Failure to learn lessons makes this Bazball’s worst day yet as India punish England

Ben Stokes leaves the field at the end of play looking frustrated
Ben Stokes needs another miracle for England to beat India now - Getty Images/Gareth Copley

The worst day of Ben Stokes’s captaincy could not have been more badly timed for the series. India sit pretty in the third Test and England helped put them in that position.

England always tip-toe along the high wire between attack and carelessness and it is truly exhilarating when Bazball comes off. It does not work all the time and that is the trade-off for such entertainment, but what should hurt them is that they tripped over their own shoelaces, showing again they have not learned from landing on their faces in the past.

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results,” to quote Winston Churchill, and three times in the last eight Tests England have allowed world-class opponents a way back when it was time to dictate.

There was the Edgbaston Ashes Test last June, when Joe Root was flying in the second innings only to be stumped for the first time in his career. Next it was Lord’s a week later, when England lost 34 for three in 7.3 overs, suckered into a hooking contest after Nathan Lyon limped his way into the back of an ambulance. Now we have the reverse ramp of Rajkot.

From the moment Root’s shot was grabbed at the second attempt by Yashasvi Jaiswal at slip, this Test turned. England went from 224 for two, dreaming of a lead, to 319 all out and a 126-run deficit. With Jaiswal turning the heat up to gas mark 7 before retiring hurt with a back problem on 104, India closed on 196 for two, a lead of 319. They can now pick and choose when to call time and put England through the wringer on a turning pitch. India have been superb, and showed great resilience. Now they need to not bat too long and finish England off.

Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrates reaching his century
Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrates reaching his century - Punit Paranjpe/Getty Images

This is a strong India attack but it is an inexperienced team and the shocking news overnight that Ravichandran Ashwin had to fly home for a family medical emergency reduced them to 10 and missing a spiky player with 500 wickets.

England had just swept their way back into the match through Ben Duckett, Root was looking better for his break too, and while it would not be easy seeing off Jasprit Bumrah or facing Kuldeep Yadav firing it into the rough, a steady start could see Indian heads drop leading to a day of English dominance at such a pivotal time – day three of the third Test with the series 1-1.

Instead, a terrific opportunity was wasted, three fell for 80 runs before lunch, and five for 20 after. Kuldeep leapt on his chance, bowling beautifully with flight, pace on the ball and bouncing it out of the footmarks. Bumrah looked like taking a wicket every ball, those two earning opportunities for Ravi Jadeja, who finished with two bowling on one leg, and Siraj, who wrapped up the tail.

There is so much to commend England’s style. It is thrilling, unpredictable and there will be more wins, high scores and daring do, but boy do they make life harder for themselves when they leave common sense back at the team hotel.

Root plays the reverse ramp well when he is in form, badly when out of nick. When he was scratching around in white ball cricket last summer and at the World Cup he tried it in vain without much success. When he was flying in the early Ashes series it worked, ditto the early days of Bazball against New Zealand at Trent Bridge.

This was the second time in Test cricket he has fallen playing the shot – he was caught at slip off Neil Wagner in the first Test against New Zealand a year and a day ago.  Then, like now, Root was out of rhythm. It is true his overall stats are better under Bazball, he is just out of form and searching for a magic moment to kick him on rather than relying on the methods that have served him so well over a longer period of time.

Bumrah is the one quick bowler it is hard to adapt the reverse ramp to play. He gives so little width outside off stump and can move it back into the right hander, more so than Pat Cummins who Root flipped for six last summer. Bumrah can also change his pace with an invisible sleight of hand like no other seamer in the world.

Sure, the shot was on with the field placings – two slips and no third man – but Root is a master at manipulating the ball backward of square on the off side without reverting to fancy dan shots, especially on Asian pitches. In fact, he had just guided Bumrah perfectly beyond point for four.

It was not a high percentage shot when England had a chance to dominate. Root has now scored 70 in five innings. He has the resilience to bounce back strongly and come again in this series but as he dragged himself off, Root knew he had opened the door.

India were up. Jonny Bairstow was surrounded by fielders, out of form, and looking desperate. He went back to a ball he should have played on the front foot, was pinned in front for his eighth duck against India, the most by any batsmen. His review was embarrassing – hitting middle of middle.

Duckett lost his tempo and was fortunate a couple of swipes landed safely. He was on the defensive and fell tamely, not committing to a cut to a wide long hop from Yadav he would have earlier laced for four. It was a woefully executed shot but he had just played the innings of his life.

A holding pattern ensued while Stokes and Ben Foakes rebuilt but, just when England needed a sensible half hour or so after lunch, it came crashing down. Stokes holed out trying to slog sweep against the angle of Jadeja bowling round the wicket and Tom Hartley was stumped on the charge.

England were all out in 71 overs. Pity poor Mark Wood and James Anderson. Once again they had to drag themselves out in 35C heat. For the first time under Stokes, England looked sheepish, the claps of encouragement failed to mask the real mood.

India eased along at four an over most of the time, batting without pressure as the fields spread and the Test, and possibly, the series, ran away from England.

India vs England, third Test day three: As it happened

11:57 AM GMT

Sir Geoffrey on a wasted opportunity

11:50 AM GMT

Ben Duckett, whose astonishing 153 will almost be in vain, gives his reaction

I thought we batted superbly last night. They gave us nothing this morning and bowled really well. We were attacking, the same as yesterday; it just didn’t pay off.

[On his innings, and his pre-series assertion that he would use the sweep as a defensive shot] It was incredible fun. There’s more theory behind it than a lot of people think. People probably thought it sounded reckless but I’ve learned from playing in Pakistan that I have a lot of sweeps and a lot of options. Yesterday they were quite attacking sweeps. I was really gutted a couple of games ago when I got out to Kuldeep caught at silly point. My game is to try and get rid of any men round the bat and then I can rotate easier.

Rooty’s a freak and he does things a lot of us can’t do. In my eyes [Root’s dismissal] is the same as playing a drive and being caught at second slip. He plays that shot so well; I’m sure those people [who criticise the shot] weren’t saying that when he was hitting Pat Cummins for six in the summer.

The game’s not out of reach, not at all. Even sending in a nightwatchman shows they’re slightly wary of us. If we can get two or three blokes in on that pitch, scoring quickly, you never what can happen.

11:38 AM GMT

Stumps: India lead by 322 runs

England arrived today with hopes of taking a decisive grip on this game, maybe even the series. After a tranquil start, Joe Root muffed an ill-conceived reverse ramp off Jasprit Bumrah and was brilliantly caught at second slip by Yashasvi Jaiswal. Root gave India an inch; you can complete the proverb yourself.

India showed why, even without four of their best XI, they are almost unbeatable at home. They took the last eight England wickets for 95 runs - it was maybe 75 per cent fine bowling, 25 per cent poor batting - before extending their first-innings lead in the second half of the day.

Jaiswal made a commanding 104, including five sixes, before retiring hurt with a back spasm. Shubman Gill added an ambient, occasionally poetic 65 not out, and will resume in the morning. England will go back to their hotel to reflect on their big fat missed opportunity.

Yashasvi Jaiswal retired hurt after making a marvellous century
Yashasvi Jaiswal retired hurt after making a marvellous century - Amit Dave/Reuters

11:29 AM GMT

OVER 51: IND 196/2 (Gill 65 Kuldeep 3)

Kuldeep plays out the last few deliveries from Rehan Ahmed to end a near perfect day for India.

11:27 AM GMT

OVER 50: IND 195/2 (Gill 64 Kuldeep 3)

Kuldeep shoves his bum in the way of a big-spinning delivery from Hartley, which leads to a big LBW appeal that is turned down by Joel Wilson. As Kuldeep is the nightwatchman, England decide not to risk their penultimate review. It looked close, though replays show it would have bounced over the stumps.

11:24 AM GMT

OVER 49: IND 195/2 (Gill 64 Kuldeep 3)

Kuldeep drives Rehan stylishly for three to get off the mark. A desperate day for England, their worst of the series by a distance, is almost over. If only Test cricket allowed each team to play one groundhog day per series.

11:21 AM GMT

OVER 48: IND 191/2 (Gill 63 Kuldeep 0)

Kuldeep Yadav comes in as nightwatchman, a slightly defensive tactic given how far ahead India are. I guess they’ve earned the right to do what they like. They lead by 317 runs.

11:19 AM GMT


Patidar c Rehan b Hartley 0 Rajat Patidar pulls Hartley straight to midwicket, his second Andrex-soft dismissal of the match. Hartley looked sheepish at getting a wicket with such a poor delivery. Cruel though it is, if KL Rahul is fit for the fourth Test, that may well be Patidar’s last ball in Test cricket. FOW: 191/2

Tom Hartley sheepishly celebrates the wicket of Rajit Patidar
Tom Hartley sheepishly celebrates the wicket of Rajit Patidar - Gareth Copley/Getty Images

11:16 AM GMT

OVER 47: IND 190/1 (Gill 62 Patidar 0)

Patidar hammers Rehan into the knee of Pope at silly point. He hops around for a bit but it looks like he’s fine; Patidar stays on nought for the time being.

11:12 AM GMT

OVER 46: IND 189/1 (Gill 61 Patidar 0)

The new batsman Rajat Patidar, who needs some runs if he is to have a realistic chance of keeping his place when KL Rahul returns, starts by playing out a maiden from Hartley.

11:09 AM GMT

OVER 45: IND 189/1 (Gill 61 Patidar 0)

Gill cuts a poor ball from Rehan Ahmed for four more. England have rarely, if ever, been so subdued in the field under Ben Stokes.

11:07 AM GMT

OVER 44: IND 185/1 (Gill 57 Patidar 0)

Jaiswal can’t play any big shots in case he knackers his back completely, so he’s not serving much purpose out there. At the end of Hartley’s over he retires hurt on 104 from 133 balls, another charming, coruscating innings from one of the world’s best young players.

Jaiswal has scored 435 runs in this series; nobody else on either side has reached 300.

Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrates his magnificent century at Rajkot
Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrates his magnificent century at Rajkot - Punit Paranjpe/AFP

11:02 AM GMT

OVER 43: IND 184/1 (Jaiswal 104 Gill 56)

Jaiswal is going to continue, though he’s still not right. It looks like he may have tweaked something when he jumped in celebration of his hundred.

It’s okay he can just stand at the non-striker’s end and watch Shubman Gill bat. A sweet pull for six off Wood takes Gill to a peaceful half-century, then a cut for four brings up the 150 partnership.

Wood doesn’t understand the concept of 99 per cent. He continues to hammer the middle of the pitch, forcing a mistimed pull from Gill that drops short of deep midwicket.

At the end of the over, a wincing Jaiswal calls the physio on again to look at his back. Surely he should retire hurt and see how things are in the morning. The last thing he wants to do is exacerbate the injury and miss the next Test.

10:53 AM GMT

OVER 42: IND 172/1 (Jaiswal 103 Gill 45)

Hartley returns to the attack and bowls a tight enough over, at the end of which Jaiswal calls for the physio. He has a problem with his back and looks in a fair bit of pain. A few England spinners have a problem with their neck.

10:49 AM GMT

OVER 41: IND 171/1 (Jaiswal 102 Gill 45)

Even Mark Wood is struggling to raise a smile. It’s been an utterly horrible day for England, the kind that could derail the whole tour if they’re not careful.

This is today’s play in a nutshell. Some statistics cannot be polished.

  • England 112/8 (36.1 overs)

  • India 171/1 (41 overs)

10:42 AM GMT

OVER 40: IND 167/1 (Jaiswal 100 Gill 44)

Now Gill pumps Root down the ground for six. For all the disappointment at England’s missed opportunity, India’s ten men have played phenomenally well today. It’s the age-old story of a truly great team, who have been slightly below par, responded to extreme adversity as only champions can. England are a very good team, but today India have reminded them where they sit in world cricket’s pecking order.

It's been a tough day for Ben Foakes and England
It's been a tough day for Ben Foakes and England - Amit Dave/Reuters

10:39 AM GMT

OVER 39: IND 158/1 (Jaiswal 100 Gill 34)

That’ll do! Jaiswal flashes a cut to the cover boundary off Wood to reach his third Test century and his second in as many games. It’s been a thrilling performance, which brings to mind those mental-disingegration second-innings hundreds from David Warner in the 2013-14 Ashes.

Jaiswal started very carefully, ensuring England wouldn’t get the early wickets they desperately needed, and then went into overdrive. His last 65 runs have come from only 49 deliveries, including five sixes.

10:33 AM GMT

OVER 38: IND 149/1 (Jaiswal 94 Gill 30)

Jaiswal sweeps Root for two to move to 94. He wants to go his hundred with a six, you can sense it from here, but Root gives him no opportunity to free his arms. Root has been the pick of the England spinners today and is not flattered by figures of 13-2-38-1.

10:30 AM GMT

OVER 37: IND 146/1 (Jaiswal 92 Gill 30)

With the spinners offering no threat, Ben Stokes asks Mark Wood to bowl a few overs of short stuff. He has four men on the fence behind square, two on each side.

The first two deliveries are pulled for single. Jaiswal does well to get on top of a perfectly pitched lifter, then backs away in an attempt to create some room. Wood follows him and Jaiswal clunks the ball to cover. On the balcony, the Indian coach Rahul Dravid winces with paternal concern.

10:25 AM GMT

OVER 36: IND 144/1 (Jaiswal 92 Gill 29)

Jaiswal’s orgy of boundaries has allowed Gill to bat in a bubble. He works Root for a single to move to 29 from 79 balls, then Jaiswal keeps strike by cutting to the point sweeper.

England have another 15 overs to bowl tonight. If Jaiswal is still there at the close, India’s lead will be pushing 400. It’s currently 270, which would have been almost unforeseeable seven hours ago.

10:17 AM GMT

OVER 35: IND 142/1 (Jaiswal 90 Gill 28)

England bowled well at the start of their innings. But they look weary and have no answer to Jaiswal’s onslaught. Rehan hurries through his boundaryless over, and now it is time for drinks.

Yashasvi Jaiswal has to be already India’s best left handed batsman ever. He is as every bit as good as Gautam Gambhir and Shikar Dhawan against pace, and every bit as good against spin as Sourav Ganguly. In other words brilliant.

10:14 AM GMT

OVER 34: IND 140/1 (Jaiswal 89 Gill 27)

Root knows Jaiswal wants to hit him for another six, so he slips a delivery well wide of off stump. It beats the edge and turns into the hand of slip. Two singles from the over.

10:11 AM GMT

OVER 33: IND 138/1 (Jaiswal 88 Gill 26)

Jaiswal, bored of those classical hits down the ground, reverse sweeps Rehan Ahmed for two four in three balls. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I doubt Ben Duckett is enjoying this. It’s a pretty staggering assault from Jaiswal, who in his last 23 balls has hit five fours and five sixes.

10:07 AM GMT

OVER 32: IND 130/1 (Jaiswal 80 Gill 26)

Make that 11 sixes for Jaiswal, five in the innings. He sweeps a low full toss from Root over backward square leg, which gives him 44 runs from the last 18 balls, in a Test match. This is normal behavior now is it?

Root replies by beating the bat with successive deliveries, the first of which turned and bounced grotesquely. We’re done here, England aren’t getting back in this game. A single brings up an increasingly callous century partnership from 122 balls. Nothing personal, just business.

Yashasvi Jaiswal hammers another six
Yashasvi Jaiswal hammers another six - Gareth Copley/Getty Images

10:04 AM GMT

OVER 31: IND 123/1 (Jaiswal 73 Gill 26)

Jaiswal has gone straight for Test to T20 mode. He launches Rehan over long on for six, another seemingly effortless blow. It’s his fourth six of the innings and his tenth of the series. Nobody else on either side has scored more than four.

After another punishing over, it’s time for drinks. Or is it? Ben Stokes is shaking his head and looks pretty cheesed off. The umpires and the batsmen are having a drink; I don’t think the fielders are.

10:00 AM GMT

OVER 30: IND 116/1 (Jaiswal 66 Gill 26)

A great stat from Ravi Shastri on commentary: Root, who has just returned to the attack, has bowled more overs (89) than he has scored runs (70) in this series.

Jaiswal is approaching 370 runs for the series. He punches Root for four, a very classy stroke, and then top-edges a sweep that lands safely.  India lead by 242.

09:57 AM GMT

OVER 29: IND 111/1 (Jaiswal 61 Gill 26)

Rehan Ahmed replaces James Anderson, who has unusually mucky figures of 6-1-32-0. Gill back cuts his second ball for four more, which makes it 36 runs from the last three overs. England look ready for an ice bath, but there’s still another 90 minutes of play. It’s been a stinker of a day, their worst of the series to date.

09:54 AM GMT

OVER 28: IND 107/1 (Jaiswal 61 Gill 22)

Have that! Jaiswal flogs a full toss from Hartley into the crowd to reach a superb fifty, watchful at first and now extremely dominant. It’s his first in the second innings of a Test match. He celebrates by driving the next ball over long on for six more.

A moment ago Jaiswal was 35 not out from 73 balls; since then he’s scoring 26 from eight.

09:50 AM GMT

OVER 27: IND 94/1 (Jaiswal 49 Gill 21)

A clever off-cutter from Anderson leads to an unsuccessful LBW appeal against Gill. The ball runs way for four leg byes and England decide not to review. Rightly so: it was comfortably missing leg.

Anderson has looked threatening, particularly to Gill, but maybe there’s a bit of fatigue because he is bowling more loose deliveries than usual. Jaiswal ends the over by hitting 14 from three balls: a pull for six, a wild edge to third man and another pull for four.

09:43 AM GMT

OVER 26: IND 75/1 (Jaiswal 35 Gill 20)

A poor ball from Hartley is creamed into the leg side by Jaiswal, with Duckett making a really good stop at midwicket. He’s beaten later in the over, trying to cut a wide ball that bursts from a length. Inbetween times, a quick single takes India’s lead up to 200. Sorry to be a pessimism-peddler, but there’s no way back for England in this game.

09:39 AM GMT

OVER 25: IND 73/1 (Jaiswal 34 Gill 19)

Gill knows that if he sees off Anderson, there will be nothing but spin for the next hour or so. He’s a little late on an inducker, which elicits a strangled shout for LBW from England, and then flicks just short Rehan at forward square leg. There’s no need for him to take a risk like that.

09:35 AM GMT

OVER 24: IND 73/1 (Jaiswal 34 Gill 19)

Jaiswal hammers a sweep for four off Hartley, a shot of impressive dominance. The next ball turns extravagantly and is repelled a little awkwardly by Jaiswal. England go up for LBW, thinking it flicked the pad first, but it’s given not out and they can’t really risk their penultimate review. I suspect it came straight off the bat anyway.

09:31 AM GMT

OVER 23: IND 67/1 (Jaiswal 29 Gill 18)

A change, with Anderson replacing Wood at the Reverse Swing End. He has a really good Test record against Gill: five wickets and a head-to-head average of around 10, so this is a chance for England.

Anderson’s second ball comes out all wrong and he spins on his heels, his face a picture of curmudgeonly disgust, even before Gill has slapped it for four.

09:27 AM GMT

OVER 22: IND 63/1 (Jaiswal 29 Gill 14)

Stokes leaves a gap at midwicket to tempt Jaiswal, who has a wild heave at Hartley and is beaten. He almost knocked himself off his feet. Hartley has started well, as he tends to in the second innings. In his fledging Test career, his stats are:

  • 1st innings: 4 wkts at 78.50

  • 2nd innings: 11 wkts at 14.27

09:24 AM GMT

OVER 21: IND 62/1 (Jaiswal 29 Gill 13)

Gill moves into double figures with a delightful cover drive for four off Wood. The ball is reversing nicely now, but Gill and especially Jaiswal seem to have enough time to play Wood. Maybe his pace is down below 90mph after his first-innings labour.

09:17 AM GMT

OVER 20: IND 56/1 (Jaiswal 28 Gill 8)

Jaiswal charges Hartley, who sees him coming and tries to toss it a bit wider. No matter: Jaiswal gets to the pitch and drives thrillingly through extra cover for four. He’s a serious player, this lad, certainly in these conditions. His next big test will be the five-match series in Australia next winter.

09:14 AM GMT

OVER 19: IND 50/1 (Jaiswal 23 Gill 7)

Mark Wood has the most enviable attitude to life. The first ball of his latest over brings a double blow: a gloved pull from Jaiswal that lands safely, and a painful scrape of knee on pitch when he falls over. And still his first instinct, his only instinct, is to break into a silly smile.

Wood is keen to bowl at Gill, who manufactures a quick single to get off strike. Good batting. He’s soon back at the business end, though, and gets an inside edge that flies past leg stump and has England oohing and aahing. It was nicely bowled by Wood, a textbook reverse inswinger.

Yashavsi Jaiswal drives in the third Test
Yashavsi Jaiswal drives in the third Test - Ajit Solanki/AP

09:09 AM GMT

OVER 18: IND 46/1 (Jaiswal 21 Gill 5)

A quiet over from Hartley, most of which I missed because I was (belatedly - sorry) publishing Will’s teatime verdict below.

09:07 AM GMT

Teatime verdict

England had a very poor morning, and it did not get much better after lunch, when Bens Stokes and Foakes picked out fielders in successive balls.

The tail duly followed, and a collapse of eight for 95 on day three was complete. It was triggered by Joe Root’s injudicious shot selection, but he was far from alone in playing a poor stroke.

Stokes’ miscue to long-on was ugly, and came at a time when England were rebuilding and still had hopes – albeit slim – of securing a lead. As it was, they conceded a deficit of 126, which has swelled to 170 for the loss of just Rohit Sharma by tea.

If it’s any consolation for England, 126 is the smallest of the three deficits they have conceded in this series but even with Ashwin absent it’s surely now too far back, given they are batting last.

The frustration is the degree to which this was a missed opportunity. England batted brilliantly last night to give themselves a chance and, although India rallied in Ashwin’s absence with Kuldeep bowling especially well, a path to victory was clear ahead of them. Not any more.

09:05 AM GMT

OVER 17: IND 45/1 (Jaiswal 20 Gill 5)

Mark Wood starts after tea, bowling full and straight in an attempt to maximise any reverse swing. Jaiswal takes a couple of steps on the pitch while running a single and gets a polite warning from Kumar Dharmasena.

Gill times a flick off the pads that is well stopped at midwicket, defends a few good deliveries and ignores a bouncer over his shoulder. What England would give for a devastating, Frank Tysonish spell from Wood right now. India lead by too many (171).

08:43 AM GMT

Tea: India lead by 170 runs

England are looking down the barrel after a grim afternoon session. Their last five wickets disappeared inside six overs, which meant a three-figure deficit for the third time in the series. India increased that from 126 to 170 for the loss of Rohit Sharma, LBW trying to sweep Joe Root.

Root bowled well with the new ball, though he’s still in the doghouse after the lamentable shot that opened the door for India.

08:40 AM GMT

OVER 16: IND 44/1 (Jaiswal 19 Gill 5)

No change of ends for Wood, at least not before tea. Jaiswal flogs Root’s first ball to the cover boundary, then scrunches his last to long off for a single. That’s tea.

08:38 AM GMT

OVER 15: IND 39/1 (Jaiswal 14 Gill 5)

A couple of quicks over from first Root and then Hartley, who replaced Wood after just one over. Maybe Wood will change ends.

08:31 AM GMT

OVER 13: IND 35/1 (Jaiswal 11 Gill 4)

Mark Wood on, Tom Hartley off. He gets some immediate reverse swing - subtle, but not much fun at 90+mph. Gill, was fell to Wood in the first innings, defends the majority of the over.

08:26 AM GMT

OVER 12: IND 34/1 (Jaiswal 10 Gill 4)

Shubman Gill gets off a pair in some style, whipping Root over midwicket for four. That was only the second ball of his innings.

08:25 AM GMT

Scyld Berry on Joe Root's desperate dismissal

Root’s reverse-scoop at India’s most dangerous bowler, Jasprit Burmah, wrecked England’s chances of winning this Test and this series. Never mind, for the moment, the team strategy of Bazball: what mattered was the situation of the game, the current circumstances, the here and now.


England's most elegant batsman has a day off
England's most elegant batsman has a day off - Amit Dave/Reuters

08:22 AM GMT


Rohit LBW b Root 19 He’s gone! It pitched in line, sneaked under the bat - it was too full to sweep - and would have hit off and middle. That’s a good, brave review because England would have had only one left had they got it wrong. FOW: 30/1

08:21 AM GMT

England review for LBW against Rohit!

Rohit missed a sweep at Root, bowling round the wicket. My hunch is it pitched just outside leg stump. If it pitched in line it’s out..

Joe Root appeals for the wicket of Rohit Sharma
Joe Root appeals for the wicket of Rohit Sharma - Gareth Copley/Getty Images

08:20 AM GMT

OVER 11: IND 30/0 (Jaiswal 10 Rohit 19)

Hartley gets a bit of slow turn to Jaiswal, who has loads of time to play back defensively. This is the most sedate passage of the match. The lack of excitement will give England plenty of time to reflect on their missed opportunity; had they batted really well today - not astonishingly, just very well - they would be heading towards a 2-1 lead.

08:17 AM GMT

OVER 10: IND 27/0 (Jaiswal 9 Rohit 17)

Root bowls a maiden to Jaiswal, who is playing an almost exaggerated caution, as if to show England: here’s what you could have done.

08:13 AM GMT

OVER 9: IND 27/0 (Jaiswal 9 Rohit 17)

England have wasted their first review. They thought Jaiswal had bat-padded a catch to Foakes but replays showed a huge gap between bat and ball. It looks a terrible review, though I should say I thought it was out when I saw it live.

Rohit adds a bit of grit to England’s wounds by lifting Hartley over extra cover for four. India lead by 152.

08:06 AM GMT

OVER 8: IND 22/0 (Jaiswal 8 Rohit 13)

Jaiswal edges Root wide of slip for a couple, all along the floor, then whips a single to deep midwicket. This is how England could have batted this morning; India looked as flat then as England do now.

08:03 AM GMT

OVER 7: IND 19/0 (Jaiswal 5 Rohit 13)

Hartley comes on for Anderson, who is sensibly being saved for when the ball hopefully reverse swings. A solid over, one from it. When Rohit struck two boundaries in Anderson’s first over I thought he go on the attack, but it looks like he and Jaiswal want to grind England into the muck.

07:58 AM GMT

OVER 6: IND 18/0 (Jaiswal 4 Rohit 13)

Jaiswal is batting very carefully, although a full toss from Root allows him to clip a single to leg and keep the strike. He has 4 from 19 balls, Rohit 13 from 17.

07:55 AM GMT

OVER 5: IND 15/0 (Jaiswal 2 Rohit 12)

The new ball is doing nothing for Anderson, so England have only two slips anywhere near the bat. With such a big deficit they will have to pick their moments to attack, perhaps if/when it reverses for Wood.

After five dot balls, Rohit drives Anderson pleasantly for a couple. If you’re an England fan, go back to bed; there’s nothing here for you.

07:50 AM GMT

OVER 4: IND 13/0 (Jaiswal 2 Rohit 10)

Jaiswal gets more than halfway down the track before being sent back by Rohit. The throw was well wide and I think he’d have been home anyway.

India have made a dispiritingly comfortable start.

07:47 AM GMT

OVER 3: IND 12/0 (Jaiswal 2 Rohit 9)

England have made a subdued start in the filed. It all happened so fast - the last five wickets fell in six overs - that they are probably surprised to be out there.

07:41 AM GMT

OVER 2: IND 9/0 (Jaiswal 1 Rohit 8)

With Mark Wood off the field (we don’t know why), Joe Root shares the new ball. He owes England a wicket or three after this morning’s events, and while he can’t manage that, he does straight with an accurate maiden to Jaiswal. India lead by 135.

Wood is back on the field now.

07:39 AM GMT

OVER 1: IND 9/0 (Jaiswal 1 Rohit 8)

Few openers in the world state their intent as impressively as Rohit Sharma. He’s doing it again here, pulling and cutting Jimmy Anderson for successive boundaries. England may be about to learn the hard way that you can’t keep giving a great team like India a three-figure lead.

07:34 AM GMT

Once more unto the breach

For the third time in the series, England have a big first-innings deficit to overcome. Jimmy Anderson will open the bowling to Yashasvi Jaiswal.

07:26 AM GMT

Root brings the house down

Cricket at its cruellest. No worse feeling in the game than letting your team down. And Joe Root has brought England’s house down.

07:24 AM GMT


Anderson b Siraj 1 Another belting delivery from Siraj is far too good for Anderson, and that’s the end of an increasingly miserable England collapse: eight wickets for 95 in 31.2 overs. India’s four-match attack were outstanding, particularly Kuldeep and Siraj, but England have missed a helluvan opportunity there. India lead by 126. FOW: 319 all out

07:22 AM GMT

OVER 71: ENG 319/9 (Wood 4 Anderson 1)

Wood laps Jadeja delicately for four to get off the mark. England’s scorecard makes frustrating reading: only Duckett (153), Pope (39) and Stokes (41) have reached 20.

07:19 AM GMT


Hartley st Jurel b Jadeja 9 This is getting ugly for England. Hartley charges Jadeja, misses and is stumped by a mile. England are still 131 runs behind and they have to bat last. FOW: 314/9

07:17 AM GMT

OVER 70: ENG 314/8 (Hartley 9 Wood 0)

I’d pay good money to hear Joe Root’s internal monologue right now, given that his ill-judged shot started all this. He must be starring in his own episode of Peep Show.

07:16 AM GMT


Rehan b Siraj 6 Bowled him! Siraj cleans up the dangerous Rehan Ahmed with an immaculate yorker. He didn’t reverse swing like Bumrah’s to Pope at Vizag, but the length was perfect and it sneaked under the bat. Brilliant bowling, and England have now lost six wickets for 90. FOW: 314/8

07:12 AM GMT

OVER 69: ENG 310/7 (Rehan 2 Hartley 9)

Hartley uses his feet to drive Jadeja for four, another shot of style and authority that ends with a flamingo flourish. He is not a Test No9.

07:09 AM GMT

OVER 68: ENG 305/7 (Rehan 1 Hartley 5)

England have lost five wickets for 81 since that Root shot. Tellingly, those runs have come in 28.2 overs at a run rate of only 2.86. We all need oxygen to survive.

190 and 143 were the first innings deficits in the first two games. They did extraordinarily well to win one of them in those circumstances. This is now guaranteed to be the smallest deficit of the three, but it’s still shaping up as a biggie, especially given they have to bat last. Their first-innings batting is just not quite right at the moment.

Who’d have thought, 18 months ago, that a middle order of Root, Bairstow and Stokes would be letting Crawley, Duckett and Pope down.

07:04 AM GMT

OVER 67: ENG 304/7 (Rehan 0 Hartley 5)

Tom Hartley drives Jadeja classily to the extra-cover boundary. Both England’s spinners can bat, and a quick 150 from either could be a game-changer.

07:01 AM GMT

OVER 66: ENG 300/7 (Rehan 0 Hartley 1)

That ball to Foakes stopped in the wicket, which is why he spooned it to mid-on. For all England’s frustration, India’s response to adversity has been top-class: all four bowlers have been excellent, as have Rohit’s field placings - far more imaginative than yesterday.

06:57 AM GMT


Foakes c Rohit b Siraj 13 Two wickets in two balls! Ben Foakes spoons Siraj straight to mid-on, where Rohit Sharma takes a comfortable catch. England are having the day from hell. FOW: 299/7

06:56 AM GMT

OVER 65: ENG 299/6 (Foakes 13, Rehan 0)

That was the last ball of the over. England still trail by 146; they need to shave at least 96 off that.

India are utterly cock-a-hoop. Stokes has picked out long-on. He was trying to hit the ball wider than that, but miscued. England are in deep trouble, wth India into the all-rounders. And that is Jadeja’s 500th first-class wicket!

06:54 AM GMT


Stokes c Bumrah b Jadeja 41 Now England really are in trouble. Stokes tries to slog-sweep Jadeja for six but holes out to wide long on, where Bumrah takes a fine running catch above his head. That is huge. FOW: 299/6

06:51 AM GMT

OVER 64: ENG 297/5 (Stokes 39 Foakes 13)

Foakes times Siraj through mid-off for four, with Bumrah wearily chasing the ball to the boundary. That was a lovely shot. That’s another reason for England to bat time - it’s a really hot day so India’s depleted bowling attack will tire, particularly the seamers.

Ben Foakes in action in Rajkot
Ben Foakes in action in Rajkot - Punit Paranjpe/AFP

06:47 AM GMT

OVER 63: ENG 291/5 (Stokes 39 Foakes 7)

Jadeja continues, having bowling a single over before lunch. He goes round the wicket to Stokes, who tries a reverse sweep and misses. Careful now.

This is such a vital session. If England are rolled for, say, 350, it’s hard to see a way back for them in the game, maybe the series.

06:44 AM GMT

OVER 62: ENG 290/5 (Stokes 39 Foakes 6)

Welcome back. The middle session of the match, and indeed the series, begins with a maiden from Siraj to Stokes.

06:13 AM GMT

Lunchtime report

England have let a brilliant position slip and are now scrapping for their lives. Joe Root played the worst shot of his career as his nightmare tour continues.

The reverse ramp has brought him success and we accept England play a certain way now and sometimes it does not come off.

But it is game management they sometimes lose amidst the white-line fever. There was no need to play the shot when he did. England had batted serenely for the first 20 minutes and another four or five overs and India’s heads would have dropped with them reeling from the overnight loss of Ravi Ashwin.

But Root picked out second slip with his reverse and handed Jasprit Bumrah and India an opening. Jonny Bairstow’s eighth duck against India was not his fault, a great ball deceived him early on and suddenly England were in deep trouble when India were there for the taking this morning.

Whereas Ben Duckett has been liberated by Bazball, Root is trying too hard to be someone he is not and has looked out of sync for some time. This was an attempt to stamp some authority on the game with a shot that he had pulled off successfully with 21 out of 22 attempts. But against Bumrah and all his variations and reverse swing, it is not a percentage shot and England’s collapse this morning felt a little like the Australia Test at Lord’s when they lost their minds against the short ball moments after Nathan Lyon had hobbled off.

Duckett lobbed a catch off a ball so wide from Yadav he could barely reach it. It was Duckett’s first ball after drinks, perhaps he was not switched on, but it was another self inflicted blow. It should not overshadow what was a great innings though, his 153 off 151 balls an audacious counter attack born from the Bazball mindset.

It is now down to Ben Stokes and Bem Foakes to reduce the first innings deficit to manageable proportions but it is going to be very difficult. Yadav is bowling superbly with good pace, flight and turn on a pitch that is spinning more than at any stage during the game.

06:03 AM GMT

Lunch: England trail by 155 runs

India’s session: 83 runs and three wickets from 26 overs. England started comfortably but a dubious reverse ramp from Joe Root changed the mood in an instant. Three quick wickets left England in trouble and, while Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes got through to lunch unscathed, they still trail by 155 runs on a pitch that is starting to give the slow bowlers a reason to live.

Joe Root falls cheaply to Jasprit Bumrah
Joe Root falls cheaply to Jasprit Bumrah - Punit Paranjpe/AFP

06:00 AM GMT

OVER 61: ENG 290/5 (Stokes 39 Foakes 6)

Ravindra Jadeja is given the last over before lunch, a slight surprise given how well Kuldeep has bowled. Stokes gets off strike first ball, then Foakes is beaten by a bit of low bounce outside off stump. That’s lunch.

05:57 AM GMT

OVER 60: ENG 289/5 (Stokes 38 Foakes 6)

Jurel, whose keeping has been good so far, dives to his left to stop an errant delivery from Siraj going for four byes. Foakes then offers no stroke to a big off-cutter that doesn’t miss off stump by much. They needed a helping hand from Joe Root, but India have responded like champions to a very difficult situation.

05:52 AM GMT

OVER 59: ENG 288/5 (Stokes 39 Foakes 6)

After a few solid defensive strokes from Foakes, Kuldeep moves round the wicket. Foakes walks down the track to clip decisively through midwicket for four. Nice shot. England trail by 157 runs.

05:48 AM GMT

OVER 58: ENG 284/5 (Stokes 39 Foakes 2)

Siraj drops short to Stokes, who pulls for four with the minimum of fuss. Most of Stokes’ matchwinning performances have been in the second innings. The rhythm of Test cricket is different in India, especially on a pitch like this, so England need a rare first-innings special from Stokes.

The moment I type that, Stokes has a big moment of fortune when an inside-edge misses the stumps by a whisker. You wouldn’t know it from figures of 15-1-71-1, but Siraj has bowled well in this game.

Twelve minutes till lunch.

05:44 AM GMT

OVER 57: ENG 278/5 (Stokes 31 Foakes 2)

Stokes gropes at another gorgeous delivery from Kuldeep that roars past the outside edge, then top-edges a sweep that lands safely over his shoulder. Foakes, who isn’t picking Kuldeep, gets a thick edge into the off side.

Kuldeep started the series as India’s fourth-choice spinner; today he is leading the attack and bowling masterfully.

05:40 AM GMT

OVER 56: ENG 275/5 (Stokes 28 Foakes 2)

Stokes pulls Siraj round the corner, but only for a single. Some of India’s field placings have been very effective this morning, particularly to Duckett.

05:36 AM GMT

OVER 55: ENG 274/5 (Stokes 27 Foakes 2)

Kuldeep throws his hands in frustration when a majestic googly beats Stokes and bounces over middle stump and goes for four byes. Kuldeep was swept out of the attack last night by Duckett, ending the day with figures of 6-0-42-0. Today he has been superb: 10-2-28-2.

05:32 AM GMT

OVER 54: ENG 268/5 (Stokes 26 Foakes 1)

A good, hostile over from Siraj. Foakes hooks one short ball awkwardly for a single; Stokes misses an attempted pull and is hit on the body.

05:27 AM GMT

Watch: Ben Duckett falls for 153

05:26 AM GMT

OVER 53: ENG 266/5 (Stokes 26 Foakes 0)

Stokes sweeps Kuldeep ferociously through midwicket for four. He has noticeable changed gear: 8 from the first 28 balls, 18 from the next 20.

05:24 AM GMT

Kuldeep delivers in India's time of need

He’s got a wicket with his worst ball of the morning, but Kuldeep is doing an unbelievable job for India in Ashwin’s absence. He’s got the ball turning and bouncing, and is largely very accurate. So good to see a wrist-spinner wheeling away and enjoying success.

05:23 AM GMT

OVER 52: ENG 261/5 (Stokes 21 Foakes 0)

Stokes times an on-drive off Siraj but doesn’t beat mid-on. He looks more assured now after a difficult start to the innings and is England’s best/only hope of a first-innings lead. It’s gone very badly wrong this morning.

As one Ben (Foakes) replaces another Ben (Duckett), it’s all down to Ben (Stokes). Its ugly end should not disguise a great innings from Duckett. England, though, are in grave danger of making an absolute horlicks of an unbelievable situation.

That Joe Root dismissal, at a time when England were 224/2 and cruising, could be the most important moment of the whole series.

05:18 AM GMT

OVER 51: ENG 260/5 (Stokes 20 Foakes 0)

The new batsman Ben Foakes survives a big LBW shout from Kuldeep. It was very similar to the Bairstow dismissal, with one exception - Foakes was on the front foot and probably managed to get outside the line. It looked very close, though, and I’m surprised Kuldeep didn’t at least discuss a review.

05:15 AM GMT


Duckett c Gill b Kuldeep 153 England are losing their way amid some, a-hem, regrettable dismissals. A very wide long hop from Kuldeep is clothed straight to cover by Duckett, a frustrating and slightly weird end to an extraordinary innings of 153 from 151 balls. India dried up Duckett’s boundaries this morning and eventually it paid off. FOW: 260/5

Ben Duckett walks off after being dismissed for 153
Ben Duckett walks off after being dismissed for 153 - Gareth Copley/Getty Images

05:12 AM GMT

OVER 50: ENG 260/4 (Duckett 153 Stokes 20)

Siraj replaces Bumrah at the fast bowler’s end. His second ball is too straight and clipped serenely for four by Stokes, who then charges down the track to blast another boundary between extra cover and mid off.

Stokes is into the twenties, and England trail by 185 runs.

05:08 AM GMT

OVER 49: ENG 252/4 (Duckett 153 Stokes 12)

Stokes launches Kuldeep over mid-off for four, his first really convincing attacking stroke. As the commentators have noted, this pitch is starting to do a lot more for the spinners, so it’s essential England get their runs today. By hook or by crook, orthodox sweep or reverse, they need a first-innings lead.

05:02 AM GMT

OVER 48: ENG 247/4 (Duckett 153 Stokes 7)

Like Stokes, Duckett is happy just to see Bumrah out of the attack. A series of assured defensive strokes - no leaves - take us to drinks. It was a fine first hour for India, who were given an in by Joe Root’s egregious dismissal and made the most of it. Bumrah bowled a really good spell of 7-1-20-1.

04:58 AM GMT

Watch: Bairstow falls for a duck

04:57 AM GMT

OVER 47: ENG 247/4 (Duckett 153 Stokes 7)

Duckett misses a sweep at a loopy, wide delivery from Kuldeep. He keeps taking it on, clouting the next ball to deep midwicket for a single. India have managed to keep Duckett relatively quiet this morning. Relatively: he’s still scored 20 from 26 balls.

04:53 AM GMT

OVER 46: ENG 244/4 (Duckett 151 Stokes 6)

Stokes is struggling against Bumrah, as he has all series. It doesn’t help that Bumrah has been energised by that Root wicket and is bowling somewhere near his best. Another excellent over ends with Stokes edging on the bounce to slip.

That was Bumrah’s sixth over this morning; you’d imagine he has only one more, at most.

Bumrah has bowled six overs this morning, all of them better than he bowled yesterday. He got Root out in his third. I am sure he would not have bowled six on the spin if the wicket hadn’t fallen, because India are trying to look after him physically. Just another reason why that Root shot leaves us all shaking ours heads.

Anyway, Kuldeep is bowling beautifully, and England have avoided the follow on.

04:47 AM GMT

OVER 45: ENG 243/4 (Duckett 150 Stokes 6)

Duckett reaches his 150 with a reverse sweep through the legs of Jurel off Kuldeep. He played the same shot to the previous ball and was dropped by Rohit, a seriously tough chance high to his left at slip.

The decision to open with Kuldeep rather than Jadeja is paying off. He beats Stokes on the inside with a beautiful googly that bounces extravagantly - over the stumps and then past Jurel for four byes. Forget the partisan frustration: this is tremendous cricket.

Ben Duckett acknowledges the crowd after reaching 150
Ben Duckett acknowledges the crowd after reaching 150 - Punit Paranjpe/AFP

04:45 AM GMT

OVER 44: ENG 238/4 (Duckett 149 Stokes 6)

Duckett, pushing indecisively at Bumrah, edges over the slip cordon for four. Stokes does likewise - through rather than over the cordon - off the last ball. Pressure, pressure, pressure.

04:39 AM GMT

OVER 43: ENG 229/4 (Duckett 144 Stokes 2)

Personally I don’t mind Root’s reverse ramp - he plays the shot well and the numbers still stack up. It’s the timing that was all wrong. He was looking comfortable for the first time since the first innings in Hyderabad, milking the bowlers with ease, and India were already started to feel for themselves.

The manner of the wicket gave them an intravenous injection of purpose and belief. Kuldeep continues an impressive spell by beating both batsmen; Stokes drives a couple to get off the mark.

04:36 AM GMT

OVER 42: ENG 226/4 (Duckett 143 Stokes 0)

Fifteen minutes ago India looked flat. Now they are all over England, with Bumrah zinging a beauty past Ben Stokes’ inside edge. He ends a menacing over with a hooping yorker that Stokes defends. The game has changed so much since that Root dismissal.

04:32 AM GMT

OVER 41: ENG 226/4 (Duckett 142 Stokes 0)

Root and Bairstow have played 10 innings in this series, with neither man reaching 40. Bairstow has actually looked in decent touch but keeps getting good deliveries; Root is in arguably the worst form of his international career.

“That’s a beauty from Kuldeep, as Bairstow goes for a duck,” writes Will Macpherson. “That’s the problem with a dismissal like that from Root. One’s brought two.”

And it might bring three or four.

04:28 AM GMT


Bairstow LBW b Kuldeep 0 Two wickets in two overs! Bairstow has gone for a duck, stone dead to a near unplayable delivery from Kuldeep. It turned back a long way from outside off stump to hit Bairstow on the pad in front of off stump. He reviewed the LBW, just in case, but he walked off the moment he saw the first replay. FOW: 225/4

Kuldeep Yadav roars after dismissing Jonny Bairstow for 0
Kuldeep Yadav roars after dismissing Jonny Bairstow for 0 - Ajit Solanki/AP

04:27 AM GMT

From Will Macpherson in Rajkot

That is an incredible catch from Jaiswal, but oh Joe! Given your form, given the state of the game, what are you doing?! Bumrah gets him for the ninth time in Test cricket.

India already looked flat in the field, with England stockpiling runs pretty easily. Play that shot if Bumrah is all over you, sure, but there was no need this morning.

Jasprit Bumrah celebrates the wicket of Joe Root
Jasprit Bumrah celebrates the wicket of Joe Root - Gareth Copley/Getty Images

04:24 AM GMT

OVER 40: ENG 224/3 (Duckett 140 Bairstow 0)

And with that, the mood changes. Bairstow’s first ball is a sizzling yorker from Bumrah that he does well to keep out.

“Total self-destruction,” writes Scyld Berry. “Joe Root has played one of the most stupid shots in his whole career. Why can’t he bat like his normal self instead of giving into the imp and the impulse to play Bazball?”

04:22 AM GMT


Root c Jaiswal b Bumrah 18 Oh no no no. Root falls to Bumrah in horrible fashion, dragging a reverse ramp straight to second slip. It was a fantastic reaction catch from Jaiswal, but Root - who had started with calm authority - chunters furiously as he walks off. That wicket, and especially the manner of it, has given India a way into the England innings. FOW: 224/3

04:17 AM GMT

OVER 39: ENG 223/2 (Duckett 140 Root 18)

There he goes. Kuldeep’s first ball is tossed up on leg stump, and Duckett whirls a slog sweep over midwicket for four. But then he survives a run-out chance after a mix-up with Joe Root. The throw from the wicketkeeper Jurel was awkward for Kuldeep, who couldn’t take it cleanly. Duckett would definitely have been out with a direct hit and maybe with a better throw to Kuldeep.

04:13 AM GMT

OVER 38: ENG 216/2 (Duckett 134 Root 17)

Bumrah produced a stunning spell in the last Test, the kind you see maybe once a year in world cricket. India need him to repeat it 14 days later.

Root gets the first boundary of the day with a back-foot steer past backward point. He has had issues outside off stump against Bumrah but that was nicely played. A clip off the pads brings him two more.

04:09 AM GMT

OVER 37: ENG 210/2 (Duckett 134 Root 11)

The first surprise of the day: Kuldeep Yadav is preferred to Ravindra Jadeja. He starts with a low full toss that Root can’t put away, and there’s just a single from the over. A sedate start, for now.

04:04 AM GMT

From Will Macpherson in Rajkot

Right, to the cricket. Rohit is going to have to juggle his resources very cleverly today, without the bowler who probably would have shouldered the most work. But it makes total sense to start with Bumrah. He’s India’s best bowler, England have found early movement on both the first and second days, and Root is at the crease.

04:04 AM GMT

OVER 36: ENG 209/2 (Duckett 134 Root 10)

Jasprit Bumrah opens the bowling, He wasn’t at his best yesterday but he remains the biggest threat, now and forever.

Duckett taps his first run of the day into the off side. It’s never easy starting again after making an epic century the previous day, or so I’m told, so it’ll be interesting to see how Duckett fares.

Bumrah’s first target will be Joe Root, who has struggled against him in this series. He inside-edges a reverse inswinger for another single.

03:55 AM GMT

No replacement for Ashwin

This is from our chief cricket correspondent Nick Hoult.

News from Rajkot this morning is that there will not be a replacement for Ravi Ashwin. There are no avenues for a request from the BCCI. The Laws of Cricket allow for a substitute but they are superseded by the ICC playing regulations which only  allow for a substitute for concussion. India will play with ten men, it is a huge blow for them but clearly Ashwin has to be with his family with reports in India his mother is seriously unwell.

03:53 AM GMT

Zak Crawley on his opening partner Ben Duckett

It was one of the best knocks I’ve seen. He was so brave, sweeping off the stumps and all that. He’s so hard to bowl to when he’s like that. It was an exhibition. Hopefully he goes again today – but even if he doesn’t, I’ll remember that as one of the best knocks I’ve seen.

03:45 AM GMT

Ravindra Jadeja talks to TNT Sports

They’re playing aggressively so we need to set the field accordingly, especially for the sweep and reverse sweep. Still, a few of the shots they played yesterday were amazing. We need to back our strengths, keep it simple and bowl stump to stump. If we take one or two early wickets then things can change quickly.

03:40 AM GMT

Read Will Macpherson and Scyld Berry on Ben Duckett

03:25 AM GMT

Preview: Can England take a first-innings lead?

Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s live, over-by-over coverage of the third day of the third Test in Rajkot. Who knew a 3am alarm could sound so sweet? This England team are reversing the norms of life, never mind Test cricket, with their swashbuckling ability to go toe-to-toe with the world’s best teams.

They will resume on 207 for two in Rajkot, a deficit on 238, with Ben Duckett resuming on 133 not out. He played an astonishing innings, which fused the intimidating, eccentric certainty of Steve Smith with the savage scoring rate of Virender Sehwag. He may never play better in his life.

“Ben Duckett is a phenomenal talent so credit to him, he’s made a wonderful hundred,” said India’s Ravichandran Ashwin, who tormented Duckett when he last toured india in 2016-17. “I wanted to clap, but the hardcore competitor in me didn’t allow me to clap, but I’m very happy for Ben.

”I would have really loved to bowl at him when he was not at 60-70 runs. He is a very different player to bowl at when he is on nought. A couple of his shots, the slog sweeps were really, really special.”

Ashwin, who took his 500th Test wicket when he dismissed Zak Crawley, pulled out of the Test overnight due to a family medical emergency. That increases England’s chances of a famous victory, but they still have a long way to go. Today is the mid-point of this five-match series; it may well decide who goes on to win it.

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