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

Spread the love

Key events

59th over: England 288-5 (Stokes 38, Foakes 6) Foakes has played that brilliantly. Tight on defence and with quick feet, when Kuldeep over pitches England’s keeper skips down the pitch and flicks a wonderful shot through midwicket for four. That forces Kuldeep to change his angle of attack but Foakes’ defence remains impenetrable. Top work.

15 minutes to lunch and Kuldeep has potentially a full over at Foakes. A short mid-on and a slip. He’ll look to drag him forward and bring one back in through the gate or onto the pads.

58th over: England 284-5 (Stokes 37, Foakes 2) Stokes is far more comfortable against the seamer. it helps when he’s served a half tracker which he can simply swivel on and despatch for four with a controlled pull. He takes two more with a nudge off his hips but almost drags a wide delivery back on his stumps. Siraj throws his head back and Stokes makes an ‘oooh’ sound. That was an ugly swipe and would have been a sickening way to go. Other than that, though, he was in complete control.

57th over: England 277-5 (Stokes 31, Foakes 2) Kuldeep is producing a jaffa every over. Another ripper from the rough spins and bounces. Maybe too much on both counts as it beats Stokes’ outside edge. He then drags down and Stokes cuts for two down to deep point. A single off the top edge – which had the Indian fielders interested for a second – of a sweep follows before a extra turn to Foakes catches the leading edge. Ecvellent wrist spin bowling. Could watch this all day.

56th over: England 275-5 (Stokes 28, Foakes 2) Just a single from the last ball of that Siraj over – a mow from Srtokes behind square on the leg side. England perhaps dropping anchor until the lunch break. At least, that would be the smart play which means we’ll probably see a double-step reverse-sweep from someone.

55th over: England 274-5 (Stokes 27, Foakes 2) Great set from Kuldeep. He starts by almost clipping Foakes’ off-stump and then unleashes an absolute gem from the back of the hand that bamboozled Stokes as it turned back into him and also beat the keeper who similarly didn’t pick the googly. Two singles – one for each batter – keeps the scoreboard ticking. Not that Kuldeep will mind who’s on strike. He’s into a great groove right now.

For those asking about Duckett’s dismissal, refresh your page and the description will be there (though you might not want to read it if you’re an England fan).

54th over: England 268-5 (Stokes 26, Foakes 1) Siraj has pulled his length back. He gets one to climb on Foakes who manages to swivel on a controlled pull that he squeezes down to fine leg for a single. Not sure how much he knew about it but he got enough bat on that to get off the mark. Stokes cops one on the body as he looks to pull in front of square. I quite like that tactic from Siraj. I’ll be interested to see if he keeps hammering that short length in the next over.

A penny for Joe’s thoughts right now

Love Joe Root, love that shot. But the circumstances, both in terms of his form (plus Bumrah’s record against him) and the match situation (India down to 10, wickets falling early on day 1 and 2, still so far behind) make it a very difficult choice of shot to justify

— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) February 17, 2024

Should Bazball mean different things for different players?

Dan Langdon has an idea:

Maybe the only really positive difference about Bazball is the Crawley/Duckett partnership and the consistently fearless way in which they set the tone for the innings. Other than that nothing should be different. Pope and Root are naturally fast accumulators so should just play their own game. Bairstow/Brook are both ultra-aggressive so clearly don’t need to change their game. Stokes always takes his time at the beginning of his innings regardless of Bazball – before he changes gear directly from first to sixth.

53rd over: England 266-5 (Stokes 26, Foakes 0) Stokes will continue fighting, no doubt about this. He gets down low and drills a sweep off Kuldeep that screams away to the deep midwicket fence. He again keeps the strike as he leans back and cuts with the spin to the sweeper on the off side. While he’s there England will believe.

52nd over: England 261-5 (Stokes 21, Foakes 0) Siraj from round the wicket to Stokes. He’s varying his length but probing around that fourth stump line. Stokes keeps the strike with a single off the back foot that finds a gap in the covers.

Kim Thronger has an intersting proposal:

“Waking up to find Root gone is not a surprise to me, I’ve thought for some time that his poor run with the bat is affecting his principal job in the team, holding up one end as a spinner. Should he drop down the order to 8 or 9 to relieve the pressure on him?”

I’m not sure that is the solution, but I do like the idea of a fluid batting order. However, Root doesn’t need protecting. He needs a psychological recalibration (if I can tip-toe the line between punditry and pop psychology).

He’s obviously a class act. Maybe England’s greatest ever player. I can’t see this run of form going on forever.

51st over: England 260-5 (Stokes 20, Foakes 0) A wicket maide has India in control now. that might be Kuldeep’s worst ball of the Test but any clubbie will tell you that dross so often gets wickets. So it proved here. Big job for Foakes. England still trail by 185. Can the ‘keeper keep his captain company for long enough?

I’ve had more correspondence regarding Root’s dismissal, though I feel the chat might shift to Duckett’s own howler. Let’s get the Root chat out of the way:

John Withington: “It’s noticeable that Stokes, as a key architect of the approach, seems immune to the Root interpretation of “Bazball”. Granted, he’s invariably rebuilding the innings after Root and Bairstow these days, but he‘s also playing the moment and to his own strength of building a platform to take advantage later when set. Why does Root seem to so regularly think he has to be the batter that he isn’t in order to fit into the team’s ethos?” – To be fair to John, he sent this before Stokes started unleashing.

Ben Tryer: I‘m still hazily reeling from Root’s decision to get unnecessarily funky with the task at hand, but I think I can understand the logic of the shot. It’s one that brought him plenty of success in those early Stokes-era tests and a way of forcing bowlers off lines and lengths. Bumrah has spent all series popping out of different doors in the corridor of uncertainty to spook Root like a Scooby Doo villain, so trying the scoop felt like his attempt of countering that.”

“I agree with the rest of the OBO community that the shot was a daft one considering the situation. Perhaps a bigger sign of his current batting malaise is his struggle to play what the situation requires rather than his expansive shot selection.

“Thanks for keeping me company while I question my choices of waking up to see England put themselves under the cosh.”

Will Juba: “Interesting to see the reaction of the OBOers…I absolutely understand the frustration at Root’s shot and agree, he doesn’t quite seem to have found his natural place in this Stokes and Baz England set up (though his average is still fantastic and he’s scored some unbelievable tons so it’s not that bad!).

”However, only England fans could go from the giddy high of yesterday to the depressing low of today! Poor shot yes; but 2 wickets have gone in the first half hour on all three days. Is the way Root got out different to if he’d been caught in the slips? I know the argument is if he sat in, it gets easier and then he goes big. But I do understand the ‘it’s how we play argument’ and am not sure how you can have one (the quite staggering attacking batting) and not the other (the strange dismissals). To just leap between the mindsets and go traditional-attacking-traditional-attacking surely isn’t that easy and we fit the narrative to the result. If that shot comes off then we’d all be waxing lyrical about it.

”That said, bad shot wasn’t it?!”

WICKET! Duckett c Gill b Kuldeep 153 (England 260-5)

Oh no Ben, what have you done? The tamest, weakest, softest dismissal you’ll ever see. A half-tracker that could have been spanked anywhere in Rajkot has been spooned to the man at cover and Duckett, after playing an epic, is on his way. Stokes makes a fadce as if he’s had something incredibly smelly placed under his nose and Ducket throws his head back. An absolute howler.

Kuldeep Yadav and captain Rohit Sharma celebrate the key wicket of Ben Duckett for 153. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Updated at 

50th over: England 260-4 (Duckett 153, Stokes 20) Bumrah’s spell is over and into the attack comes Mohammad Siraj. He’s picking up where Bumrah left off in that he’s operating from round the wicket, but he can’t get his angles right and Stokes leans into a clib through midwicket that races to the rope for four. Stokes looks on it as he skips down the track and hammers a drive through the covers. That is some cricket shot given the circumstances. Siraj over-corrects for the final two balls and sprays them down leg.

49th over: England 252-4 (Duckett 153, Stokes 12) Pow! Turn and bounce be damned! Stokes gets down on one knee and crunches Kuldeep up and over mid-off for four. It was almost a straight sweep shot. A real stroke of authority. He keeps the strike with a single through point off the back foot. Will we see some counter attacking from the England captain now?

Loads in my inbox regarding Root’s dismissal. Here are a few of the best:

Michael Anderson: “I don’t agree that Root’s “so far away from that level right now”. He looked great this morning, more at ease against Bumrah than I’ve ever seen him. This wasn’t a batsman thrashing his way back into form or taking risks to break a pressure situation. It was just a reckless decision that threw away a brilliantly-earned position of strength. Flippant, and so unsupportive of Duckett, who has now had to change gear. How can someone be so good and so foolish?

“As to the nonsense of “better stats under Stokes”. Sure, his average since Stokes took over is two runs higher than the ten years before. But if you take out that first series against New Zealand and the one-off test in India – where Root continued his impossible form from 2021, batting like a dream… his average since 20 July 2022 is now under 40.

“Ah, how much I was looking forward to simply watching him bat this morning.”

John Withington: Graeme Swann doesn’t seem to get the distinction that I think is at the heart of the “Bazball” era. Surely the basic premise is breeding confidence to free players up to operate at their best, not to practice their worst at key moments of the game! Suggesting that you can’t have Duckett doing Duckett without Root doing self euthanasia is nonsense. Duckett is playing his way without fear. Root is just being empty headed. There is a difference.”

And Arul Kanhere wants to point out that Root has success in India. Who can forget this epic?

48th over: England 247-4 (Duckett 153, Stokes 7) Bumrah’s maiden to Duckett will bring on drinks and that was unquestionably India’s hour. They were tidy, without being spectacular. But Root’s madness and Bairstow’s misjudgment in the space of six balls handed the initiative to the home side. Duckett remains, though he’s been far more watchful. And Stokes, always a man for a rescue mission, is there with him.

47th over: England 247-4 (Duckett 153, Stokes 7) Stokes nails a back-foot scythe but only gets one to the sweeper. Duckett nails a swishing sweep but only gets a single to the deep square leg. Two crunching shots for just two runs. Between that a tasty floated ball dipped under Duckett’s adventurous drive. Ooohs and aaahs from the Indians. They still have a mighty lead. One more in this session and they’ll be well on top.

46th over: England 244-4 (Duckett 151, Stokes 6) Bumrah seems much happier bowling around the wicket to the lefties than he did to Root earlier (despite the gimme wicket). Angling in towards the off-stump, he’s trying to get one to hold its line. Stokes is up to it, also digging out a yorker. But he nibbles at the final delivery which catches the outside. Soft hands saves the captain as it rolls along the ground to the slips.

Have England earned the right to do what they do?

Brian Withington ain’t buying it: “I’m getting a bit tired of the ‘it’s what they do’ defence of needlessly throwing a key wicket away.

”It wouldn’t wash for a serial liar or adulterer, and England’s best batter in a generation should really know better. The team does not need him to chance his arm so often and so recklessly – his natural tempo is perfectly good enough.”

Punchy stuff.

45th over: England 238-4 (Duckett 150, Stokes 6) Duckett reaches his milestone with a wild reverse sweep. It’s not off the middle. Far from it as it trickles behind the ‘keeper for a single. Duckett won’t care. That’s a superb 150. Kuldeep is into his stride now. A delicious googly splits Stokes in half and catches his elbow before bobbling away for four leg-byes.

Updated at 

Have we seen this before?

Abhishek Phadnis thinks so: “Lords ‘23, Lyon out of the match, England at 188-1 in first innings, throw wickets away to short-ball ploy. Rajkot ‘24, Ashwin out of the match, England at 219-2 in first innings, throw wickets away to daft shots. I understand that Bazball is about attacking and putting the opposition on the back-foot, but if they’re *already* on the back-foot and without their main bowler, why attack needlessly and let them back into the game?”

Not sure I’d criticise Bairstow for playing playing a “daft shot”. He just misjudged the length to one that turned. But yes, as a consequence of the result, I think it’s fair to call Root’s reverse scoop “daft”.

44th over: England 238-4 (Duckett 149, Stokes 6) Duckett edges but it flies past gully for four. A cutter from Bumrah got some purchase off the deck and brought out a loose jab from Duckett. Bumrah also found Stokes’ edge but this one, from a front foot prod, was played with soft hands so there was little danger of a catch as it trickled through the cordon for four.

43rd over: England 229-4 (Duckett 144, Stokes 2) Stokes is on the board with stiff drive for two towards deep extra cover. Duckett adds one more to the total with a prod that spoons into the leg side from a forward press. Had there been a man at forward short leg he’d be on his way. Nice turn and bounce from Kuldeep from the rough early in the over. That’ll keep the left-handers on their toes.

Joe Root won’t want to read my inbox right now.

Here’s John Withington: “Morning Daniel …. I type as my heart sinks as Bairstow blobs again after Root’s horrific act of self sacrifice. I seem to be bombarded on social media with the mockery of Australians of the Bazball era, no doubt much due to its perfect storm of Anglo/NZ origin. But it feels like Root is doing his best to justify the criticism, using the opportunity to practice circus tent cricket shots. While others are feeling freed to play to their strengths Root insists on playing a shot that he clearly can’t, and throwing away England’s new found top order solidity. Make it stop please.”

And Vivekanand Muthukrishnan: “Can someone take Root aside, calm him down, reassure him that he belongs, that there is no need to turbocharge a batting style that has amassed 11,000 runs? Else, he risks beside cast aside soon. We have already lost a test great in Pujara and Root risks ending up the same way.”

Such an odd situation. He’s clearly England’s best player (when operating at his peak) but he’s so far away from that level right now. Does he biff and scoop and reverse his way back to form? Or does he grind it out? Whatever he’s doing now isn’t working.

42nd over: England 226-4 (Duckett 143, Stokes 0) Bumrah will be glad to bowl to two left-armers and will come from around the wicket to both. Duckett gets off strike first ball which means Bumrah can look to set up Stokes for the remaining five. He finds a tight, probing line before pushing in a yorker to end the over. Stokes digs it out.

Reader David Williams is not happy with Joe:

“While I’m a big fan of Bazball, Joe Root should know better – read the situation. No Ashwin, Bumrah only a few overs and he plays a completely unnecessary shot. Embarrassing lack of read of the game.”

I think I agree with you David. Flat deck too. I reckon that’s why Root was so livid with himself. Then again, maybe he was just annoyed he didn’t thwack the reverse scoop for six.

41st over: England 225-4 (Duckett 142, Stokes 0) Out of nowhere, Duckett has a rebuilding job on his hands. He’s lost two partners in six balls. Brilliant from Kuldeep who toyed with Bairstow, bringing him forward before pinning him back. Stokes, not for the first time, has to dig his side out of a hole before he can think of counter attacking.

WICKET! Bairstow lbw Kuldeep 0 (England 225-4)

GONE! Bairstow doesn’t even wait for the three reds to show on the big screen. He was on his way after just one look at the replay. Plumb as plumb can be. The previous ball was flighted and dragged Bairstow forward, almost squeezing through bat and pad. This one was fizzed flatter but Bairstow played it off the back foot. It turned and thudded his pad dead in front of his stumps. In a flash India are in control.

Kuldeep Yadav and India celebrate the dismissal of Jonny Bairstow for a duck. Photograph: Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 

The finger goes up and Bairstow is given! Looks plumb. They review but that pitched outside his off-stump and turned back into his pads from Kuldeep’s left-arm wrist spin. I’ll be astounded if this doesn’t stick.

40th over: England 224-3 (Duckett 141, Bairstow 0) Yet again it’s Bumrah who nabs the breakthrough in the morning session. Root’s gone and Bairstow, the new man, digs out a searing yorker first up.

WICKET! Root c Jaiswal b Bumrah 18 (England 224-3)

Unreal! What a remarkable wicket! Root, as he does, unfurls a reverse sweep to Bumrah’s seamer but he can’t get the lift needed to take it beyond the cordon. Instead, Jaiswal at second slip, clings on to a screamer. That was moving at a rate of knots. Root’s poor form continues and he has to go, admonishing himself as he leaves the scene.

Jasprit Bumrah helps put England on the ropes with the wicket of Joe Root for 18. Photograph: Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 

39th over: England 223-2 (Duckett 140, Root 18) Duckett gets out the broom and nails his first sweep of the day. Lofted, in control, and sweetly timed; that’s been swatted in front of square for four. He then almost runs himself out. In fact, a direct hit from the scampering Jurel – who did well to whip his ‘keeper glove off before shying at the bowler’s end – would have ended Duckett’s stay despite the desperate dive. Three singles from the remaining four balls makes that a productive over for Engkand.

“Morning Daniel,” Good morning Brian Withington. Thanks for joining me nice and early.

”Brother just texted to say that Finn is a ‘surprisingly’ insightful pundit. At the risk of generalisation I opined that bowlers often are. One for the OBO community to consider? As random exhibit A I would offer KP vs Shane Warne; exhibit B, Ponting vs Broad (closer to call).”

An interesting hypothesis. I’d say Punter is one of the best in the business. But you might be right. My favourite Saffa player-turned-commentator is Shaun Pollock. Your brother might be on to something.

38th over: England 216-2 (Duckett 134, Root 17) Bumrah hasn’t quite located his range yet. He’s too wide outside Root’s off-stump. One back of a length delivery ios expertly steered behind square for four. Root’s playing that away from his body but he’s in full control. He then picks up an easy two off his pads. If Bumrah can’t get on top of Root this could get out of control for India real fast.

37th over: England 210-2 (Duckett 134, Root 11) Kuldeep’s left arm wrist spin gets things going from the other end. Remember, there’s no Aswhin today or the rest of the Test. Kuldeep is aiming for some rough outside Root’s off-stump. He can’t quite find it. He’s a little too straight and Root tucks a single out to the leg-side sweeper off the back foot.

36th over: England 209-2 (Duckett 134, Root 10) Bumrah starts from round the wicket into the left-handed Duckett who steers a comfortable single into the covers off the second ball. That brings Root on strike. The former England skipper has had his troubles against Bumrah – who shifts to over the wicket for the righty. Root’s trigger brings him out of his crease. Perhaps he’s looking to smother any lateral movement? An inside edge gets him a single down to fine leg. Duckett is solid in defence for the rest of the set.

Right then. Bumrah has the ball. Duckett and Root have bats. The Test, indeed the series, is delicately poised. Away we go!

Where do we rank Aswhin in the great pantheon? The numbers don’t lie, but he hasn’t always had the love (I think) he deserves.

Glad his record will now stack up against the elites. Another, more sobering, question: Will he be the last member to join the 500 Club?

For another day. For now, enjoy Tanya Aldred’s lovely piece on the man:

Now Sir Alastair Cook – on TNT – is waxing lyrical about “Ducky”. The former England skipper and left handed opener is commending Duckett’s bravery against the Indian spinners but also his accuracy on the sweep. When defending he looked like, well, a sitting duck. But on the sweep he was in control. “A brilliant hundred”, says Sir Alastair. Too right!

“A phenomenal ­talent”

That’s Ravichandran Ashwin – the latest member of the exclusive 500-club – speaking about Ben Duckett after the England’ opener’s spell-binding hundred.

The last time the lefty batted in India, he averaged in the single figures across a tour that, for him personally, never made it past the third Test. Now he’s leading the Bazballers into uncharted territory. Can he kick on today?


Daniel Gallan

Daniel Gallan

Oooooh, we’re halfway theee-ere! At least, at some point in the second session today, we’ll be halfway through this five-Test series and, whisper it quietly, it’s shaping up to be an epic.

England arrived in India with a question hanging over them. Could they Bazball in the meanest backyard in cricket? Ben Duckett’s staggering Test ton, the fastest by an Englishman in India, has firmly answered that query.

It was unreal batting. The sheer chutzpah of the approach was worthy of praise. That it counted for 133 unbeaten runs off a mere 118 balls places it firmly in contention for the best knock by a tourist in India (and we’ve already had one of those in the series).

Duckett will have Joe Root – nine off 13 – for company but won’t have to face Ravichandran Aswhin. India’s premier spinner became the ninth player to reach 500 Test wickets but has had to pull out of the match after a family medical emergency.

It’s a cruel blow for India and possibly places England in the driver’s seat despite the 238-run deficit. If Duckett and Root can build a partnership, and if the aggressive middle order can crank into gear, and if the tail can contribute with some handy runs, then England might have a sizeable lead.

That’s a lot of ifs and a maybe. But this is a team that has challenged what we thought we knew about this sport. Love or hate England cricket, there is no denying the bravery of this latest iteration that is setting a new standard with the bat.

Play resumes at 4am UK time/9:30am in Rajkot.

Source link