About 10,000 people watched the evening session in which Merchant and Mushtaq Ali opened for India and scored 79 without loss. The team was largely inexperienced at international level as only six players had made their Test debuts before the Second World War: Pataudi, Amarnath, Hindlekar, Merchant, Mushtaq Ali and Nayudu. He's drowned in his own testosterone. Jordan turns him round with a beautiful full-length outswinger that takes the edge and is safely caught by Cook at first slip. Smarting from their 86-run loss at the Lord's after winning the first game in Nottingham by eight wickets, India have their task cut out. By the way, Mathews isn't a similar captain to Cook and Dhoni isn't he? Review shows that there was gloves involved before ball struck Hardik's pads.
The feeling is there in my belly already. Kohli has scored fewer runs in this series than Bell, Ballance and Root have all made in a single innings: 134 at an average of 13. Whoever wins will legitimately feel it is a significant breakthrough for an emerging side. Not sure if he was elegant but he was pretty cool. It's very important to stay in the game untli the end of the third day because that brings our spinners into action.
A good move with the left-handed, out-of-nick, new-to-the-crease Stokes out there. He tries to turn it to leg, gets the inside edge onto the thigpad and it pops up nicely for short leg. The new ball's the thing. He would be looking to do just that. We've got to give India a lot of credit, they outbowled and outbatted us. In January 1946, the had drawn up a seven-year programme of Test series with India selected to make the first postwar tour of England. Hey hey, Matthew, what have you done? Bedser had a devastating spell after the tea break, reducing India to 138 for nine with only thirteen minutes left, but Sohoni and Hindlekar managed to hold on for the draw.
Meanwhile, here's Sreekanth Nandakumar: Not the worst Indian side by any stretch of the imagination. It looked plumb to me, though Kumar Dharmasena and Dravid and Warne in the commentary box reckon he got outside the line. Here's a thought while you enjoy your foie gras: imagine if Ravindra Jadeja wins the match by taking the final wicket of Jimmy Anderson. It's been a strange time for English cricket fans this summer, in that there is so much doom and gloom yet also regular signs of a very bright future. Required run rate for India has now climbed up to 11.
So is Alastair Cook, and if England lose all ears will turn to his post-match interview. Alan Tyers will talk you through India's second innings. And out of nowhere Chahal turns the ball square to beat Morgan and Dhoni both. Still, no need to run for this one, clipped to the empty fine leg area for four. England were arguably ahead with one ball of the session remaining. It's our old friend the inswinger, and it's smashed into Vijay's pads. That didn't look much fun on a cold morning.
We'll see you again as the Asia Cup starts in a few day's time in the Middle East. Ali c Pujara b Sharma 39 Ishant Sharma, who went for 14 in his last over, has gone into Plunkett mode with a short leg, leg slip and two men out on the hook. A Corner of a Foreign Field — An Indian History of a British Sport. And the tactic has worked! Binny clips in the air but short of mid-on and then slams a cracking drive through mid-off for four. The only higher last wicket partnership was between numbers 4 and 11. Root got to the landmark in five years and 231 days of his Test career, surpassing former England captain Alastair Cook's mark of five years and 339 days with Root.
The second Test was drawn but it had a tense climax as India's last wicket pair Sohoni and Hindlekar held on for the final 13 minutes of play to secure the draw with England 125 runs ahead. While India's spinners were in contention throughout, the pace attack lacked penetration, particularly in the death overs. He was excellent yesterday, certainly India's best bowler. Pace bowler was introduced, making his Test debut in place of Smailes. Every time England tried to build a partnership, Indian bowlers struck back and it resulted in regular wickets.
That only starts with a lot of hard work. The partnership ended with a run out on Monday morning at 94 and India then lost three more wickets to reach 122 for four at lunch. If they bat six hours today, they will win. So if these two can survive the first hour or so, India might start to get the old it-is-happening-again feeling. This might be among the most desperate England Test defeats of the last 25 years. This, seriously, is some of the most stunningly moronic cricket you will see if you live to the age of 500. New ball must fetch a wicket.
India's team selection has been an eye-sore too starting from the South Africa tour with a lot of decisions raising more than an eyebrow. They've got to look at themselves, same as I have. A wicket now and that Assiette of Lune Valley lamb with onions, thyme and Marmite jus would taste so much sweeter. England need 164 to win. His continued absence will mean that India have a long tail, putting more responsibility on the top and middle order. Clue: they aren't sponsored by Waitrose. That's a staggering performance in any circumstances.
That takes him to a accomplished and defiant fifty, which he celebrates with hard-faced intensity. There's another later in the over, which brings to mind this piece of comedy from 1997-98. It was a fantastic effort. One series does not make it worst. In a way, that lack of batting time showed in his incoherent innings. The last three deliveries in this particular contest brought two sixes and a broken nose.