a single and Kohli thighs four byes to take the lead beyond 400. Sanga and Athers are wondering why England haven’t tried any short stuff – perhaps they can’t be arsed because why expend the effort? – and then Kohli adds one to point.
“Rapid faecal incontinence?” tweets Bill Hargreaves. “Is that the new team in Vienna?”
They’ve just been knocked out of the Europa League qualifying by Sporting Declaration. I once played for a team called Rapid Banta; anyone got anything worse than that?
75th over: India 230-3 (Kohli 70, Rahane 4) Kohli chases a wide one from Rashid and toes it, so Stokes reminds him of how he got out first innings. Great thoughts. Kohli takes one to deep square, then Rahane nurdles a googly into the pad and Cook, now at deep square, fumbles so they take two.
74th over: India 226-3 (Kohli 69, Rahane 1) It’s raining at Trent Bridge as Stokes begins again, and Kohli, who is seeking another ton, flicks him to deep square for a single. It’s the only run off the over, as we see the Masai in the crowd, looking cold.
“We didn’t have any chemistry explosions at school,” confesses Steve Hudson, “but the kinds of hazardous chemicals that were handed around for us to sniff would these days be banned under not only Health & Safety, but the Geneva Convention too (this was the 70s). I remember we often used phenolphthalein as a pH indicator, which wouldn’t happen now, given its carcinogenic effects, and its tendency to induce rapid faecal incontinence if ingested.”
Might England’s batsmen have been using this, do you think?
73rd over: India 225-3 (Kohli 68, Rahane 1) Sanga reckons India will want 45 minutes’ bowling tonight, but might hang on for more runs if Ashwin isn’t going to bowl. Er, have India seen England bat? maiden for Rashid.
72nd over: India 225-3 (Kohli 68, Rahane 1) That was a decent innings from Pujara, not so much in the context of this match which was near enough over before it started, but in terms of playing him into form for what’s coming next. I’m wishing my life away, but I already can’t wait for the next Test. Rahane has work to do though, and gets off the mark with a a turn to fine leg.
WICKET! Pujara c Cook b Stokes 72 (India 224-3)
England hold a slip catch! Stokes draws Pujara forward outside off, his rhubarb follows it as though magnetised, and Cook takes the snaffle easily enough. The lead is a mere 392.
72nd over: India 223-2 (Pujara 72, Kohli 67) Stokes into the attack. As it were.
71st over: India 223-2 (Pujara 72, Kohli 67) With Rashid going straighter, Pujara hops back and crashes him to midwicket for four. These are the only runs from the over.
70th over: India 218-2 (Pujara 68, Kohli 66) After a single to Pujara, Kohli sees Woakes’ inswinger coming and guides it past mid on for three, then Pujara edges an outswinger which he goes at hard, edging … and falling short of backward point. Obviously.
69th over: India 214-2 (Pujara 67, Kohli 63) How many are India going to set England to win? They should go for a thousand, I reckon, and Kohli takes a single to raise the hunnert partnership. Athers notes that he’s now picking Rashid’s googly out of the hand, so maybe he should try bowling like Bedi. Three more singles follow, as Sanga tells us he’s sure Bairstow will be able to bat – the fracture is a small one – but how well we can’t be sure. Boom boom! Wahey!
68th over: India 210-2 (Pujara 65, Kohli 61) Woakes spirits one through Pujara and it catches something! But no one is quite sure what, so although there’s an appeal, there’s neither finger nor review. There were two noises, pad and elbow maybe, and the ball was going over the stumps; maiden.
Meanwhile, chemistry’s Hugh Maguire is back: “I got away with my flames in chemistry,” he says. “I had been squirting hexane through a Bunsen flame, which gave a nice flamethrower effect and left little puddles of fluid burning for a minute or so and no apparent damage. It looked lovely – a bit like the Ganges in Benares on a calm evening. But upon hearing the teacher’s footsteps I realised that this situation was not going to be greeted with Vedic chants but a more Christian response such as described in over 54. I threw my jacket over the flames sliding across the desk and dropping onto the floor below where more flamelets were dancing and luckily extinguished the lot. The teacher arrived, helpfully picked up my jacket for me with an uncharacteristically indulgent look and strolled up to the front of the class.
67th over: India 210-2 (Pujara 65, Kohli 61) Pujara drives one to cover, the only run from the over; Rashid is getting into a rhythm. Will Kohli try and clump him off it?
“Could this be the end of the ‘we’ll have a bowl’ experiment? asks Alex Roberts. “I imagine it has crossed captain Root’s mind since Saturday.”
Ha, yes – I can see why he put India in to maintain pressure, but you can’t expect quality players to keep failing and it was hardly a minefield.
66th over: India 209-2 (Pujara 64, Kohli 61) Kohli takes two to cover and then there’s a noise as he pushes at Woakes, and those in front of the wicket think it’s out but those behind do not … it was bat into pad. Ah – Bairstow has a fracture, we learn – we’re not told what that means in practical terms, but it’s the index finger of his left hand, which isn’t going to make batting easy.
65th over: India 205-2 (Pujara 64, Kohli 59) Rashid has a bat-pad man in, but when Pujara lobs one up, he’s not in the vicinity. He then drills one to cover, the only run from the over. The rain has stopped, and none is forecast, so England will have to sort this themselves. Ah ha ha ha ha.
63rd over: India 203-2 (Pujara 62, Kohli 57) It’s going to be a busy afternoon for Rashid if he had keep things tight, but after Kohli takes a single to mid on, Pujara hops down and forces a pull for four in front of square.
62nd over: India 199-2 (Pujara 58, Kohli 56) Woakes will have a shy from the other end as we cut to Poor Jonny Bairstow, wrapped up warm and scowling, finger dangling in cold water. That suggests no break, which is good, though doesn’t necessarily mean he’s got a better chance of batting comfortably. Pujara turns one to deep backward square, there, Kohli pushes to wide mid on, and those are the only scoring shots from the over.
61st over: India 196-2 (Pujara 57, Kohli 55) A single apiece sees our batsmen underway, which will, I imagine, be the way of things.
“Not quite the whole floor, but my friends and I did conspire an incendiary white ball of flame during chemistry by setting a metal pencil sharpener on fire,” emails Ben Dorning. “Think it was by directing four clamped Bunsen burners towards the ill-fated block of magnesium, which dropped out of the clamp, burned through a couple of flame proof mats and created a lunar crater in the surface of the desk beneath. Some trouble ensued. Don’t think I got to watch any cricket as a result but this would have been around 1996, so probably just as well.”
I did not set the whole floor alight, just a section of it. When the teacher arrived on the scene, he asked one of the boys what was going on. “Dunno Sir, a fire came up from the floor.”
The Bradford One will wheel away…
Bairstow is back from hospital, apparently, which is a pretty good advert for NHS waiting times.
Lunchtime email: “Batsmen get good by practice,” says Patrick Phillips. “Where do the English batsmen with their central contracts get experience, iron out faults and gain confidence ? Not just in the nets free of pressure and not by playing teams absent England’s supposed best bowlers.
Do away with central contracts have a revised County Championship programme with one Division and each playing each other but over two days only, 120 overs a day, with penalties for non-compliance. Have two major internal matches to replace the old Gents v Players: one England vs Not Yet Selected and one North v South. Reduce Test to four days minimum 105 overs a day and assessed per session.
I don’t understand how a fastbowler can still be bowling fast well into his 30s. Who is the last to have done so? England has often lacked genuine fast bowlers – most are at best fast medium. I recall Loader being selected for Australia having scarcely played more than a handful of county matches. Tyson too. Great effort should be made to recruit fast bowlers and dry pitches prepared to assist them. We can’t do much about when it rains but that’s not as often as people claim.”
I don’t know – England were pretty good at batting not that long ago, and all those who perpetrated good batting were centrally contracted. Flat tracks in the county game might help, but it’s easier said than done.
Right then, off we go again…
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So there we go – India will have enjoyed that, watching England charge in to zero avail. England bowled well, but Jos Buttler dropped the one chance they made, and they’ve an acrylic afternoon waiting for them on the other side of the break.
60th over: India 194-2 (Pujara 56, Kohli 53) The batsmen exchange singles, Pujara behind square on the leg side and Kohli to midwicket, and that’s lunch.
“re: Over 54,” emails Scott Poynting, “when a Sunday school teacher used to do that, my Mum called it ‘bible bashing’.”
Paging Roger Mellie and his Profanisaurus…
59th over: India 192-2 (Pujara 55, Kohli 53) Rashid pushes a slider through and Pujara presses forward anticipating turn. There is not, so takes the ball on the pad but outside the line, and when it cannons the bat he’s relieved to see it pass off stump – just. Pujara then edges a single to leg, Kohli allows two behind square on the off side, and we might just have time for one more over before food.
58th over: India 189-2 (Pujara 54, Kohli 51) Joe Root will have his first bowl of the summer, which tells you plenty about how teams have batted against England. And, I guess, how well England have bowled. Anyway, Root is milked for three singles.
57th over: India 186-2 (Pujara 52, Kohli 50) Rashid has bowled pretty well without threatening much, and cedes just a single from this latest over – to Pujara, who heaves towards cover.
56th over: India 185-2 (Pujara 51, Kohli 50) Sangakkara reckons Buttler not Bairstow should be keeping, and that seems right to me – Buttler is a bonus batsman and Bairstow is one to rely on, but he doesn’t play that way. Sure, they don’t want to wind him up by taking the gloves off him, but that’s captaincy and that’s sport. Sanga also reckons Rory Burns could do a job as an opener, and as a Peaky Blinders extra. Maiden.
“Student attempts at arson are one thing; misguided attempts at pedagogy are quite another,” emails Edmund King. “My most abiding memory of fifth-form chemistry is a moment in the dying moments of one lesson, sometime in the eternal 90s. We’d been making hydrogen and my teacher noted casually that he’d made some oxygen with another class earlier in the day and that ‘he’d always wanted to do this.’ I was packing my bag and preparing to leave when there was a massive explosion and heat flash and I lost my hearing for about 5 seconds. When the roaring subsided I could hear my classmates cheering our now sheepishly smiling master, as pieces of his shredded lesson plan wafted about the room and teachers from adjoining classrooms ducked their heads in the door to confirm that we were all still alive. My teacher’s name was Mr Fear. I do wonder what he is doing now.”
55th over: India 185-2 (Pujara 51, Kohli 50) After one to Pujara, there’s Kohli’s 50, earned via single to cover. He is so ridiculously good, rinsing this series and its apparently difficult conditions just as he rinses everything else.
54th over: India 183-2 (Pujara 50, Kohli 49) There’s not much going on here now, but after two and one to Kohli, Pujara turns a single to deep backward square and that’s his fifty. If he and Rahane are in form, the rest of this series is set up.
“My father always used to tell the story of a pupil not paying attention in an (a?) R.E. lesson, was discovered day-dreaming and was beaten about the head with a copy of the bible in time with the immortal words ‘God is love’ reverberating through his brain. Education, huh?”
Now that’s irony.
53rd over: India 179-2 (Pujara 49, Kohli 46) It’s that time again: England are complaining about the ball. The umpires check – does that thing through which it is passed have a name? A sphereguage? – and it turns out to have been fine all along. Rashid delivers three dots, then Pujara takes a single into the covers and Kohli cuts three to backward point. The runs aren’t coming easily, but they’re coming.
52nd over: India 175-2 (Pujara 48, Kohli 43) Expecting a bouncer, Kohli chases a wide one and misses, then makes up for it shortly afterwards with a flowing push through cover. He’s quite good at cricket, it turns out, and add two more with a squarer push then four more with an inside edge. Naturally, Stuart Broad shakes his hand in congratulation, then collapses in mirth at the hilarity of it all.
51st over: India 165-2 (Pujara 48, Kohli 33) Rashid into the attack and it’s his bunny on strike, so he starts with a googly that Kohli sends to backward square for one. Then, after three decent dots, Pujara takes the width offered and cuts four.
“The non-sports section of the Guardian carried the story about Mitcham cricket club today,” emails Simon Levine, “at 333 n.o., the cricket green is the oldest in the world to have continuous cricket right up to today. Haroon Siddique’s article explained how the club’s existence is under threat from developers, who bought the leasehold on (under?) the cricket pavilion. Could I use your good offices, please, to advertise the Big Weekend at Mitcham Cricket Club on 8-9th September to all cricket-loving folk who want to come down and show support to the club? There’s a heritage open day on Saturday, comedy on the green on Saturday evening, and a game with the Lashing’s World X1 and a Celebrity X1 on Sunday 9th. www.mitchamcricketclub.org for details and see all you OBO-ers there!”
And here’s the piece:
50th over: India 160-2 (Pujara 44, Kohli 32) What do I know – the ball was trimming the middle and leg bail. Anyway, Kohli nurdles a single into the leg side, then Pujara has two to midwicket.
“As a teacher, all these tales of school-based arson aren’t making me feel any better about going to work today,” emails Mac Millings. “In fact, it’s my first day back after a long summer of preventing my own kids from tearing each other apart.Most memorable moment? 6-y-o daughter standing over her fallen 13-y-o brother, screaming, ‘That’s what you GET!’”
At least you raised them to like Radiohead.
50th over: India 157-2 (Pujara 42, Kohli 31) … it may have been, but we don’t even check because there was an inside edge.
50th over: India 157-2 (Pujara 42, Kohli 31) Broad cracks Kohli on the pad … not out … looked like it was going down to me … and England review…
49th over: India 157-2 (Pujara 42, Kohli 31) Kohli takes two via cover-drive, then forces what I suppose is a square cut through backward point for four. Bairstow is going for an x-ray, the ECB have tweeted – he looked in all sorts.
48th over: India 150-2 (Pujara 42, Kohli 24) Another maiden, this time for Broad. Thus are overs forced into legs.
“On the subject of Anderson’s brilliance, I’m convinced he doesn’t get nearly as many wickets as he deserves because the weakness of other bowlers allows batsmen to just try to survive and see him off,” reckons David Murray. “So many of England’s wickets by lesser bowlers are due to the pressure he creates and batsmen relaxing or trying to score when he goes off: Ali and Stokes particularly have got heaps of wickets with poor balls but you hardly ever see Anderson get a wicket with a poor ball.”
Stokes strikes me as that Botham-type character for whom things just happen, and the wickets at the other end was also a big perk of having Flintoff or Morkel in your team. They didn’t always attack the stumps, but they were different and brilliant to the brilliance at the other end.
47th over: India 150-2 (Pujara 42, Kohli 24) Two singles off the over. England are bowling pretty well here, but in so doing they’re ensuring that they’ll need to do so for longer. That’s pretty funny.
“In my long-ago school days one was not suspended one was beaten, by all manner of instrument, canes, rulers, rolled scarfs, shoes,” emails Anthony White. “I was once plimsolled by (sir) Norman Fowler, possibly for the dreadful crime of running in a corridor, I forget. But I wonder if this has left me psychologically scarred and averse to voting Tory.”
I just missed corporal punishment, though soft versions of it – the neck-grab, for example – persisted. My old fella had a teacher who would invite miscreants to “Bow your head in shame”. They would, and he would then zetz them over the top of it, with a telephone directory.
46th over: India 148-2 (Pujara 41, Kohli 23) Anderson will not come back for one more, Broad appearing for his first charge of the morning. Kohli sends his first ball through cover for one, and I’m wondering if England can use Bairstow’s injury to snatch the gloves away and force him to earn his spot as a batsman. That’s nice of me. I hope he’s feeling better. Get well soon. Etcetera etcetera.
“I was suspended until I was charged with affray for running a booze racket at boarding school with supplies shipped in on the community service minibus,” confides Hugh Maguire. “It didn’t allow me to watch any cricket though on my unscheduled return home, as we lived in Holland and terrestrial TV did not include cricket. And look at the Netherlands in the ICC rankings … That’s what Sky will do to us!”
You’re a victim of circumstance!
Meanwhile, enjoy the rest of today’s glorious cricket.
45th over: India 147-2 (Pujara 41, Kohli 22) Drinks is extended – are extended? – while Buttler replaces Bairstow, who looks fair crook, his left hand covered with his cap so no one can see. Buttler, meanwhile, looks most enthused. Can England maintain pressure? Pujara sees away a maiden, andI wonder if Anderson will come back for one more.
“Amateur,” chides Geoff Saunders. “You weren’t even trying. Back in the day, late 70s, I went on audit to a company in Stoke-on-Trent. They had a warehouse full of lighter fluid containers. A pallet of the stuff fell off the forklift and spilled lighter fluid on the floor. One guy says to the other “I bet I could throw a match on that and it wouldn’t burn”. 2nd guy replies “Don’t be stupid etc etc.” First guy, “No it only burns under pressure.” So they made their bet, and first guy throws a match on the lighter fluid. Biggest fire in Stoke-on-Trent since the war.
I think unintended consequences rather than psychopathy.”
Surely 2nd guy intended precisely those consequences?
44th over: India 147-2 (Pujara 41, Kohli 22) Excuse me, but I’m just having a moment watching Anderson bowl here. The over itself is unremarkable, but he’s just so ridiculously good, so much of the time; you know what, it’s not exactly how good he is, but how expert he is. Meanwhile, his final delivery shoots away after Pujara leaves it, and diving to stop prevent four, Bairstow clatters his left hand and after treatment has to depart. They take drinks.
“In the interests of teaching OBOers to fish,” emails the heroic Tony George, “tell them to go to bbc.co.uk/sport, click on ‘England v India 3rd Test – Live’ and then on ‘Listen to TMS Overseas’.
I look forward to tomorrow’s requests.
43rd over: India 145-2 (Pujara 41, Kohli 21) This is turning into a decent passage of play. Stokes beata Pujara with a wide one – suddenly, he doesn’t look settled – then an edge doesn’t carry to Jennings at three. Another maiden, and if England can keep this up – if Anderson can keep going – there’s a wicket in the offing.
“Go on then, I’ll bite,” says Ben Powell. “Only last night, I was ‘regaling’ my sons with the tale of how in the Lower 6th we used to fill syringes (appropriated from the biology lab) with lighter fluid, hold lit Zippos (it was that era, too) in front of them and then fire the plunger down hard to send a short lived jet of fire across the floor of the kitchens at school. But it was not this admittedly stupid teenage prank that saw me and two mates being suspended: that was for being caught in possession of a skeleton key that opened all the internal doors of the school.”
That’s more like it. Though vanity forces me to add that it is only the real men who are still getting suspended in the sixth form (for more general high-spiritedness).
42nd over: India 145-2 (Pujara 41, Kohli 21) Jimmy Anderson is good at bowling. The cat sat on the mat. His first small canes Kohli on the pad; not out says the umpire, and England don’t review because they rightly apprise an edge. Two balls later, he beats Kohli who plays at one just outside off, and that’s another maiden.
“Interestingly, in Northern Ireland the pronunciations ‘aitch’ and ‘haitch’ are seen as religious identifiers,” tweets Ted O’Hagan, ‘Haitch’ being the Catholic form and ‘Aitch’ the Protestant. All due to segregated education of course.”
41st over: India 145-2 (Pujara 41, Kohli 21) We learn that Kohli and Cook are among the worst slip fielders in the world, both around 70% of chances taken; Du Plessis is the best at 97%, with Mendis and Holder next. Anyway, neither of these sides are good enough, but in the meantime, Stokes is on and Kohli has a single to backward point, then Pujara is beaten by some away movement off the seam – he plays a loose drive at nothing. Then he adds one to long leg, Kohli takes one more, and here we are.
Hold tight Dave Langlois, who has done the deed.
Michael has beef for Bullon: “When you say ‘And by the way, speaking as a grammar pedant, saying ‘haitch’ instead of ‘aitch’ is nothing to do with grammar, it’s pronunciation – a different field”; That isn’t grammar pedantry either, that is semantic pedantry.”
40th over: India 142-2 (Pujara 40, Kohli 19) You’ve got to laugh. Pujara fences at one and imparts a chunky enough edge to take the pace off the ball. Buttler, moving to his left at two, doesn’t get down properly so has to go with one hand not two, and the catch is unsnaffled. Maiden.
Does anyone have the TMS YouTube link, please? There are thousands hundreds tens units of OBOers seeking salvation.
39th over: India 142-2 (Pujara 40, Kohli 19) It’s not going well for England, Kohli leaning forward to leading edge four through point. These are the only runs of the over, and the lead is a venerable 310.
“Like James Whitehouse, I have two teenage daughters,” boasts Stephen Bullon. “Well, not quite like JW, just one actually. And he’s a son. Oh, and he left his teenage years behind a decade or so ago. But minor discrepancies aside, he too uses ‘’low that’ and it’s a straightforward refusal to accept something, or an expression of extreme unwillingness to do something. See also the authoritative (well, maybe not up there with OED) Urbandictionary: ‘another way of saying “allow that” which basically means “screw that”, to leave something alone.’
So like ‘nice’, which used to mean horrible, it’s assumed an almost opposite meaning.
And by the way, speaking as a grammar pedant, saying ‘haitch’ instead of ‘aitch’ is nothing to do with grammar, it’s pronunciation – a different field.”
38th over: India 138-2 (Pujara 40, Kohli 15) Anderson slants one into Pujara, who who angles the celery to help it to the midwicket fence. Anderson responds well, of course, bringing his man forward and again defeating the outside edge.
“No offence,” starts David Murray, “but surely setting fire to the floor for a joke IS psychopathic.”
It wasn’t like that, sweardown. We had some lighter fuel and a lighter – it was the era of the Zippo – so were just messing about, lighting ourselves and various objects. There was no intent to damage, only to pass the time of day.
37th over: India 134-2 (Pujara 36, Kohli 15) Woakes has one keep low but Kohli jams down on it, then shives two through cover. I wonder how long England will hold Rashid back – if they wait for Kohli to ensconce, that might be a problem.
Does anyone have the TMS YouTube link for today, please?
36th over: India 132-2 (Pujara 36, Kohli 13) Kohli takes one to long leg, bringing the lead up to 300, the only run of the over.
“It’s ‘aitch”, not “haitch,’ chides Adrian Morris. “Grammar pedants have at it!”
I agree – I was joking, and am currently have to convince my four-year-old that her nursery teachers are wrong. My mum used to work in haitch arr, and would underline the hatich in the name of anyone who spelled it for her using the incorrect diction.
35th over: India 131-2 (Pujara 36, Kohli 12) Pujara flips two into the on side, the only runs of the over.
“I’ve been using variations on allow since I was about 13/14 (now 23),” emails the disgustingly youthful Harry Borg. “Me and my friends have always used it to refer to something we don’t want to do/happen.”
Is this the real life? Or is this just irony?
34th over: India 129-2 (Pujara 34, Kohli 12) This pitch is starting to agitate, and Anderson finds lift that attacks Pujara’s midsection – he manages to evade, and is then absolute chleansed by one which moves away. He manages to get a single next up, though, as Athers shows us Anderson’s wide grip on the ball – he doesn’t think the ball is moving in the air, so is seeking to bang it into the pitch and let natural variation do the work. And Kohli is then beaten outside off, coming forward; does anyone in the world command their job as well as Jimmy-James?
33rd over: India 128-2 (Pujara 33, Kohli 12) Woakes has the globe at the other end, and after three dots he serves Kohli a straight one which is easily flicked to the fence, but just gently enough to force Anderson into a reluctant chase. I hope he did that on purpose.
“Having two teenage daughters constantly using the term ‘’low that’,” emails James Whitehouse. “Doesn’t it mean you don’t want something to happen or can’t be arsed? Ha, that’s me trying to be cool by watching the OBO at work.”
Cool by watching the OBO? Fonzie has nothing to worry about. As far as I apprise, allow that is something one wants to occur, but it may now has developed into irony.
32nd over: India 124-2 (Pujara 33, Kohli 8) Anderson’s second ball is decent, back of a length and lifting, passing Pujara’s outside edge, and he diddles him for pace a second time two balls later. Shami and Sharma will be taking note, and Athers also reckons the pitch has quickened over the last day. Maiden.
“You may not be aware,” says John Starbuck, our resident OBO historian, “but we’ve had this one before in the OBO, started by someone who sat next to Robin Smith on a train. Just dig that out, with all the associated stories, and today’s OBO topic is sorted.”
Ok, let’s try another: I got to watch Robin Smith’s 167 not out because I was suspended from school for setting the science lab floor on fire – as a joke, not out of psychopathy, I promise. Send in your tales of suspension! Or arson!
Here we go…
Out come the players … before the umpires. Whatever next!
“The cricket ball has its nicknames – ‘cherry’, ‘rock’, and, I’ve learned today, ‘meteorite’, but what about the poor old cricket bat?” asks Mac Millings. “It is, I’ll admit, fuzzily early in my neck of the Deep South, but I can’t think of as many. ‘Willow’. ‘Celery’? Do your thousands of erudite readers (or Phil Sawyer and Ian Copestake) have any suggestions?”
I’m afraid that I invented meteorite just this morning – earlier in the summer I tried a poorly-received riff asking for new synonyms. My guess is that the ball is so honoured because it’s a constant and regularly changed, whereas each batsman has his own celery.
Harbhajan reckons India will bat all day if they can. That would be fairly amusing.
“In light of the Indian resurgence, the best England can hope for would be a drawn series,” reckons John Starbuck. “India win this one and win or draw at the Ageas Bowl, leaving the Oval as the decider. From the general punter’s viewpoint, this has the advantage of a full set of tenterhooks. Unless weather.”
An Oval decider would be great. ’Low that, as people half my age say.
“I used to deliver Eddie Hemmings’ Sunday paper,” emails Richard O’Hagan, “something which I had completely forgotten about until I saw that clip. Funnily enough, he never seemed to be up at seven o’clock on a Sunday morning.”
Who can beat this yarn? I once sat opposite Mike Atherton on a train to Manchester – he assured me that Lanky would win the County Championship and United would win the league. Our survey says…
Email! “I think it was shameful to drop Curran after his very good performances and rush Stokes back. Surely everyone would have been better served for Stokes to wait a little? Earn his reprieve? As it is it turned out to be a very bad decision from a cricket perspective – we missed Curran as a bowler who is different, and provided no variation. Sowing and reaping. Can Stokes look Curran in the eye?”
One thing I think we’ve learned is that Stokes is good looking people in eyes. And I also think he’s earned the right to his spot in the side – he’s been brilliant, he is brilliant. I’d have left out Woakes, though – for the variation, as you say, because I don’t think Woakes is ever going to make it overseas, and though he scored a ton, I think Curran is a better batsman.
I’d like to see Jason Roy given a shy at Test cricket, but whether he can be chucked in at the top of the order I’m less certain – a chill at number five would make most sense. Except there’s no vacancy there and at least he has experience of facing top bowlers with the new meteorite. Otherwise, who is there?
And then there’s Keaton Jennings. I feel bad suggesting it, because who wants to get after a nice lad doing his best, but he just doesn’t seem to have the technique for Test cricket – there’s less a score around the corner, more one at the other end of Hampton Court. Can he survive another failure? How many is Cook allowed? So are England looking for two openers? And who’s next?
Though India are in command of this Test, it oughtn’t be so difficult to see a way for England. They have batsmen with the talent to bat time; the problem is that they have only two batsmen with the application to match, and neither Alastair Cook nor Joe Root look like settling in.
He was named man of the match in the second Test after making his maiden ton, but couldn’t collect the champagne because he was too young.
Oh ok, go on then: here’s 17-year-old Sachin taking a blinder to get rid of Allan Lamb off the bowling of Narendra Hirwani.
Nostalgia corner: those old enough to remember will find this deeply and distinctly unrelieving, but let’s go back to the first Test between these sides in 1990, at Lord’s. India need 24 to avoid the follow-on and Eddie Hemmings – Eddie Hemmings! – is bowling to Kapil Dev…
Relief is a strange sensation. In the moment, there’s nothing better, but in the long run it can only be temporary because that is life, a serial not a series; we’re not Columbo, we’re Pauline Fowler. Relief in a sporting sense, whether in victory or defeat,is usually associated with culmination, but at the midpoint of this match and series, relief is where it’s at.
This is not simply thanks to the narcotising familiarity of an England batting collapse, but on account of a contest saved. At the outset, these looked like two evenly-matched teams: England are at home and have James Anderson; India are confident and have Virat Kohli.
And that’s how it looked through the first Test, but once England won that and parlayed it into a Lord’s degradation, it was hard to see a way back. In Test history, only one side has come back from 2-0 down to win a five-match series, but more than that, India’s batsmen seemed unlikely to improve their technique against the moving ball before a visit to Trent Bridge, so beloved of, er, Branderson. The summer was over.
Except that it wasn’t, and it isn’t. After enduring the worst of the conditions at haitch cue, India were inserted on a track that, surprisingly, is the best of the series, and after a doddering start imposed their class. They will spend much of today making England suffer, and either this evening or tomorrow morning, will skittle them in hilarious fashion to save our series and stave off the onset of autumn. Selah!
Play: 11am BST
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