England need miracle to beat India in second Test, but deploying nighthawk shows they believe

Opener Zak Crawley/England need miracle to beat India, but deploying nighthawk shows they believe
Opener Zak Crawley remains at the crease for England alongside nighthawk Rehan Ahmed - Stu Forster/Getty Images

The return of the nighthawk showed England’s intent to break down another barrier and once again chase the moon.

Rehan Ahmed’s cameo in the final throes of the day was the new way of playing for the close: trying to loft the ball over the infield with three deliveries to go and cutting the last one for four just past slip, England taking 10 from the final over.

It was a gripping end to another day of see-sawing Test cricket with England 67 for one chasing 399 to win and fully believing they can do it on a pitch that is good for batting and matched with small boundaries.

Ben Stokes once said he wished India had set his team 450 such was the ease with which they chased down a record 378 at Edgbaston in the early days of Bazball in 2022.

He almost had his wish in Vizag, but his own tactical intelligence and the spirit he imbues in his players kept the target down but still higher than the England record set in Birmingham and 12 more than the most ever chased in India. Well, they like a challenge.

Zak Crawley unfurled some magical strokes in the final hour and very few of a big crowd left early to beat the rush on rickshaws as England took confident steps towards their target losing only Ben Duckett off bat pad but not after another 50 opening stand, their second of the Test. It is the first time a touring team has opened with 50 stands in both innings of a Test since Alastair Cook and Nick Compton in 2012.

It was a day set up for cooking novice English spinners with the pitch holding together and India sitting on a big lead. Instead India were consistently pulled back by England and the spinners left the field with a spring in their step, rather than gloom in their hearts like so many who have gone before.

Virat Kohli would have relished chewing them up and spitting them out but India badly lack his batting and intensity. Shubman Gill’s third Test hundred was the plank of the Indian innings and he made the most of his luck when he could have twice been out on four but England kept them down to a par score for the second time in the match, 255 all out, the spinners doing a very decent job despite the loss of Joe Root with a finger injury.

In his absence the trio of greenhorns stepped up with encouraging signs for the rest of the tour. Tom Hartley was the pick, again bowling better in the second innings of a Test match. He had good control all day and showed his white ball experience with his angles of attack. He finished with four for 77, closing with a fine spell of three for 11.

Tom Hartley has carried his fine form from the first Test into the second
Tom Hartley has carried his fine form from the first Test into the second - Manish Swarup/AP

Bazball was in India’s heads as Ravi Ashwin patted the ball back in a tortuous stand for the ninth wicket with Jasprit Bumrah who made a 26-ball duck when normally those two love nothing more than twist the knife in English guts.

Rehan became a frontline option for Stokes in Root’s absence and responded by bowling fewer boundary balls mixed in with the rippers. His six wickets in the match at 3.6 an over are a terrific sign for the future. At the age of just 19, he carries himself like a Test cricketer, and by stacking their chips on his number, England will one day reap rich rewards.

Shoaib Bashir improved after an expensive start and he is clearly working on lines of attack into the crease with coach Jeetan Patel. A Test match in India is no place to play just your seventh first-class game but he came through it maturely and there is plenty for England to work with over the next five weeks.

They were backed up by the reliability of Ben Foakes, who grabbed every chance in a world class display of wicketkeeping. He has snaffled three tough, low catches in two innings and that must prey on batsmen’s mind and give the spinners backbone knowing the edges will be taken.

Combine that with Stokes’s tactical acumen and his own inspirational fielding, and England give off the vibe of a team that is on top when really they are miles behind. It is a gold-plated asset to have in Test cricket, which is played in the head as much as anywhere else.

The consistency of the young spinners meant Stokes did not have to bowl James Anderson into the ground. He perhaps could have squeezed another spell out of him, he only worked through eight overs, but he did his job in the morning, hauling England back in the contest with two for six in four overs of masterful wobble seam.

He flattened Rohit Sharma’s off stump with a beauty that swung in and nipped off the pitch, and lured first innings double centurion Yashasvi Jaiswal into a loose drive he edged to slip.

India were worried already and England sniffed they had barged through the door but fine margins can decide Test matches and their luck was out. Gill was stone dead lbw on four to Hartley but an optimistic review paid off when it showed up an inside edge he was oblivious to and when Anderson rapped him on the knee he benefited from the umpire’s call.

Careers can be decided by such moments. Gill had not scored 50 in 11 innings and with Kohli and KL Rahul possible returnees for the third Test a single figure score could have cost him his place. He added another 100 runs, crucial in the make up of this Test.

Gill settled in and with confidence growing unfurled the shots that are his trademark as a stand with Shreyas Iyer threatened to pull India away but Stokes intervened with a stunning catch running back at mid-off. He tempted Iyer by bringing up the field, and he could not resist.

Gill and Axar Patel added 89 for the fifth wicket but Stokes’ unorthodox fields worked. He stationed Duckett straight under the sightscreen and opened up the off side and Gill went for his first reverse sweep and was caught off the glove.

India lost their last five for 44, as Hartley and Rehan combined like they had been doing it for years. It gave England some hope.

Second Test, day three: As it happened

11:55 AM GMT

Listen: Boycott's day three verdict

11:40 AM GMT

Jimmy Anderson’s verdict

We feel well in the game. The coach sat us down last night and said, ‘Listen, if India get 600 ahead we’re gonna try and chase it’. We’ll give it a good crack tomorrow.

You know out here that as a seamer you’ll have a limited opportunity becuse the spinners will do a lot of bowling, so I’ve just tried to make every ball count.

[On taking Test wickets at 41] I still love playing the game, the hunger’s still there, and I’ve had some fortune with the way my body has help up. I’ve never had any operations.

Playing in this dressing-room also keeps me going. I love this group of blokes and the captain and coach have got a great thing going. It’s really fun to be part of and I want to do it for as long as possible.

We’ll come out swinging. When we sent Rehan out tonight, they said over the Tannoy that he was the nightwatchman. In the dressing-room we were like [wags finger], ‘No he’s not!’

11:23 AM GMT

Shubman Gill speaks

I was pleased to make a hundred but I left a few runs out there. [On the early LBW reprieve] I didn’t know it I had hit it but Shreyas Iyer told me to review in case it was umpire’s call.

The pitch is pretty decent to bat on. It’s not the kind of wicket where you can hit on the rise – you have to apply yourself because the odd is turning or keeping low. Hopefully we’ll get enough balls in the right place tomorrow.

I think it’s about 70/30 in our favour. The morning session is an important one because there should be a bit of moisture.

11:21 AM GMT

Stumps: England need 332 to win

Until Ben Stokes went on the rampage at Headingley in 2019, 332 was England’s record runchase. Now they need 332 on top of the 67 they’ve already scored. Logically, they have almost no chance. Logic indeed.

Zak Crawley played nicely to reach 29 not out
Zak Crawley played nicely to reach 29 not out - Stu Forster/Getty Images

11:18 AM GMT

OVER 14: ENGLAND 67/1 (Crawley 29 Rehan 9)

The nightwatchman is dead, long live the nighthawk. Rehan Ahmed hits two of the last three balls for four, chipping Patel jauntily over midwicket and slashing a cut past Rohit at slip. That could easily have been taken - but it wasn’t, and Rehan walks off rehearsing the stroke. This England team are absurd and adorable.

11:15 AM GMT

OVER 13: ENGLAND 57/1 (Crawley 28 Rehan 0)

A full ball from Ashwin is driven handsomely through mid-off for four by Crawley, whose strokeplay in this match has been regal.

One more over and then we can all go home. Axar Patel will bowl it.

11:12 AM GMT

OVER 12: ENGLAND 53/1 (Crawley 24 Rehan 0)

Rehan is almost trapped in front by a ball from Kuldeep that keeps low. As Will points out, that’s the first time in this series that Duckett has been out defensively, and he yelled with frustration as he walked off.

11:08 AM GMT

OVER 11: ENGLAND 50/1 (Crawley 21 Rehan 0)

With three overs remaining, the new batsman is... Rehan Ahmed. Of course it is. Test cricket really should introduce a nighthawk klaxon, similar to the no-ball alarm.

Duckett has got out prodding twice here, and I reckon that will anger him. Anyway, time for the Nighthawk. While Stuart Broad had been primed for the role for months, Ahmed actually did it first, against Pakistan in 2022. Broad had a go in New Zealand last year.

11:07 AM GMT


Duckett LBW b Ashwin 28 Ravichandran Ashwin gets Ben Duckett for the fifth time in only four Tests! Duckett bat-padded a defensive stroke towards the vacant short leg area, and Bharat ran round the stumps to take an excellent diving catch.

That’s an important wicket because Duckett was going at more than a run a ball and looking dangerous. It was the bounce that induced the false stroke. But Duckett will be annoyed that, for the second time in the series, he has got out playing defensively against Ashwin. This isn’t 2016. FOW: 50/1

11:03 AM GMT

OVER 10: ENGLAND 46/0 (Crawley 21 Duckett 24)

I’m not sure Duckett is reading Kuldeep. But he’s definitely attacking him, and he gets four more with unusual but highly effective pull-sweep.

This is England’s sixth consecutive opening partnership of 40 or more. I’d need to double check, but I think the last time that happened was in 1947, when Len Hutton and Cyril Washbrook cashed in against South Africa.

India won’t be worried yet, not with the ball likely to reverse for Bumrah tomorrow, but their fields at noticeably defensive. It’s been a fine start from England.

10:59 AM GMT

OVER 9: ENGLAND 41/0 (Crawley 21 Duckett 19)

Duckett top edged that first sweep in the last over. Is it the wisest shot on this pitch? There’s more bounce, and the stroke has not been such a feature of the game as it was last week.

10:53 AM GMT

OVER 8: ENGLAND 39/0 (Crawley 19 Duckett 19)

Duckett didn’t sweep a single delivery in the first innings. This time he has a go at the first ball he faces from Kuldeep, pinging it over midwicket for four. It was in the air, and not a million miles from Axar Patel on the boundary, but he got enough on it.

Both openers are n-n-n-n-ineteen not out: Crawley from 32 balls, Duckett from 17.

10:49 AM GMT

OVER 7: ENGLAND 33/0 (Crawley 19 Duckett 13)

Crawley clips Bumrah behind square for a couple, but the rest of over is playing with the utmost respect. Bumrah’s figures: 4-1-7-0.

10:44 AM GMT

OVER 6: ENGLAND 31/0 (Crawley 17 Duckett 13)

Kuldeep Yadav replaces Mukesh and beats Crawley with a superb first delivery. Crawley’s response? An elegant drive over long-on for six two balls later. It’s. Just. Not. English. Cricket. But it is all kinds of fun.

Eight overs to bowl tonight.

10:40 AM GMT

OVER 5: ENG 24/0 (Crawley 10 Duckett 13)

Bumrah gets a first look at Duckett and goes straight round the wicket. Duckett defends the first three balls and times the fourth between extra cover and mid off for four. That’s a seriously good stroke.

10:36 AM GMT

OVER 4: ENG 20/0 (Crawley 10 Duckett 9)

Now Crawley tucks into Mukesh, timing successive boundaries down the ground and through midwicket. Both were superb strokes, and poor Mukesh may have bowled his last ball today. Maybe in the innings. Maybe even in his Test career. He’s an extremely good bowler, but he hasn’t looked it in this Test.

Zak Crawley hits Mukesh Kumar for four
Zak Crawley hits Mukesh Kumar for four - Manish Swarup/AP

10:31 AM GMT

OVER 3: ENG 10/0 (Crawley 2 Duckett 8)

Bumrah beats Crawley with successive deliveries, the second of which leads to an appeal for caught behind. Bumrah is interested and Kuldeep Yadav implores Rohit to go upstairs. He doesn’t, and when replays show daylight between bat and ball, Rohit cheerily gives Kuldeep the thumbs-up.

A menacing maiden from Bumrah to Crawley also includes an LBW appeal that is turned down on height. Bumrah looks right on it once again; in this game he and Jimmy Anderson, who are surrounded by spinners, have combined figures of 52.5-11-122-11.

Jasprit Bumrah beats the outside edge
Jasprit Bumrah beats the outside edge - Manish Swarup/AP

10:25 AM GMT

OVER 2: ENG 10/0 (Crawley 2 Duckett 8)

When England chased 378 to beat India at Edgbaston in 2022, Crawley and Alex Lees got them off to a flyer with a partnership of 107 from 21.4 overs, but that was on a much more reliable surface.

Mukesh Kumar, who looked nervous and was targeted by England in the first innings, shares the new ball. Ben Duckett goes after him again, clattering successive boundaries through the covers. The first wasn’t a particularly bad ball, just fractionally wide, but the second was poor and Duckett leathered it to the left of the cover sweeper.

Ben Duckett smacks Mukesh Kumar for four
Ben Duckett smacks Mukesh Kumar for four - Stu Forster/Getty Images

10:19 AM GMT

OVER 1: ENG 1/0 (Crawley 1 Duckett 0)

Bumrah starts with a challenging over to Crawley. One ball keeps low and is defended awkwardly; another climbs to beat the outside edge. Crawley keeps strike with a single off the last ball.

10:15 AM GMT

It's Bumrah time

At least England’s openers know he won’t get any reverse swing tonight. Might still take up an off stump or two. There are 14 overs remaining.

10:13 AM GMT

A job for the nighthawk?

Well, that was a terrific hour for England after tea, with India grinding along and time disappearing from the game. The spinners bowled well. One of them, Rehan Ahmed, has spent some time during the innings break getting throwdowns. Could he back as the nighthawk?

10:07 AM GMT

England need 399 to win

It would be a record chase in Asia, and for England anywhere in the world. There’s maybe a 1-in-20 chance. BUT IMAGINE IF THEY JOLLY WELL DO IT.

10:06 AM GMT


Ashwin c Foakes b Rehan 29 Ashwin’s “bizarre innings” - Ravi Shastri’s words - ends with a thin edge off Rehan Ahmed. Ben Foakes takes another outstanding catch to complete a slow Indian collapse of six for 44 in 22.4 overs. FOW: 255 all out

10:02 AM GMT

OVER 78: INDIA 255/9 (Ashwin 29 Mukesh 0)

Hartley’s figures in this spell are superb: 10-2-11-3. They’re also slightly ominous for England’s batsmen, but let’s not dwell on that.

09:58 AM GMT


Bumrah c Bairstow b Hartley 0 Jasprit Bumrah goes for a 26-ball duck, caught brilliantly by Bairstow in the gully at ankle height. It was nice bowling from Hartley, who tossed the ball up just enough to tempt Bumrah into the drive. He’s one wicket away for another five-for. FOW: 255/9

Tom Hartley picks up his fourth wicket
Tom Hartley picks up his fourth wicket - Manish Swarup/AP

09:55 AM GMT

OVER 77: INDIA 255/8 (Ashwin 29 Bumrah 0)

A good ball from Rehan kicks to hit Ashwin on the bottom glove. That blow stirs something in Ashwin, who pumps the next ball down the ground for six and ends the over with a sweep for four.

09:50 AM GMT

OVER 76: INDIA 245/8 (Ashwin 19 Bumrah 0)

If Hartley picks up the last two wickets he’ll become the first England spinner to take five-fors in his first two Tests since Nick Cook 40 years ago. This time he has four balls at Bumrah, who defends them all with care and attention. Jaunty soul that Bumrah is, I think he’s starting to enjoy this blockathon: he is 0 not out from 22 balls.

09:47 AM GMT

OVER 75: INDIA 244/8 (Ashwin 18 Bumrah 0)

Ashwin and Bumrah are both beaten by jaffas from Rehan, and inbetween Bumrah survives a run-out chance when Lawrence’s throw clears Foakes.

It feels like the pitch has deteriorated in the last hour or two. England will do well to make 250 batting last, never mind the 388 (and counting) they need to win.

09:43 AM GMT

OVER 74: INDIA 243/8 (Ashwin 17 Bumrah 0)

Ashwin gets his single off Hartley’s fourth ball and Bumrah does the rest. No grandchildren will be hearing about this passage of play, but India won’t care: every run, every dot ball even, makes England’s task a little stiffer.

09:40 AM GMT

OVER 73: INDIA 242/8 (Ashwin 16 Bumrah 0)

Even the hitherto strokeless Ashwin can’t turn down a long hop from Rehan. He slugs it down the ground for four, the first boundary since tea, and sweeps a single off the penultimate delivery to keep strike.

09:37 AM GMT

OVER 72: INDIA 235/8 (Ashwin 9 Bumrah 0)

Bumrah is again beaten by a cracker from Hartley. I think this pitch is starting to misbehave a bit more. Bumrah has a brainfade and tries to take a dodgy single to keep strike; Ashwin sends him back.

India are 8/2 from eight overs since tea.

09:33 AM GMT

OVER 71: INDIA 234/8 (Ashwin 8 Bumrah 0)

Deja vu: Ashwin takes a single, Bumrah survives.

09:29 AM GMT

OVER 70: INDIA 233/8 (Ashwin 7 Bumrah 0)

This time Ashwin takes a single off the third ball of Hartley’s over. Bumrah can cause chaos with the bat, but for now all he’s trying to do is hang around in support of Ashwin. It doesn’t come naturally, and Hartley beats him with a beautiful delivery that just misses the off stump. India lead by 376.

09:25 AM GMT

OVER 69: INDIA 232/8 (Ashwin 6 Bumrah 0)

Ashwin is farming the strike, giving Bumrah two balls at most in each other. Rehan again beats Bumrah with a perfectly pitched legspinner.

09:21 AM GMT

OVER 68: INDIA 231/8 (Ashwin 5 Kuldeep 0)

Ashwin is dropped at slip by the usually reliable Crawley. He was surprised by some extra bounce from Hartley and top-edged a cut to the left of Crawley, who is fielding there in the absence of Root. He couldn’t on to a relatively straightforward chance.

09:19 AM GMT

OVER 67: INDIA 230/8 (Ashwin 4 Kuldeep 0)

Ashwin takes a single off the penultimate delivery of Rehan’s over, giving Bumrah one ball to survive. And so he does, although he’s beaten by a nice legbreak.

09:15 AM GMT

OVER 66: INDIA 229/8 (Ashwin 3 Bumrah 0)

India have lost four wickets for 18 either side of tea, all to England’s virgin spinners.

09:13 AM GMT


Kuldeep c Duckett b Hartley 0 Another one gone. Kuldeep Yadav, usually a responsible tailender, slog-sweeps Hartley miles in the air and is taken by Ben Duckett. Maybe England won’t be chasing 400 after all; India’s lead is 372. It’s still almost certainly enough. FOW: 229/8

09:09 AM GMT

OVER 65: INDIA 228/7 (Ashwin 2 Kuldeep 0)

That’s Rehan Ahmed’s fifth wicket of a quietly effective match.

The England players congratulate Rehan Ahmed after he took the wicket of Srikar Bharat
The England players congratulate Rehan Ahmed after he took the wicket of Srikar Bharat - Manish Swarup/AP

09:09 AM GMT


Bharat c Stokes b Rehan 6 Rehan Ahmed starts after tea. Stokes saves three runs with a diving stop at mid-on, a fine piece of fielding - and one that inadvertently leads to a wicket.

The single brought Bharat on strike and he clunked the next ball straight down Stokes’ throat. It was a long hop - but as Rehan knows from his own dismissal yesterday, a wrist-spinner’s long hop can be deadly. FOW: 228/7

08:51 AM GMT

Evening session

“India is the land of opportunity,” said Brendon McCullum before the series, and he’s quite right. England will soon be given the opportunity to become the first team ever to chase a target of over 400 to win a Test in Asia. Wonderful weirdos that they are, they probably can’t wait.

08:45 AM GMT

Tea verdict

In the middle session of this day and this Test, India turned the screw. They reached tea on day three right in charge with a lead of 370, and four second innings wickets in hand.

Shubman Gill’s third Test century provided the highlight of the session, although it was greeted with the understated celebration of a man who knew he really needed it. A form slump at No 3 has seen Gill overtaken by Yashasvi Jaiswal as India’s greatest batting hope, but after a shaky start (when he survived two lbw reviews and edged past slip), this was an innings of class to quieten the doubters.

It came against an ailing England attack. Jimmy Anderson is 41, and was used sparingly after his stunning two-wicket burst in the morning. Joe Root was off the field with a pinkie injury, leaving Ben Stokes with his three young spinners. They toiled manfully, but took just two wickets between lunch and tea.

Both the wickets required reviews, with Gill caught behind off the glove to Shoaib Bashir, then Axar Patel lbw to Tom Hartley. After that pair had shared 89, though, it felt too little, too late. Yet with this England side, you never quite know.

08:42 AM GMT

OVER 64: INDIA 227/6 (Bharat 6 Ashwin 1)

Ashwin turns Hartley off the pads for a single, the first run off the bat in 33 deliveries. Bharat sees Ashwin and raises him with a very pretty on-drive for four, a nice way to end a good session for India: they scored 97/2 in 29 overs and lead by 370.

08:39 AM GMT

OVER 63: INDIA 222/6 (Bharat 2 Ashwin 0)

Lovely bowling from Rehan Ahmed. Bharat doesn’t pick the googly and is hit on the pad as he pushes forward more in hope than expectation. It’s given not out but England review, more in expectation than hope. This is surely out.

It’s missing leg stump! Crikey, I didn’t expect that. I thought Marais Erasmus gave it not out because he erroneously felt Bharat had got outside the line. Turns out he’s just a world-class umpire.

Another maiden from Rehan, his third and England’s fifth in a row.

08:35 AM GMT

OVER 62: INDIA 222/6 (Bharat 2 Ashwin 0)

India get a couple of leg byes when Hartley bowls too straight to Ashwin. No runs off the bat, so that’s the fourth maiden in a row.

England have a spring in their step, which is fascinating given the match situation. If Bazball is a cult, I’ll have some of that lovely Kool-Aid please.

08:31 AM GMT

OVER 61: INDIA 220/6 (Bharat 2 Ashwin 0)

Stokes captains with a dizzying creativity, constantly tinkering with the field and sticking a crooked finger up at Test cricket’s unchallenged norms. And to think most of us didn’t want him to become captain because of what happened to Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff.

A maiden from Rehan to Bharat. We should have three more overs before tea.

08:28 AM GMT

OVER 60: INDIA 220/6 (Bharat 2 Ashwin 0)

That was the last ball of the over. Look, don’t be getting your hopes up - India have too many runs - but do take pride in England’s defiant refusal to accept the bleedin’ obvious. Their spirit is almost unbreakable.

08:25 AM GMT


Patel LBW b Hartley 45 Hartley replaces Bashir, probably with Bharat in mind. He’s the man who was bowled by Hartley’s magic ball a week ago. It was a week ago, wasn’t it? It’s starting to feel a lot longer.

Patel, who also fell to Hartley in that innings, tries to drive and is beaten. Then he’s trapped plumb in front by a grubber from around the wicket, but did it pitch outside leg? It’s given not out and England review. This is very close. In fact it’s out! It pitched on the stumps and straight sharply, with the low bounce giving Patel no chance. FOW: 220/6

08:21 AM GMT

OVER 59: INDIA 220/5 (Axar 45 Bharat 2)

Rehan hurries through a maiden to Bharat. India are still in no hurry; nor do they need to be with just over seven sessions remaining.

08:20 AM GMT

OVER 58: INDIA 220/5 (Axar 45 Bharat 2)

Bashir is bowling well here, with more snap, and his figures in this spell are 9-0-21-1. India lead by 363.

08:15 AM GMT

OVER 57: INDIA 218/5 (Axar 44 Bharat 0)

Rehan is getting plenty of turn out of the rough to the left-hander Axar. A long hop turns far too much and is dragged fine for four runs. That’s Axar’s sixth boundary in an quietly important innings.

08:13 AM GMT

OVER 57: INDIA 211/5 (Axar 38 Bharat 0)

By the end of his career, I’ll be surprised if Ben Stokes isn’t widely recognised as England’s greatest-ever cricketer and their greatest red-ball captain.

08:09 AM GMT


Gill c Foakes b Bashir 104 Yep, he’s out! The ball missed the bat but hit the glove and ballooned in the air. Stokes’ captaincy genius buys another wicket, and Gill goes for a fabulous 104. FOW: 211/5

08:07 AM GMT

OVER 56: INDIA 211/4 (Gill 104 Axar 38)

Stokes puts Duckett right behind the bowler Bashir for a few deliveries, then moves him again, then opens up the off side. It’s all designed to to affect Gill’s Zen-like concentration. And it may have worked. Gill tries a reverse-sweep for the first time in the innings, with the ball looping into the gloves of Foakes. England appeal for caught behind and then review. My instinct is it’s not out. We’ll soon see.

08:04 AM GMT

OVER 55: INDIA 209/4 (Gill 102 Axar 38)

Rehan Ahmed comes on to replace Tom Hartley. He starts well, inducing an ugly smear from Axar Patel that just clears Stokes at short mid-on and runs away for four. England are going to lose this game heavily, but it’s refreshing to see Ben Stokes setting such imaginative, wicket-taking fields.

08:00 AM GMT

OVER 54: INDIA 205/4 (Gill 102 Axar 34)

We’re only just past the halfway mark of the Test, so India have plenty of time to crush England’s spirit. As Will said earlier in the day, England have never really been in this position under Stokes. The highest target they’ve had to chase is 378 against India at Edgbaston in 2022; this India team should go a long way past that before the close of play.

07:53 AM GMT

OVER 53: INDIA 203/4 (Gill 101 Axar 33)

The game has drifted further away from England in that hour since lunch, and it would be an absolutely outrageous escape from here, even by their standards. The crowd has filled up nicely, and they are loving it.

07:51 AM GMT

OVER 52: INDIA 201/4 (Gill 100 Axar 33)

That’s it! After 12 Test innings without even a fifty, Shubman Gill reaches a charming, elegant century with a single off Shoaib Bashir. It’s taken 132 balls and included 11 fours and two sixes. He had two extremely close shaves on 4, but since then he’s been almost flawless. It’s a big moment in his career, which he celebrates with a kind of weary relief.

Lovely batsman Shubman Gill, with a hint of Laxman languidness. His fine catching when England batting, especially at slip: that said he was only lacking a bit of luck and confidence.

07:42 AM GMT

OVER 51: INDIA 198/4 (Gill 97 Axar 33)

Axar jumps on a short ball from Hartley, slugging it to the midwicket boundary, before he and Gill take a single apiece. Gill is charmingly unhurried; that’s drinks.

07:38 AM GMT

OVER 50: INDIA 192/4 (Gill 96 Axar 28)

Block, block, block, thwack. Gill gets down on one knee to dump Bashir over square leg for a one-bounce four. He needs four more for a tranquil century. India lead by 339. They probably already have enough.

07:35 AM GMT

OVER 49: INDIA 184/4 (Gill 90 Axar 28)

I don’t think Ben Stokes has ever been reduced to so few options: just three rookie spinners and that’s it, with Anderson knackered and Root injured. Not even Houdini could wriggle his way out of this one.

I knew England would miss Harry Brook but I didn’t think it would be with the ball.

07:31 AM GMT

OVER 48: INDIA 184/4 (Gill 89 Axar 27)

Stokes brings the fielders up for Gill, who resists the temptation. For now.

07:30 AM GMT

OVER 47: INDIA 182/4 (Gill 89 Axar 25)

Hartley has been the pick of the England spinners today, though none of them have had much joy on a relatively unresponsive pitch. England’s most dangerous bowler, by far, has been a quadragenarian seamer.

After five wickets at 85 each in the Ashes last summer, James Anderson’s match figures are 5-76 from 35 overs: it has been a brilliant comeback, whatever the result in Vizag. Is there a way England could field another pace bowler alongside Anderson in the third Test? That could be harder with Joe Root thumb injury.

07:26 AM GMT

OVER 46: INDIA 182/4 (Gill 89 Axar 25)

India are in no hurry. If the runs come, great, but they are quite content to slowly grind their boot against England’s windpipe.

07:25 AM GMT

OVER 45: INDIA 180/4 (Gill 88 Axar 24)

Rehan off, Hartley on. His loosener is too full and driven for four by Axar, who continues to look the part with the bat. In his first seven Tests he averaged 23; in the last seven that goes up to 52.

07:19 AM GMT

OVER 44: INDIA 174/4 (Gill 87 Axar 19)

Bashir skids to the crease, feet barely leaving the ground. He’s struggling to extract either turn or bounce on what is still a pretty decent pitch. Despite some promising spells, he has now conceded 178 runs on debut. He’s almost halfway towards Jason Krejza’s unwelcome record.

07:16 AM GMT

OVER 43: INDIA 172/4 (Gill 86 Axar 18)

India extend their lead to 315. England have chased bigger targets under Ben Stokes, but not on the subcontinent. They may have to take their medicine for the next day and a half and then regroup before the third Test.

07:13 AM GMT

OVER 42: INDIA 166/4 (Gill 83 Axar 15)

Bashir replaces Anderson and bowls a tight over, one from it.

07:10 AM GMT

OVER 41: INDIA 165/4 (Gill 83 Axar 14)

Gill takes a shortcut from 69 to 83 in just three deliveries from Rehan Ahmed. It’s gorgeous batting: a straight drive for six followed by a sweep and a scrunch to the midwicket boundary.

Apart from the first 15 balls, when he was all over the show, Gill has played with such serenity. He has so much ability that, if he cracks Test cricket, he’ll score a gazillion runs in the next 10 years.

07:07 AM GMT

OVER 40: INDIA 151/4 (Gill 69 Axar 14)

Silky batting for Axar Patel, who leans into a fractionally wide delivery from Anderson and drives it through the covers for four. An affronted Anderson responds with a textbook outswinger that beats the edge. His bowling in this game has been a joy, particularly in the context of his disappointing Ashes. Finished my foot, as Jim Royle didn’t say.

07:01 AM GMT

OVER 39: INDIA 147/4 (Gill 69 Axar 10)

Rehan tries round the wicket to the right-handed Gill, who is pottering towards a third Test century. This would be his best; the others were against Bangladesh, when India had a huge lead, and on the flattest of Ahmedabad tracks against Australia a year ago.

A throw from Anderson hits the stumps and deflects for an overthrow. The wheels aren’t coming off, far from it, but they have loosened ever so slightly.

06:57 AM GMT

OVER 38: INDIA 145/4 (Gill 68 Axar 9)

No sign of reverse swing for Anderson after lunch, though he’s as accurate as ever. England look slightly flat in the field. India lead by 288 runs.

06:54 AM GMT

'No indication' when Root will return to the field

England have said this about Root: “Joe Root sustained an external blow to his right little finger, attempting a slip catch in the first session of D3. The England medical team will keep him off the field for the time being to treat and ice. At this stage, there is no indication of when he will return to the field.”

06:53 AM GMT

OVER 37: INDIA 144/4 (Gill 68 Axar 8)

TNT Sports have just shown footage of Root being on the hit on the same hand while doing slip-catching practice before play, so that blow in the 13th over would have exacerbated any injury. It’s hard to be sure but you’d imagine it’s badly bruised at the very least.

Rehan Ahmed is the chosen spinner after lunch; he’s milked for five comfortable singles.

06:49 AM GMT

OVER 36: INDIA 139/4 (Gill 64 Axar 7)

Jimmy Anderson starts after lunch. A hopeful LBW shout against Gill is turned down - too high, inside edge - before Axar forces a fine back-foot drive to the cover boundary. That’s a really accomplished stroke.

Hang on, I thought Root was on the field but he isn’t - Dan Lawrence is out there as substitute. That’s a growing concern. England are missing Root the bowler, never mind Root the batsman.

06:45 AM GMT

The players are back on the field

Happily for England, Joe Root is among their number.

06:44 AM GMT

Nick Hoult's lunch report

Regardless of the result here, and India are on top, this is going to be a terrifically close, engrossing series.

Normally, the third innings when the batting team has a healthy lead, is one of the dullest phases in Test cricket but not against England. They just never give up. They are constantly testing India’s nerve and carry off the body language of a team that still believes they can win.

Four wickets in the morning session kept them in the game, just, with India 273 ahead.

A sell-out crowd, or so said the sign outside this morning, were granted two more golden moments. James Anderson knocked over Rohit Sharma’s off stump with a beauty that angled in, kissed the surface, nipped away and beat the outside edge. There is no greater sight than a fast bowler uprooting off stump but at 41 against one of the best players in the world? Eye-rubbing stuff.

Anderson had Yashasvi Jaiswal caught at first slip driving for 17 and England were on top but their luck was out. Gill was leg before on 4, reviewed in hope and UltraEdge showed up an inside edge the batsman had no idea about. He was given another reprieve to Anderson, the umpire’s call on leg before saving him, just, and flashed an edge past slip off Hartley on 17.

Gill moved to 50 and with Shreyas Iyer put on 81 as the game seemed to be drifting away from England but Stokes produced the second stunner of the morning, a diving catch running back at mid off. It was good captaincy too. He gambled on conceding runs by bringing mid off and mid on up and Iyer couldn’t resist.

Ben Foakes grabbed a low inside edge off Rajat Patidar to justify his selection in India. The worry is a finger injury on his right hand for Root, who went off for treatment, reducing Stokes’s spin option. England will believe they have a chance. That goes surely if the chase reaches 350? Who knows with this team.

06:08 AM GMT

Lunch: India lead by 273

In isolation that was a good morning for England, but they are well behind in the game. It was a session of three distinct segments:

  • First 11 overs 28 runs, two wickets

  • Next 11 overs 63 runs, no wickets

  • Last eight overs 19 runs, two wickets

England did plenty right: Jimmy Anderson bowled another masterly spell, the two Bens took magnificent catches. But Shubman Gill, who was so close to being out LBW on two occasions when he had made just four, batted beautifully to reach 60 not out. In the grand scheme, his contribution to the morning session feels the most important.

Shubman Gill hits Shoaib Bashir for six during his stylish unbeaten 60
Shubman Gill hits Shoaib Bashir for six during his stylish unbeaten 60 - Stu Forster/Getty Images

06:03 AM GMT

OVER 35: IND 130/4 (Gill 59 Axar 2)

Rehan almost strikes with the last ball of the morning session, a low-bouncing googly that Axar Patel just manages to repel. That was a cracking two hours: 102 runs and four wickets in 30 overs.

06:00 AM GMT

OVER 34: IND 129/4 (Gill 59 Axar 2)

Jimmy Anderson replaces Tom Hartley. Ah, the token over of seam before lunch. I jest: this is a key spell, and England will hope the ball reverse-swings as it did for Bumrah yesterday. Most captains would wait until after the interval to make the change, but Stokes knows the batsmen would prefer to face Hartley than Anderson on the stroke of lunch.

There’s a hint of reverse, barely perceptible, and the only alarm for India is a straight ball that keeps a bit low. Axar Patel jabs his bat down to keep it out.

05:55 AM GMT

OVER 33: IND 126/4 (Gill 56 Axar 2)

Rehan Ahmed continues, and surprises Axar Patel with a bit of extra bounce. The ball hits high on the bat and lands safely on the off side. A maiden.

05:50 AM GMT

OVER 32: IND 126/4 (Gill 56 Axar 2)

Ben Foakes is a genius-level wicketkeeper, isn’t he. He may still lose his place if Harry Brook returns, because he isn’t scoring as many runs as England would like, but his keeping is a thing of beauty.

05:47 AM GMT

OVER 31: IND 122/4 (Gill 54 Axar 0)

That was the last ball of the over. England are almost certainly going to lose this game but they’ve had a very good morning. The attitude and aptitude of their fielding has been exemplary.

05:46 AM GMT


Patidar c Foakes b Rehan 9 They’ve got one of them! Patidar, who cut Rehan for four earlier in the over, tried to repeat the stroke and was wonderfully caught by Ben Foakes. The ball went down off the bottom edge, but Foakes stayed low and made a very difficult catch look straightforward. FOW: 122/4

05:43 AM GMT

OVER 30: IND 118/3 (Gill 54 Patidar 5)

Twenty minutes to go until lunch. England would love another one or seven wickets in that time.

05:39 AM GMT

OVER 29: IND 117/3 (Gill 54 Patidar 4)

A good over from Rehan, one from it. He still bowls too many bad balls - he’s 19, after all - but when he gets it right he looks such a threat. England should stick with him next summer whatever happens on this tour.

Great catch from Stokes and another sign of his knee looking strong. He has lost weight and is as agile now as he was at his peak in the field in 2019. He bowled off a couple of paces the day before the Test but he is sticking religiously to his rehab programme, working hard on days off in the gym just on knee strengthening. He seems dedicated to giving himself the best chance possible to still be an allrounder by the next Ashes. We also have not seen his knee seize up when pivoting at the crease, which he said was the first sign he was on the right road to recovery.

05:37 AM GMT

OVER 28: IND 116/3 (Gill 54 Patidar 3)

England remain well behind the game but they have the body language of a team who fancy their chances. Their optimism is remarkable. A little weird at times, sure, but so refreshing.

That is a quite brilliant catch from Ben Stokes. Initially, he had no idea where the ball was in the haze, but he sprinted back and dived full length. Superb – even he can’t quite believe it.

In other news, Root is coming back on shortly having been treated for a sore right pinkie.

Ben Stokes takes a sensational catch to dismiss Shreyas Iyer
Ben Stokes takes a sensational catch to dismiss Shreyas Iyer - Stu Forster/Getty Images

05:33 AM GMT


Shreyas c Stokes b Hartley 29 Oh for heaven’s sake, Ben Stokes. Just when we thought it was safe to relax and embrace defeat, Stokes gives us fresh hope with another extraordinary piece of fielding. Shreyas tried to whip Hartley to leg and sliced the ball high over mid-off. Stokes charged back towards the boundary, watched the ball all the way over his shoulder and dived forward to take a fantastic two-handed catch.

Stokes doesn’t always celebrate his miracles but he really enjoyed that, waving his crooked finger and then slamming the ball into the turf in celebration. I doubt he’d have caught it before his knee surgery. It was also superb captaincy because he brought mid-off and mid-on up to invite the big shot. FOW: 111/3

05:31 AM GMT

OVER 27: INDIA 111/2 (GIll 52 Shreyas 29)

Gill races to a cathartic half-century, his first in 13 Test innings, with successive boundaries off Rehan. He was all over the place at the start, when he survived two LBW reviews on 4, but since then he has played extremely well.

It’s been a session of two halves: 20/2 from the first 11 overs, 63/0 from the next 11. India lead by 254. Forget it.

That thin inside edge could be a huge moment in Shubman Gill’s career. He was stone dead lbw on 4 and thought he was out. He had no idea he inside edged it, and told Ben Stokes that was the case when he asked. Now he has 50, his first in 13 innings since a hundred against Australia last March. This is a golden chance for India’s struggling middle order to find form against green England spinners. Feels like a long day unfolding.

Shubman Gill batted with increasing authority to make an important fifty
Shubman Gill batted with increasing authority to make an important fifty - Dibayngshu Sarkar/AFP

05:28 AM GMT

OVER 26: INDIA 103/2 (GIll 44 Shreyas 29)

Gill sweeps Hartley for four. England have lost control, although that owes most to the quality of Gill and Shreyas’s batting.

05:26 AM GMT

OVER 25: INDIA 96/2 (GIll 37 Shreyas 29)

A maiden from Rehan to Shreyas. I won’t lie, my mind is already turning to selection for the third Test. If Leach is fit, things get complicated, because England would like variety among their spinners but Hartley is currently ahead of Rehan and Bashir. I’d want at least one more seamer, maybe two if the pitch is like this.

05:21 AM GMT

OVER 24: INDIA 96/2 (GIll 37 Shreyas 29)

Shreyas scrunches a half volley from Hartley through midwicket for four. Gill and Shreyas have paced this partnership superbly, though Kevin Pietersen is arguing on commentary that England gave them too many easy singles early on.

England say Joe Root is with the physio having a finger on his right hand looked at, but it’s nothing too serious. Gus Atkinson has been on the field, I think for the first time in a Test.

05:18 AM GMT

OVER 23: INDIA 91/2 (GIll 37 Shreyas 24)

Rehan Ahmed replaces Shoaib Bashir, who bowled a subdued spell of 4-0-20-0. Gill, who is starting to show his abundant class, cuts him twice for four.

England are starting to look like a team whose three spinners have three Test caps between them. On the plus side, Hartley, Bashir and Rehan should learn more on this tour than they have throughout the rest of their careers.

05:13 AM GMT

OVER 22: INDIA 82-2 (Gill 29 Shreyas 23)

Iyer smears Hartley for two to bring an increasingly assured fifty partnership with Gill. India would have been 34/3 and in a bit of bother had Gill not reviewed that Hartley LBW at the last second; now they are back in complete control.

Another concern for England is the absence of Joe Root, who has left the field after taking a blow on the right hand in the 13th over. For the time being, England are down to their last three spinners.

05:10 AM GMT

OVER 21: INDIA 79-2 (Gill 29 Shreyas 20)

Shreyas Iyer is playing his 14th Test. In the first seven he averaged 57, in the last seven just 18 with no fifties. But he has looked good today, collecting singles off the spinners with minimal risk.

05:05 AM GMT

Drinks: India lead by 218

England bowled really well this morning, but it’s not quite happened for them. Shubman Gill has led a particularly charmed life, twice surviving lbw reviews on four, then edging past slip on 17. England won’t believe they’re beaten, but they need their luck to turn in the next hour.

05:04 AM GMT

OVER 20: INDIA 75-2 (Gill 27 Shreyas 18)

Shreyas Iyer gets his first boundary, flicking Hartley wristily round the corner. He’s played very calmly since coming to the crease. Anderson can’t bowl forever but I wonder whether he could have had one or two more overs as he was troubling both batsmen. I guess England are saving him for when the ball starts to reverse.

05:01 AM GMT

OVER 19: INDIA 69-2 (Gill 26 Shreyas 13)

India control to milk Bashir pretty comfortably. As promising as he is, he doesn’t quite look ready for the stiffest challenge in Test cricket.

England picked four spinners, yet all they want right now is to be able to clone a 41-year-old seamer.

04:58 AM GMT

OVER 18: INDIA 66-2 (Gill 25 Shreyas 11)

Gill edges Hartley just wide of Root at slip for four. Root was beaten on the inside which, as Eoin Morgan points out on commentary, is quite unusual when a spinner is bowling.

The next ball is thick-edged to fine leg for four more. India scored 20 from the first 11 overs of the day; they’ve hit 18 in the last two.

04:54 AM GMT

OVER 17: INDIA 57-2 (Gill 17 Shreyas 10)

With Anderson out of the attack life looks so much less hazardous for India. Gill feels sufficiently emboldened to smack Bashir for an emphatic straight six. 

In hindsight England should have picked Ollie Robinson for this game, though I appreciate hindsight never loses.

04:50 AM GMT

OVER 16: INDIA 48-2 (Gill 10 Shreyas 8)

India are starting to rotate the strike against the spinners, a subtle way to change the mood that doesn’t involve taking too many risks. They lead by 191.

04:47 AM GMT

OVER 15: INDIA 46-2 (Gill 9 Shreyas 7)

Anderson is given a rest after four imperious overs, with Shoaib Bashir replacing him. Gill times a nice drive through extra cover for two, with Rehan charging round the boundary to save two runs. Gill has looked a lot better in the last two or three overs.

The game has probably gone, if we are being realistic, but it was still one of the great mini-spells by James Anderson. And it would have been three wickets in his four overs if the edge by Shreyas Iyer had carried.

04:44 AM GMT

OVER 14: INDIA 42/2 (Gill 6 Shreyas 6)

Hartley has started pretty well, helped by India’s slightly passive approach. Both these batsmen are playing for their place, Gill in particular, so you can understand their caution. India must also have Edgbaston 2022 in mind, even if objectively they remain huge favourites to win this game.

04:42 AM GMT

OVER 13: INDIA 40/2 (Gill 5 Shreyas 5)

Shreyas Iyer edges Anderson on the bounce to first slip, where Root is hit painfully on the end of the finger. Gill, looking more assured in this over, times an extra-cover drive that is very well stopped by Stokes.

Anderson’s match figures are remarkable: 31-5-60-5. And to think Twitter retired him after the Ashes.

04:36 AM GMT

OVER 12: INDIA 36/2 (Gill 4 Shreyas 2)

Ben Stokes’ captaincy has been very aggressive this morning, with wickets his primary and secondary concern. By striking early he has numbed India into strokelessness: they’ve scored eight runs in seven overs for the loss of both openers.

04:34 AM GMT

Watch: Anderson dismisses both openers

04:33 AM GMT

OVER 11: INDIA 35/2 (Gill 4 Shreyas 1)

Having seen another replay I think Gill did get the thinnest inside-edge onto the pad, so it was the correct decision by the third umpire Paul Reiffel.

Gill smiled with the nervous relief of a man who had avoided a firing squad. But it might only be a temporary reprieve. He is really struggling and has just survived a huge LBW appeal from Anderson. England reviewed and it was umpire’s call on height. There are umpire’s calls and umpire’s calls: that one was extremely close.

On Team Telegraph’s morning 5k run along the Vizag seafront, Will Macpherson showed his cricketing credentials by saying he wouldn’t open the bowling with Jimmy Anderson this morning. “Save him for the old ball,” he said as he motored along barely breaking sweat. Bazballers make mugs of us all.Anderson this morning: 3-1-2-2.

04:26 AM GMT

OVER 10: INDIA 34/2 (Gill 4 Shreyas 0)

Shubman Gill has an LBW decision overturned on review. He was trapped in front by a delivery from the new bowler Hartley that skidded straight on, and reviewed a little sheepishly after chatting to Shreyas Iyer.

The third umpire decided there was an inside edge onto pad, but I’d like to see it again to be sure it was bat first. Gill certainly didn’t think he’d hit it. My instinct is that England have been hard done by there.

Shubman Gill had no idea he hit that. (I’m not totally sure it was bat first, to be fair.) Either way, England look inspired this morning.

04:21 AM GMT

OVER 9: INDIA 30/2 (Gill 0 Shreyas 0)

A cracking stat on TNT Sports. Eleven wickets apiece have fallen to pace and spin in this Test. The pace bowlers are averaging 13, the spinners 48.

04:18 AM GMT


Jaiswal c Root b Anderson 17 This is just brilliant from Jimmy Anderson. Jaiswal has edged a drive to Root at first slip, his brain scrambled by Anderson’s interrogative excellence. Anderson has two for seven; he is incredible. FOW: 30/2

Yashasvi Jaiswal falls to Jimmy Anderson
Yashasvi Jaiswal falls to Jimmy Anderson - Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters

04:14 AM GMT

OVER 8: INDIA 30/1 (Jaiswal 17 Gill 0)

Root, bowling over the wicket, beats Jaiswal with a jaffa that spits and bounces off the straight. Every dangerous delivery is a mixed blessing for England, who have to bat last on this pitch. India lead by 173.

04:10 AM GMT

OVER 7: INDIA 29/1 (Jaiswal 16 Gill 0)

The new batter is Shubman Gill, who is out of form and has a very poor record against Jimmy Anderson.

What a ball from Jimmy Anderson! It’s nipped away, and perhaps stayed low? Anyway, huge scalp for England, who need to get stuck into this meek middle order.

04:08 AM GMT


Rohit b Anderson 13 Jimmy Anderson you old rogue! He has cleaned up Rohit Sharma with a stunning delivery: angled in and straightening off the seam to send the off stump flying. Rohit pushed defensively down the wrong line, then looked suspiciously at the pitch. If nothing else, England have continued to keep him quiet going into the third Test. FOW: 29/1

Rohit Sharma's off stump goes for a walk
Rohit Sharma's off stump goes for a walk - Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters

04:04 AM GMT

OVER 6: INDIA 28/0 (Jaiswal 15 Rohit 13)

A change of plan for England, with Joe Root opening the bowling instead of Shoaib Bashir. He starts with a maiden to Rohit Sharma.

03:55 AM GMT

A hell of a job for England - even in Bazball land

Greetings from Vizag, where we are expecting a strong Sunday crowd. Getting in was a bit more difficult this morning, and there were lots of signs saying “Day Three: Sold Out”, which is a bit of a treat.

Those Indian fans might get a bit of a treat, too. India are in a dominant position, and this has the distinct feel of the sort of day that they might really turn the screw and set a target that is not just unassailable in normal Test cricket land, but Bazball land too.

The catch is that in the 19 previous Tests in the Bazball era, not team has actually pulled so far away from England that a successful fourth innings chase seemed genuinely impossible. The closest a team has come is Australia at Lord’s. The Aussies obviously won, but it was no sure thing until Ben Stokes was out.

What of the pitch? Well, it’s bouncier but less turny than Hyderabad. England believe, according to Zak Crawley, that it will be easier to chase on than last week. Either way, they have one hell of a job on their hands.

03:50 AM GMT

England's victory template

The Edgbaston Test of 2022 is a precedent England’s escapologists will cling to for as long as possible. This is how it played out:

India 416 & 245

England 284 & 378-3

England win by seven wickets

This pitch will be tougher in the first innings, so to have any chance England need to bowl India out today.

03:38 AM GMT

A full house in Vizag

03:37 AM GMT

Scyld Berry on Jasprit Bumrah

What distinguishes Bumrah is that he can reverse swing both ways, so quickly and so indecipherably that he has a world-class batsman on toast: this was the eighth time Bumrah has dismissed Root in 12 Tests.


Ollie Pope is bowled in spectacular fashion by Jasprit Bumrah
When a man is tired of this picture, he is tired of life - Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters

09:00 PM GMT

England hoping for lightning to strike twice

A week on from England’s remarkable win in Hyderabad and Ben Stokes and Co need a similarly remarkable turnaround to force a victory in the second Test.

The tourists head into the third day in Vizag already staring down the barrel of defeat. India are 171 runs ahead and have all 10 second-innings wickets in hand. It is a similar situation to the one England faced in the first Test, when they were 190 runs behind after the first innings, one they came back to win in spectacular style.

However, such is the confidence Brendan McCullum and Stokes have installed that Zak Crawley and his team-mates are not ruling out lightning striking twice, commenting that India may well be wary of assuming victory is in the bag.

“It’s always important to know you are playing against a side that will never give up and can fight back from any situation,” the opener said.

“That gives us a lot of heart. They will know we have got it in us. It’s a mental game – [the first Test defeat] must play on their minds a little bit, for sure.

“Hopefully they believe a little bit we can win it and they have a little bit of doubt in their minds.”

Jasprit Bumrah’s six for 45 was the highlight of day two in Vizag, one that saw India take decisive control of the Test. The fast bowler once again had perfect control of reverse swing to skittle the England batsmen, none as spectacularly as Ollie Pope whose stumps were sent flying by a Waqar Younis-esque yorker.

With James Anderson on song with the new ball, the tourists had earlier taken four for 60 runs to keep India to what seemed a manageable total of 396. But despite the side’s best efforts Bumrah’s brilliance saw England all out for 253.

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