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

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54th over: England 226-7 (Foakes 18, Hartley 0) That Stokes run out looks very sloppy on the replay. He jogged the first part, only speeding up in the last few yards when he realised he might be in trouble. It looks worse every time you see it; a bit of a shocker in fact.

The game has gone now, but a five-Test series is full of subplots. An unbeaten 40-odd from Foakes would help his case should Harry Brook return. He drives Kuldeep for four, then somehow manages to deflect a filthy grubber that had LBW written all over it.

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53rd over: England 220-7 (Foakes 12, Hartley 0) “Surely you meant to speak of Bumrah as the fast bowling GOAT?” says Shantanu Anand. “Because he doesn’t come anywhere close to Anil Kumble, who is the third highest wicket taker ever (619) and has been part of many famous victories.”

It depends how much store you place on longevity. Bumrah is the Indian bowler I’d least like to face. I know averages aren’t everything, and he doesn’t care for them himself, but Bumrah’s numbers in all three formats are outrageous.

Foakes turned Ashwin into the leg side and set off for a single. Iyer picked up on the run and threw down the stumps in one smooth movement. There was a split-second of hesitation, which ultimately cost Stokes, but it was a fantastic piece of fielding.

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WICKET! England 220-7 (Stokes run out 11)

And it’s goodnight from England. Ben Stokes has been run out brilliantly by Shreyas Iyer!

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52nd over: England 217-6 (Stokes 11, Foakes 12) Kuldeep continues. This certainly isn’t a vile turner, but it’s not doing enough – vertically and horizontally – to ensure a batsman is never in.

The tempo has changed since lunch, with 23 runs in 9.2 overs. That’s not a great surprise given that Stokes and Foakes are England’s most patient batters. Once this partnership is broken, the game should end in hurry.

51st over: England 216-6 (Stokes 10, Foakes 12) Ashwin returns in place of Bumrah. I guess it would be fitting if Ben Stokes, who he has dismissed more than anyone, was his 500th Test wicket. Nothing doing in that over, but England get an extra run after a ricochet off the stumps. They need… no, we’re not into runs-to-win territory yet.

Now, I’ll level with you, this isn’t a comparison I saw coming. “I’m not sure if I’ve heard anyone describe this England team as great (Dale Webster, 44th over) but they are a good side, with a few outstanding players,” writes Phil Withall. “I’d compare them to the Norwich City side that finished third in the inaugural Premier league season. Entertaining, with a certain reckless disregard for their perceived role in the grand scheme of things. Not great but providing a few shocks, and turning mortals in heroes…”

They remind me a little – I would say this, I know – of the Danish Dynamite team of the 1980s: an unconquerable team of optimists who play with a groundbreaking, recklessly attacking style. Thank goodness Emilio Butragueno doesn’t play cricket.

50th over: England 214-6 (Stokes 9, Foakes 11) Stokes has been almost strokeless so far, as is his wont. He doesn’t look entirely comfortable against Kuldeep but is keeping him out – and he gets three bonus runs after a lazy misfields from Axar on the extra-cover boundary. That should have been an everyday single.

49th over: England 210-6 (Stokes 5, Foakes 11) Bumrah is into his old-ball work, a big, infectious smile on his face as the ball zings past Foakes’s outside edge. It barely missed off stump. The previous delivery took a thick edge and ran away for four.

At what point does Bumrah become the undisputed goat of Indian bowlers? I’d argue he’s already the greatest but perhaps he needs to reach the landmark of 200 Test wickets.

48th over: England 206-6 (Stokes 5, Foakes 7) “As much as I’m a fan of Joe Root, that damaged finger of his is doing more heavy lifting than is medically advisable,” says Harry Lang. “He’s so out of form he’d struggle to get selected as a scorer on the village team. Does Stokes owe him this much loyalty or perhaps a tactical rest might serve him better?”

Drop Joe Root? Not even Team Bazball are that funky. You’re right, he isn’t in great form and Bumrah is all over him, but I wouldn’t read too much into today’s innings. And I certainly wouldn’t drop him. No matter what form he’s in, he’ll always be the England player most likely to make a matchwinning daddy in these conditions; England also need his bowling and fielding at slip.

On that subject, it’ll be interesting to see what happens if Harry Brook returns. Ben Foakes hasn’t made many runs but has kept exceptionally. Jonny Bairstow has looked in great touch without reaching 40.

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47th over: England 203-6 (Stokes 4, Foakes 5) Nice batting from Foakes, who flicks Bumrah through midwicket for four to a) get off the mark and b) bring up the England 200. Now they really are halfway there, and Gary Naylor is belting out Bon Jovi as we speak.

“I don’t see any problem,” says Nick Lezard. “No time pressure, Stokes and Foakes settling in, pitch not too leery, India getting complacent, game on. Of course I might be deranged from lack of sleep, but that’s all part of the fun, isn’t it? “

A lerry pitch? Hmm, Dennis Leary, isn’t it? Rescue Me, an American comedy-drama television series focussing on the professional and personal lives of a group of New York City firefighters? Marvellous.

Sorry, what were you sating about lack of sleep?

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46th over: England 198-6 (Stokes 4, Foakes 0) Stokes batters Kuldeep into the boot of the sub fielder Sarfaraz Khan at silly point. He’s okay.

India go up for LBW when Stokes whips around a grubber – similar to Crawley’s dissmial, but that one definitely pitched outside leg. The bounce has been noticeably uneven since lunch. Stokes smiles – 60 per cent ruefully, 40 per cent cheerily – when he tries to pull Kuldeep and is almost bowled. He just managed to get a bottom edge into his pads.

45th over: England 196-6 (Stokes 2, Foakes 0) We’ve just seen a couple of replays which show that Rohit almost didn’t review the Crawley LBW. Kuldeep eventually persuaded him, which was a good effort after that slightly farcical review yesterday evening.

Meanwhile, Bumrah beats Stokes with a ball that keeps low. A delivery like that must unnerve Stokes, who was a victim of uneven bounce in the first innings. Foakes also plays and misses at one that climbs outside off stump.

44th over: England 195-6 (Stokes 1, Foakes 0) Foakes struggled against Kuldeep in the first innings. He’s beaten outside off stump, pushing defensively down the wrong line at a not dissmilar delivery to the one that bowled him on Saturday.

“I’ve been meaning to send this for a while now, but can see why this could be seen as Captain Hindsight,” says Dale Webster. “As great as the Bazball era has been thus far and the amazing things that have been accomplished, great teams don’t keep putting themselves in positions where they have to make history to get out of them. Maybe this is just a good team playing above their nominal level. Caveat being that this isn’t 100% over. Probably is, but not 100%.”

I may have misread the room, but is anybody claiming England are a great team? They’re great fun, and a unique team who are overachieving because of the genius of their captain and coach.

43rd over: England 194-6 (Stokes 0, Foakes 0) Bumrah completes the wicket maiden he started before lunch. That, incidentally, was the 69th time Bairstow has been out bowled or LBW in his Test career.

The players are back on the field. This might not take long.

“Here in Thailand, we feel that this match is finally coming to life after 3.5 days of humdrum Bazball that’s failed to keep us awake after 7pm local time,” writes Tim Finney. “Stage is now set for a Stokes/Foakes/Woakes (ignore that last one) victory charge, with Hartley the most likely scorer of the winning run an hour after tea. Before we embark on a celebratory arm wrestle with the local stingrays, who generally win (like India).”

MCC Women do the Cresta Run!

“It is 5am, and I have just woken up in Switzerland’s St Moritz,” wrote my colleague Emma John a couple of hours ago, when there was far too much going on for me to process a long email. “I am with a group of women cricketers who are making history today by becoming the first all-female team to compete in the Cresta Run’s Inter Club Challenge. Yes – that Cresta Run. The one David Gower did. The one where you slide head first down 3-4 miles of ice in 40 seconds, on the tobogganing equivalent of a very heavy tea tray.

“Anyway, this entirely self-funded team is here to raise money for the girls and women’s cricket projects run by the MCC Foundation in Nepal and South Africa and we would love people to sponsor us. It feels an appropriate cause given that women were banned from the Cresta Run til 2018…

“The Cresta Run is so dangerous that you need to have two days of training before you’re allowed to race. Ours starts in just over an hour’s time with the notorious ‘death talk’, which is where the instructors tell you all the different ways you can maim and injure. Apparently we should be comforted that ‘only’ five people have died on the Run in its 139-year history…”

Good luck to one and all. If you’d like to donate, because you’re high on life after that wonderful session or just an innately good person with a healthy disposable income, you can do so here.

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My head is spinning. There was so much going on in that session, from Joe Root’s skittish innings to Ravi Shastri’s repeated declarations of love for Zak Crawley. The biggest moments, and there were a few, was Rohit Sharma’s marvellous reaction catch to dismiss Ollie Pope, who had been hitting boundaries at will.

For most the session England were right in the game – 132 for two, then 194 for four – but those two late wickets have settled it.And while this blog is inevitable Anglocentric, we should say that India did so well to hold their nerve – and maintain their sanity – in the face of a ceaseless assault from England. With the possible exception of Australia, any other team in the world would have wilted.

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The wicket means that’s the last ball of a pulsating morning. It was subtle at times, pugilistic at others, and it ended – like all the best sessions – with an affronted Jonny Bairstow giving somebody a mouthful.

There were 127 runs and five wickets in 25.4 overs. England played brilliantly, they really did, but you can only defy this marvellous Indian attack for so long in the fourth innings. Gravity always wins.

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WICKET! England 194-6 (Bairstow LBW b Bumrah 26)

That’s the game! Bumrah wins the battle of the JBs, trapping Bairstow in front with a nipbacker. Ashwin celebrates in front of Bairstow, who tells him where to go.

Bairstow reviews, just in case, but deep down he knows. It was umpire’s call on height, so not quite as plumb as I thought, but still palpably out.

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42nd over: England 194-5 (Bairstow 26, Stokes 0) The timing of India’s wickets has been exemplary. Every time England threaten to get in front, India pull them back in.

India celebrate wildly, which shows how much they fear Crawley. He made a brilliant 73, an innings of class, patience and admirable shot selection, but he’s gone now. The England balcony are all gawping at replays, clearly not convinced. It looked out to me, both live and on replay, although it was close to umpire’s call when it hit leg stump. On TNT Sports, Sir Alastair Cook says it “didn’t look right”.

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WICKET! England 194-5 (Crawley LBW b Kuldeep 73)

He’s gone!

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INDIA REVIEW FOR LBW AGAINST CRAWLEY! A double bowling change, with Kuldeep Yadav on for Axar Patel. Crawley has just been compared to Kevin Pietersen by an increasingly smitten Ravi Shastri – but he might be gone now! He whipped across the line and was hit on the pad in front of leg stump. Marais Erasmus said not out and India went upstairs. Crawley looks very sheepish. I reckon this is out.

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41st over: England 192-4 (Crawley 72, Bairstow 25) Bumrah has two slips and a gully for Bairstow, who drives two terrific boundaries – one through extra cover, one square. Bairstow has looked in brilliant touch in this series, which makes his run of nothing scores (37, 10, 25, 21*) even more frustrating. England would sacrifice a year’s worth of positive vibes for a matchwinning hundred from Bairstow today. He was the one who started all this fourth-innings insanity at Trent Bridge in 2022.

“Looking at the scorecard, England aren’t even halfway there yet,” says Gary Naylor. “On the other hand, ENGLAND ARE NEARLY HALFWAY THERE ALREADY! This is what Bazball has done to us. No wonder Joe Root can’t think straight.”

Of all the miracles of Bazball, getting Gary Naylor to inadvertently referecne Bon Jovi is right up there.

40th over: England 184-4 (Crawley 72, Bairstow 17) A maiden from Axar to Crawley. And now, with 18 minutes to go to lunch, Rohit Sharma invites Jasprit Bumrah to end all this nonsense.

39th over: England 184-4 (Crawley 72, Bairstow 17) Crawley dances down to drive Ashwin through mid-off for four, another beautiful shot. He’s supposed to be Mr Inconsistent but he has now reached 20 in his last nine innings: 33, 44, 189, 22, 73, 20, 31, 76, 71*.

Meanwhile Bairstow, who is looking better after a nervous first 10 balls, punches Ashwin off the back foot to the cover boundary. Honestly, this is the most brilliant cricket from both teams.

“Harking back to the first Test (and a bit of this game) re Tom Hartley lookalikes,” says Dale Webster. “I can’t put my finger on it but Axar Patel reminds me of Daniil Medvedev.”

Yeah I can see that. I think it’s to do with the contours of the face, and if it wasn’t for this pesky all-action cricket I’d Photoshop a side-by-side comparison.

38th over: England 175-4 (Crawley 67, Bairstow 13) Crawley is beaten by a jaffa from Axar that bounces just over off stump. His roundarm angle makes him so dangerous on pitches where only some balls turn.

“Root’s wicket clinches it,” says Andrew Crossley. “I’ll be off to bed at lunchtime. Has been fun thinking a ridiculous win was actually possible, though.”

37th over: England 174-4 (Crawley 66, Bairstow 13) Crawley sweeps Ashwin for a couple and scrunches a single to long on. The boundaries have dried up for Crawley – his last was in the 26th over – but there’s no sign of him getting impatient.

Bairstow does get a boundary, sweeping brusquely through square leg.

36th over: England 167-4 (Crawley 63, Bairstow 9) The spinners are getting through the overs so quickly that it’s hard to keep up. It’s been a blistering morning session: 22 overs, 100 runs, three wickets.

35th over: England 165-4 (Crawley 61, Bairstow 9) Crawley survives a stumping referral after playing and missing at Ashwin, who is all over England. Crawley flicks not far wide of short leg for a single, then Bairstow is beaten outside off.

This is what Ashwin does, particularly in India. Of the nine bowlers with 500 Test wickets (come on, it’s in the post), only Ashwin has taken more than half his wickets in home victories: 272 at an average of 17.80, which is 55 per cent. Even Muttiah Muralitharan managed only 38 per cent.

34th over: England 165-4 (Crawley 61, Bairstow 9) Bairstow plays a lovely, languid cover drive for four off Axar, who responds with a jaffa that somehow misses both the edge and the off stump. England are going down in a blaze of boundaries: they’ve hit 26 fours and two sixes in just 34 overs.

33rd over: England 156-4 (Crawley 60, Bairstow 1) At some point in the next few minutes/hours, Ravichandran Ashwin will become the ninth man to take 500 Test wickets. The phrase “elite club” doesn’t really do it justice: Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Jimmy Anderson, Anil Kumble, Stuart Broad, Glenn McGrath, Courtney Walsh, Nathan Lyon.

Bairstow is struggling against Ashwin, who continues around the wicket to the right-handers. He tries to cut and is beaten, then inside-edges onto the body. A maiden.

It’s been a superb half hour for Rohit Sharma. He took a blinder to dismiss Ollie Pope, and his decision to keep mid-on up directly contributed to Joe Root’s wicket.

32nd over: England 155-4 (Crawley 60, Bairstow 1) Two from Axar’s over. Mercy.

31st over: England 154-4 (Crawley 59, Bairstow 0) This game is moving at dizzying speed.

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The remarkable Ravichandran Ashwin moves to 499 Test wickets. Root came down the track, was done in the flight and sliced the ball high to Axar Patel at short third man. It was an ugly shot, an off-balance swipe across the line, to end an unusually skittish knock of 16 in 10 balls. Maybe Root’s finger wasn’t up to a longer, more orthodox innings.

Let’s take the positives: at least Bumrah didn’t get him again.

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