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

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86th over: India 354-4 (Jaiswal 182, Sarfaraz 28) Jaiswal is two short of Wasim Akram’s Test record of 12 sixes in an innings, maded against Zimbabwe at Sheikhupura (I think) in 1996-97. He hits the ball so cleanly, parsticulartly down the ground.

No sixes in that over from Rehan, though England almost get a wicket when a top-edged sweep from Sarfaraz plops between two fielders. India lead by 480.

“Contrary to their mantra, England have not changed the way Test cricket is played; they have changed the way they play it,” says Darryl Accone. “Also, their dangerous and unseemly self-regard is shown precisely by Duckett’s lack of imagination regarding Jaiswal’s latest ton, which he ascribes to the example of Bazball. Next Duckett will be referencing the playing fields of Eton as the great school room of the world.”

Arf. Do they claim to have changed the way it’s played, or is that the media? That’s a genuine question, not a confrontational one – I’ve completely lost track. Whether they said or not, I would argue they have changed it, same as Steve Waugh’s four-an-over mob at the start of the century. Anyway, I’m going to shut up because I think Jaiswal and Sarfaraz deserve our undivided attention.

85th over: India 350-4 (Jaiswal 180, Sarfaraz 26) Astonishing batting from Yashasvi Jaiswal! He hits Anderson – Jimmy Anderson. the thriftmeister general – for three successive sixes: a pick-up over deep backward square, a drive over extra cover and a savage thump down the ground. Wow.

He has now hit 10 sixes in the innings, an Indian record, and 20 in the series – a world record, with two and a bit Tests to go!

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84th over: India 329-4 (Jaiswal 159, Sarfaraz 26) Sarfaraz guides Rehan to third man, where Anderson does incredibly well to save one entirely pointless run. For a 41-year-old, that level of commitment is beyond admirable.

England are going to suffer in the next hour or two. Jaiswal moves to 159 by waving a full toss from Rehan to the extra-cover boundary.

83rd over: India 321-4 (Jaiswal 154, Sarfaraz 23) Jimmy Anderson returns to the attack. He bowls a rare wide, trying to keep Jaiswal quiet outside off stump, and is then steered for a single. It brings up Jaiswal’s 150, his third fatherly century in only seven Tests and a masterpiece of pacing and strokeplay.

The milestone reached, Jaiswal treats himself to a premeditated scoop for four, taking the ball from well wide of off stump. I bet he learned that shot from Jos Buttler. There have been better 22-year-old batsmen in the history of the game; I can’t think of too many with Jaiswal’s range.

“There is no hating this England side,” says Anul Kanhere. “They threatened India in India and are playing in a manner that is forcing everyone to see Tests in a different light. One aberration does not mean anything in elite sports. It costs games – but does not mean the idea was wrong.”

This is an important point about yesterday – Root aside, it was a failure of execution rather than shot selection. Also, and we really should dwell on this a bit more, India played like the champions they are.

“I think the reason non-English followers find Bazball so irritating, as well as cocky and arrogant, is that it pays no heed to one of the fundamentals of sport – respect for one’s opponent, in both words and deeds,” says Pete Salmon. “In any sporting contest, each side needs to respond to what the opposition does – this is a basic sort of respect. Bazball simply goes on as if the opponents don’t exist (nor the match situation, which is ultimately the same). Add to that things like ‘moral victories’ (which seems to imply the opposition were immoral in not joining the fun) and the delusional press conferences that always seem to say they did the right thing, and no wonder they provoke emotional reactions.”

I’d argue the press conferences are knowing rather than delusional. I take the point about the opposition, though this is hardly a new thing in competitive sport. I also think it’s a lot more nuanced. But I get all the criticism and contempt. I suppose what confuses me more is how many England fans seem to dislike their own team.

Anyway, enough, here come the players.

Okay, I need to run and get some lunch before it’s too late. I’ll leave you with a typically elegant piece of writing from Guardian sport’s equivalent to VVS Laxman.

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“I take your point,” says Finn. “Perhaps it is true that an attacking mentality yields the best result for the English team. Where I think it falls down is that everyone takes a uniform approach. I would have much the same concerns if the captain asked everyone to adopt an ultra-defensive methodology.

“But the real acrimony you are seeing comes from their belief that Earth’s gravitational pull is derived from the English set up and not the sun. Duckett taking the shine off Jaiswal’s century by attributing said brilliance to the English mentality is symptomatic of a setup that does not have enough people providing some dissent to Stokes and McCullum’s new world order. It’s a bit silly… innit?”

Well, two things. Do they really take a uniform approach? Stokes doesn’t, and the others – though uniformly positive – all score runs in different ways. As for Duckett’s comments, earlier in the series Stokes openly said he had learned from Rohit’s fields, and I thought the opposite was true yesterday: India’s fields were their most imaginative of the series. Teams learn from each other all the time. Maybe Duckett shouldn’t say it but in the grand scheme, who cares? I haven’t seen his specific comments so I may be wrong on this, but to say it “takes the shine off Jaiswal’s century” feels excessive. It still looks bloody shiny to me.

I agree about the Earth’s gravitation pull, though I would argue that comes more from the English media than the team. I suspect the more we subscribe to the view that England are a bunch of Kool Aid-glugging chancers, the more they will play up to it – partly for a bit of fratboy fun, partly to stick two fingers up at people who don’t give them the credit they feel they deserve. They are literally, demonstrably, the most attacking batting team in the history of Test cricket; that alone should buy them a whole heap of slack.

This isn’t very coherent, sorry. I barely slept last night and am all over the show. Put simply, in time I think we’ll remember this team with the greatest fondness. I know I haven’t felt so alive watching sport (not right now, I’m biting my lip to stay awake, but in the past two years) since Michael van Gerwen exploded on the oche in the winter of 2012. That’s just, like, my opinion, man.

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Lunchtime viewing

Lunch: India lead by 440

A predictably miserable session for England, who had no choice but to stand and watch India’s lead move into the stratosphere. Shubman Gill was run out for 91 and the nightwatchman Kuldeep fell for 29, but even the wickets were a mixed blessing for England. They hastened the arrival of the more attacking Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sarfaraz Khan, who belted a few sixes just before lunch to remind everyone what’s what in this game.

82nd over: India 314-4 (Jaiswal 149, Sarfaraz 22) Jaiswal wallops Rehan into the crowd at long on, his 17th six in three Tests. He’s two short of the world record for a Test series and we’re barely at the halfway point.

I was going to describe Jaiswal as a future superstar but I’m not sure the f-word is necessary. He’s barely 22 years old, and he’ll back after lunch to make his third 150+ score in only seven Tests. Only five players – Don Bradman, Neil Harvey, Javed Miandad, Graeme Smith and Kusal Mendis – have done that before their 23rd birthday.

81st over: India 307-4 (Jaiswal 142, Sarfaraz 22) Hartley replaces Root for the penultimate over before lunch. A cocky, arrogant, mediocre set of six is milked for three runs, which takes India’s lead to 433.

80th over: India 304-4 (Jaiswal 140, Sarfaraz 21) Sarfaraz, such a joyful player, slog-sweeps Rehan for four more; he’s now scored 17 from his last six balls. All England can do is stand there and take it for as long as India deceree.

79th over: India 299-4 (Jaiswal 139, Sarfaraz 17) Jaiswal clouts a full toss from Root over long on. That’s his sixth six of the innings and his 16th of the series. Only Rohit Sharma has ever scored more in a Test series: 19 against South Africa in 2019-20. Jaiswal could break that record today.

Sarfaraz joins in the fun with a sweet hit over midwicket for six more. He plays with such effervescence that it’s easy to forget he’s making his debut.

At the end of the over Root feels his spinning finger, which he hurt while catching Kuldeep. Surely he shouldn’t risk further damage? A worry for England is that this passage of play – essentially meaningless because the game is over – could impact the availability of Wood, Root and others for the fourth Test.

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78th over: India 284-4 (Jaiswal 131, Sarfaraz 10) Sarfaraz doubles his score from his 16th delivery, chipping Rehan to midwicket for four.

Seven from the over, India’s best for a while. They lead by 410.

77th over: India 277-4 (Jaiswal 130, Sarfaraz 4) “Well said Finn! (05.10 GMT),” writes Darryl Accone. “It really does seem as though this England squad, coach and captain have been given absolute licence, power without responsibility, to the analogous extent that the children are running the kindergarten and the lunatics the asylum. Surely a corrective brake, a robust adult sensibility, is needed to halt the bedlam? Mike Brearley is not only England’s most successful captain but also one of the UK’s most respected psychoanalysts. Call him in before the delusional madness – never better exhibited than in Duckett’s reality-shunning press conference yesterday – turns the current amusing and bemusing The Coral Island into Lord of the Flies.”

Crikey. I don’t see this at all. They get it wrong occasionally, which is unavoidable when you play so aggressively, but if they played orthodox cricket I don’t think they’ve had had anywhere near as much success in the last two years. And it certainly wouldn’t have been as life-affirming to watch. The only time I thought they lost the run of themselves was at the start of the Ashes; in this series, for the most part, I think their approach has been spot on.

They’re away to India, who never lose at home, with three virgin spinners and a malfunctioning engine room. Most of the dismissals yesterday were to defensive or neutral shots. I detes- dislike myself sufficiently to know that I may well be wrong, so what am I missing?

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76th over: India 276-4 (Jaiswal 129, Sarfaraz 4) India’s lead ticks past 400, the first time England have been in that particular position. The match is over; it’s just about the details and the subplots now.

75th over: India 271-4 (Jaiswal 126, Sarfaraz 2) Root bowls his 100th over of the series; the previous highest was 63 in Pakistan a year ago. Sarfaraz is taking a little time to get his eye in and has two from nine balls; it shouldn’t be long before he starts boshing straight sixes.

74th over: India 270-4 (Jaiswal 125, Sarfaraz 2) “I’m 99.94% sure that Bazball has been a good thing not just for England, but for Test cricket. But unfortunately that 0.06% encompasses circus shots like Joe Root’s yesterday,” says Will Ellen. “There are risks in any attacking shot, but to do that, then, against him (average 20.not very much), seemed like a kind of madness.”

Yes, for a player as smart as Root, the timing of the shot – I’ve no problem with it per se – was so bad as to verge on weird. It felt like a simple case of a great player whose head has temporarily gone rather than the latest manifestation of an evil cult. I’ve gone quite soft in old age; 20 years ago I’d have been calling for Root to be hung, drawn and left out of the Ranchi Test.

73rd over: India 265-4 (Jaiswal 122, Sarfaraz 0) England were quite late appealing for that Kuldeep catch, because they all knew (or thought they did) that it was out. You’ve got to appeal.

Root continues and is swept firmly for four by Jaiswal, the first boundary of his second innings. If these two get going after lunch, England will be left pining for the slow death of the morning session.

72nd over: India 257-4 (Jaiswal 115, Sarfaraz 0) And now for something a little livelier: Sarfaraz Khan.

Root seems okay by the way.

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WICKET! India 258-4 (Kuldeep c Root b Rehan 27)

Kuldeep slices Rehan to slip, where Root takes a sharp catch to his right and immediately turns round to call for the physio. It’s given not out on the field, presumably because Joel Wilson thought it might have been a bump ball, but England send it upstairs. Replays show a clear edge so Kuldeep goes.

He played a useful innings but got stuck towards the end, with only one run from the last 34 deliveries.

Kuldeep Yadav’s useful knock ends on 27 as Rehan Ahmed strikes. Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters

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71st over: India 257-3 (Kuldeep 27, Jaiswal 114) Nice work again from Root. Kuldeep leaves a ball that just misses off stump, then survives an LBW after padding up. There was too much doubt for the umpire to give it out or for England to review.

70th over: India 256-3 (Kuldeep 27, Jaiswal 113) Rehan bowls a maiden to Kuldeep, who is batting very responsibly. Every spell that Rehan bowls in this series is an investment in England’s future. He’ll be 21 by the time of the next Ashes; given the struggles of English finger spinners in Australia this century, they would love to have a leggie over there.

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69th over: India 256-3 (Kuldeep 27, Jaiswal 113) The pitch isn’t spinning much – but every now and then a ball rags, like that one from Root to beat Jaiswal. An LBW appeal is caught in the throat because of an inside edge, and then Jaiswal skids back to flash a back cut for four. He is so good.

68th over: India 250-3 (Kuldeep 27, Jaiswal 107) Make that four runs from four overs. Slow or quick: how do you prefer your cricketing deaths?

“For such Kool Aid-swigging libertines, things are looking a bit flat out there,” writes Will Ellen. “Maybe the bowlers could take a cue from the batsmen and try something really funky. A cartwheel before they deliver the ball? The reverse soft shoe shuffle in lieu of a run up? Come on, we’re meant to be breaking new ground here!”

Why does everyone hate England? The country, sure, I can understand that – it’s a complete shambles – but not the cricket team.

67th over: India 249-3 (Kuldeep 27, Jaiswal 106) “Can you get him off the wicket please?” says one of the England players after Kuldeep goes for a little jog on a length. It’d be interesting to know whether India have discussed that as a team – it doesn’t feel like a Rahul Dravid tactic – or whether it developed organically.

A maiden from Root to Kuldeep means there have been three runs from the last three overs. India are rattled!

Kuldeep Yadav holds out the England bowlers as India build their lead in the third Test. Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters

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66th over: India 249-3 (Kuldeep 27, Jaiswal 106) Rehan on for Hartley. The game is pottering along, with India’s lead now 375. It would be hilarious if England, without saying a word, went into South Africa 2012-13 mode to save the game, with Ben Duckett making 33 from 220 balls.

“The swagger of the English team remind me of Steve Waugh’s Invincibles,” writes Finn. “Duckett coming out yesterday and saying that the English should take some accolades towards influencing Jaiswal’s attacking century was as cringeworthy of McGrath’s pre series predictions and Warne’s numerous transgressions, on and off the field. Except, of course, Waugh’s team were utterly dominant over 15 years, give or a take a series or two.

“I’m wondering how you, and the English listeners, feel about some of the soundbites coming out of the English team, given they have lost to NZ, haven’t held the Ashes for nearly a decade and look set to fall behind in this series with Ashwin taking leave and Kohli and Shami not featuring. We’ve had our fair share of clowns representing the baggy green but I concerned about the cordial they’re giving out within the English camp.”

Personally I think they’re the most life-affirming England team of the past 19 years, maybe ever. Increasingly, I see the interviews as more playful than cringeworthy, though I realise I’m in a minority. I found myself quite irritated by the extent of the criticism yesterday, when only Joe Root and arguably Ben Stokes got their shot selection wrong.

Ultimately, this collection of England players are nowhere near as good as Australia or India – especially without Brook, Archer and Leach – so the fact they are going toe to toe with them, while playing some of the most attacking cricket in Test history, is more than enough to keep me happy. I get the opposite view, though; well, almost all of it. I don’t really understand the people who expect England’s batsmen to make an omelette without breaking any eggs.

65th over: India 247-3 (Kuldeep 26, Jaiswal 105) With Jaiswal back, Root comes into the attack. I missed his over because I was trying to process the email that will appear in the next over, but I can see there was only one run from it.

This is heartwarming news for Team India, and for humanity, if not necessarily for Ben Stokes’ Test average.

64th over: India 246-3 (Kuldeep 26, Jaiswal 104) Just before that run-out, England declined to review a big LBW appeal when Kuldeep missed a sweep off Hartley. They were right not to review it, because they only have one left and couldn’t risk it on a tailender, but replays showed it would have been out. The mounting frustration probably led to the run-out, actually, because there was a bristling impatience in Stokes’s throw.

The new batter is the old batter, Yashasvi Jaiswal.

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WICKET! India 246-3 (Gill run out 91)

Shubman Gill misses out on a century in very frustrating fashion. Kuldeep came down the track and scuffed Hartley just short of Stokes at mid-on. Gill set off, was sent back and couldn’t make his ground before Hartley collected Stokes’ angry throw and broke the stumps.

Shubman Gill dives to reach the crease but is run out for 91. Photograph: Ajit Solanki/AP

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63rd over: India 241-2 (Gill 86, Kuldeep 26) Kuldeep has time to steer Wood past the solitary slip for four, which brings up the fifty partnership. He enjoyed that shot, and walked straight down the pitch to show Gill how he did it. He has a good chance of a first Test fifty, especially as England are now down to their last review.

They went upstairs for LBW against Kuldeep, but the third umpire decided – based on some slightly confusing vuisual evidence – that it hit the bat first and then the pad. I’d like to see that again, not that it really matters in the grand scheme.

62nd over: India 235-2 (Gill 85, Kuldeep 22) Kuldeep smears Hartley back over his head for four. The fact the nightwatchman is batting so comfortably is a peculiar kind of positive for England, as it shows the pitch is still essentially good for batting. Might change when Kuldeep bowls on it, mind.

61st over: India 230-2 (Gill 84, Kuldeep 18) Mark Wood replaces Anderson and concedes a couple of singles. There’s a case for keeping him out of the attack today, with the fourth Test in mind, though England don’t really think like that. Plan as if you’ll live forever, sure, but don’t forget to live like you’ll die tomorrow.

“‘A total in excess of 400’ to chase?’” writes Patrick Ferriday. “I should have thought 550 looks a minimum at this stage.”

Oh I know. What I meant, and am evidently too tired to convey properly, is that Bazball England have never had to chase more than 399. I’d imagine watching the opposition’s lead rattle through the 400s (or the 600s) is a uniquely miserable experience. If so, England are about to enter a world of pain.

60th over: India 228-2 (Gill 83, Kuldeep 17)

59th over: India 225-2 (Gill 82, Kuldeep 15) Kuldeep top-edges a pull off Anderson taht lands safely. “He’d probably give up 100 of his Test wickets to bounce someone out again,” chuckles Graeme Swann on commentary.

Anderson isn’t chuckling when Gill ends the over with the sweetest of pushes through extra cover for four. At his best he plays with a stillness and elegance that is arguably unmatched in world cricket.

Shubman Gill and Kuldeep Yadav build on India’s lead over England on day four of the third Test. Photograph: Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images

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58th over: India 219-2 (Gill 77, Kuldeep 14) Another short ball from Hartley, who looks mentally very weary, is pulled easily for four by Gill. He is closing in on another second-innings century.

If you’re an England fan and you’re just starting to wake up, don’t.

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57th over: India 214-2 (Gill 72, Kuldeep 14) For the third consecutive over, Anderson concedes just a single. He’s bowling accurately but there’s no movement and he doesn’t look like dismissing the nnightwatchman Kuldeep, never mind Gill. It’s still a pretty good pitch.

56th over: India 213-2 (Gill 71, Kuldeep 14) A drag down from Hartley is walloped to the cover boundary by Kuldeep. This England team are optimistic to a fault, but even they are struggling to project positive body language. India lead by 339.

55th over: India 208-2 (Gill 70, Kuldeep 10) Another tight over from Anderson. England are going to have to take their medicine in the field for the next few hours. They’ve never been in this position since Ben Stokes became captain: India’s lead is 334, and at some stage today England will be asked to chase a total in excess of 400 for the first time since 2021.

54th over: India 207-2 (Gill 69, Kuldeep 10) The first big shot of the day comes from the nightwatchman Kuldeep, who charges Hartley and drives handsomely over wide long on for six. That’s the first six of his international career.

53rd over: India 200-2 (Gill 68, Kuldeep 4) There are rumours that Ravichandran Ashwin is on his way back to Rajkot and may play some part in the game. That would be great news, especially as it would suggest his mum is okay.

Jimmy Anderson opens at the other end, aiming to improve on unbecoming bowling figures of 6-1-32-0. He does, a little: by the end of the over they are 7-1-33-0.

That quick single from Gill inside, India are in no hurry. They want to grind England down, let the pitch deteriorate and put more overs in the legs of Anderson and Mark Wood. The fourth Test is less than a week away.

52nd over: India 199-2 (Gill 66, Kuldeep 4) A lively start to the day, with Gill taking a quick single to Stokes at mid-off from Hartley’s first ball. Three from the over.

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The players are on the field and Tom Hartley will open the bowling. Let’s play darts.

Ben Stokes sets the field as England chase quick wickets to stay in the third Test against India. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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Then put your little hand in mine
There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb

Hello and welcome to live coverage of the third day of the third Test in Rajkot. England will resume on 207 for two, a deficit of 238, with a great chance of taking control of the match and the series. India are without Ravichandran Ashwin, and if England bat all day there will be no way back for India.

YEAH, IF ONLY. England would have loved to wake up to Sonny and Cher this morning, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, with the chance do yesterday all over again. While their batting performance was nowhere near as irresponsible as some of the more entitled criticism might suggest, they did miss a fantastic opportunity to set up a potential victory. Or, rather, they had it taken away from them. India were magnificent, a great team reasserting their supremacy in a time of extreme adversity. Joe Root’s ill-timed scoop gave them an in; they took a mile.

India will resume on 196 for two, a whopping lead of 322. Realistically the game is up for England, but the fourth Test starts here: the manner of the defeat will reverberate, so England need to make some positives: wickets for their spinners, low scores for Sarfaraz Khan and Dhruv Jurel, runs for Root and Jonny Bairstow, miles in the Indian bowlers’ legs. They’ll take anything.

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