India v England: fourth Test, day four– live | England in India 2024

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Key events

16th over: India 71-0 (Rohit 42, Jaiswal 29) I guess the question regarding England’s spinners is which will go best at home. Hartley is perhaps the Giles selection – one you make when you don’t love any of your options, so go for the guy who doesn’t get whacked and is good with bat and in field – whereas Shoaib is the Bazball selection, one with the biggest upside. But for now, it barely matters: Rohit opens the face nicely for three, then Jaiswal sweeps four – England, running out of runs to play with runs with which to play are offering the shot and India are taking it – then another cut for four follows, and with 11 runs from the over, this feels extremely over. India need 110 runs to win.

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15th over: India 71-0 (Rohit 42, Jaiswal 29) Jaiswal touches around the corner wide of Pope at short leg, then nails a reverse for four; India are making sure to get in at least one proper scoring shot every over and for that reason, they’re racing towards their target and a series victory. Don’t they care about keeping it alive into the fifth? So selfish. India need 125 runs to win.

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REVIEW! NOT OUT!

It’s a good ball this, Hartley seeing Jaiswal coming and dragging down … but Jaiswal got a shard of bat on it, so the call is a simple one.

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15th over: India 67-0 (Rohit 42, Jaiswal 25) In fairness to the bowlers, though, the pitch isn’t offering as much as it had; perhaps Hartley will find something, replacing Anderson. Rohit waits for his loosener, playing it down into the off side and running one, then the bowler goes around, Jaiswal comes down and when it jags back in, wears ball on pad. There’s an appeal, it’s rejected … and England go upstairs!

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14th over: India 66-0 (Rohit 41, Jaiswal 25) Who do we think has been player of the series? It’s hard to look beyond Jaiswal, I’d say, though it’s always hard to look beyond Bumrah, the best bowler in the world in every format. Meantime, after allowing four dots, Rohit gets down on one leg to haul Shoaib from outside off around the corner for four, then takes a single down the ground. This is terrific batting. India need 126 runs to win.

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13th over: India 61-0 (Rohit 36, Jaiswal 25) Do we think Anderson has gone for Sun In? His hair – and what a head of it it is – has that look. Rohit looks to turn through midwicket, the ball rears up, and even though he doesn’t know where it is, Jaiswal calls him through for a quick single; Anderson shares some sentiments and Rohit chuckles to himself. Three more singles follow, the second of them Rohit’s 9000th in first-class cricket, and India are seeing this away with a great deal of certainty. India need 131 runs to win.

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12th over: India 56-0 (Rohit 33, Jaiswal 23) Jaiswal misses with a sweep and there’s a strangulated appeal but impact was outside the line and it wasn’t hitting the stumps. Then an edge past slip sends Anderson hurtling to the fence again and this time he dives but the ball slides on and that’s four. Shoaib, though, is bowling nicely … but can he find a breakthrough? India need 136 runs to win.

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11th over: India 52-0 (Rohit 33, Jaiswal 19) Jaiswal has had such a series and he flicks a single to long leg. Then, after two dots, Rohit waits for one, using the inswing to loft an apparently effortless pick-up over long-on for six; in the field, Stokes nods in appreciation and nothing about the way his side have attacked this chase suggests it might get big on them. India need 140 runs to win.

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10th over: India 45-0 (Rohit 27, Jaiswal 18) No, it’s Shoaib; big show of faith in him from Stokes and I liked how he bowled yesterday, his tight line creating pressure. After two decent balls, Jaiswal nurdles him around the corner for one, the first run of the morning, then Rohit glances behind and Anderson tanks after it, diving to haul it back before it goes over the rope as they run three; he is an absolute freak of nature. Another single follows, then a bit of turn and bounce which Rohit manages to ride. India need 147 runs to win.

“I totally agree with your preamble musings on each match being a referendum on Bazball,” writes Mark Kelly. “Sometimes it feels like every play and miss elicits a Pavlov’s dog like response from a commentator regarding Bazball being all fine and good but you have to play to the match situation and conditions. It’s like they actually want them to fail. I am eagerly anticipating the start of play. I am not sure how long that eagerness will last. It is afternoon here in Sydney so at least I haven’t gotten up at silly o’clock to watch it.”

Ah, but there’s nothing like waking up early doors to find that England have made a mess; yesterday was a classic of the genre.

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9th over: India 40-0 (Rohit 24, Jaiswal 16) Anderson, his highlights reminding us that he’s 21, starts outside off and Rohit defends; three dots follow. He’s got one slip, so I guess he’s looking for bowleds, lbs and catches on the drive; maiden. Joe Root from the other end? India need 152 runs to win.

“I think your suggestion to change the name BazBall to WokeBall is a brilliant one,” chortles Ianco Gavan.

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And play!

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Jimmy Anderson, two wickets away from 700, has the ball.

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Here come our players, Ben Stokes geeing his men up. India need 152 runs, England need 10 wickets.

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“In answer to your spin question,” begins Nicholas Bentley. “We need to be clever and rotate both Hartley and Bashir through the summer, we can’t just expect one to step up when we need them in India or Australia. Sadly, I fear that there is no place for dear Jack. Sport is cruel.”

He’s lasted a lot longer than I thought he would, I must say. But I too enjoy Hartley’s attitude and it does looks like Bashir might spin it a bit harder.

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Talking of spinners, I love the devil of India’s. Kuldeep Yadav has such an infectious mischievousness that you only get if you also have implacable confidence in your ability to cause havoc. Will any of England’s be able to impose themselves this morning?

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Email! “Lovely preamble … and paean to test cricket,” says Aditya Srinath. “Brings to mind this lovely Bob Weir/Perry Barlow lyric”

“‘What shall we say, shall we call it by a name

As well to count the angels dancing on a pin.’”

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Something I’ve been wondering: which of England’s spinners will we see play Tests regularly? There’s an opening for one, because Jack Leach, the number one, is injured and not so good he can’t be replaced.

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Preamble

Once we give something a name it becomes a thing, and once it becomes a thing, it takes on a personality and characteristics, there to be misrepresented and misconstrued over and over again. We may know this from, er, ourselves, or from the constant media bombardment that reminds us – once, for example, there were kind people trying to help those needing it most in whatever way they could, now they are “the woke mob” and they’re ruining our previously thriving planet.

So, as soon as we decided that playing fun, aggressive cricket played in a nurturing, inspirational environment was to be called Bazball, we also decided that every match was to be a referendum on the same. The reality, though, is somewhat different.

India are the best home Test side in the world, a settled winning machine favoured by conditions and the five-Test series. England, on the other hand, are finding themselves, taking on the expers with spinners no more experienced in Tests then you and me. Or, put another way, it is not because of Bazball that India are poised to win this brilliant series, it is because of Bazball that this brilliant series is brilliant – and still alive.

Probably not for long, but such is facing India in India; such is not Bazball. Of course, it may yet be that Baz n’ Ben’s England pull off yet another victory for the ages, but even if they do not, they remain what we know them to be: a developing team doing all they can to sustain this wonderful things of ours. There are those who’ll tell you that elite sport is about winning, and maybe they’re right. But life is not, so.

Play: 9.30am local, 4am GMT

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