England run out of miracles in second-Test defeat by India

Jasprit Bumrah celebrating - England can win India series, but batsmen must be more savvy and cash in
Bumrah took the final wicket and finished with nine in the match - Getty Images/Stu Forster

Jasprit Bumrah knocking over the off stump one final time to confirm an India victory by 106 runs felt like a symbolic way to level a fine series that is bubbling up to be a classic.

The fifth defeat of the Ben Stokes era was the first time a run chase has malfunctioned for the Bazballers (not counting cheeky stumpings at Lord’s), but had England pulled off 399 to win it would have been an astonishing result.

They were bowled out for 292, a fourth-innings total that would have won most matches, and there is no shame in being beaten by a bowler of Bumrah’s standing. India won fairly comfortably in the end and their back-up players proved a point in the process. Yashasvi Jaiswal’s double hundred announced his arrival but it was Bumrah’s nine for 91 that broke England having come here thinking spin would be the threat.

India’s bowling is so strong, and boasts in Bumrah a bowler who can turn a Test with one spell, that England cannot afford to give freebies. The two wickets that turned both innings – Crawley in the first and Root in the second – were the result of slogs that went wrong when India were nervous at 114 for one in the first innings and 154 for three in the run chase.

Now England head to the UAE for a break with their families with every reason to be confident while India hope to be strengthened by some famous faces for the pivotal period of the series, the next two back-to-back Tests in Rajkot and Ranchi.

For England the issue is not hard to diagnose. Their last four Test victories in India were built on big innings: 196 by Ollie Pope last week, 218 from Root in Chennai four years ago, Kevin Pietersen’s 186 at Mumbai in 2012 and 190 by Alastair Cook at Eden Gardens in the same series.

The highest score here was 76 by Zak Crawley, who batted superbly without making it count, and while Bazball thrives on risk taking, against Australia last summer they toned it down a notch or two when 2-0 behind and ended up a rain storm away from the greatest ever comeback.

India’s bowling is so strong, and boasts a genius in Bumrah who can turn a Test with one spell, that England cannot afford to give freebies. The two wickets that turned both innings – Crawley in the first and Root in the second – were the result of slogs that went wrong when India were nervous.

Root’s brain fade and Ben Stokes’ dozy run out were mistakes this run chase could not afford.

The Tom Hartley and Ben Foakes 55-run stand for the eighth wicket by two players who raised their reputation in this game showed that if you stayed in and picked off the bad balls, batting was possible on a day-four pitch.

A rebalancing of the attack with two seamers, after James Anderson showed the value of wobble seam skills on Indian pitches, is worth considering because the inability of Stokes to bowl is a big problem. The 41-year-old is reinvigorated but needs some back up.

England have won Tests in the Bazball era playing worse than this. They were on the wrong end of the toss yet still made their highest ever fourth-innings score in India, beating the 241 that had stood since 1964.

The young spinners kept India to slightly below par scores in both innings despite their inexperience and the loss of Root from the attack on day three when it was set up for India to break them.

India were rattled on several occasions and will never feel on top because they are so wary of England’s prowess. England will look at the close lbw call when Shubman Gill was on four as sliding-doors moment and were aggrieved by Crawley’s leg before, which looked very close with half of leg stump visible. India will be thinking that had they not dropped Ollie Pope on 110 in Hyderabad they would be 2-0 up with possibly Virat Kohli and KL Rahul to pick in the third Test.

The belief in both camps is why this is going to be a riveting series. Small individual moments will decide matches, and that is so much better than playing on ragging turners where luck plays a major role.

Apart from the odd shooter that hit a crack, the ball did not turn extravagantly on a black-soil pitch that held together under the sun. Runs were there to be scored with a quick outfield and short boundaries suiting England. Winviz gave India an 89 per cent chance of victory, the data not swayed by Bazball mind games like India (who rated their chances 70:30).

Rehan Ahmed’s nighthawk antics immediately put them on the back foot while Crawley set off well, twice driving Bumrah through the off side for four. Rehan’s jaunty 23 off 31 completed a good Test for him and when the first 10 overs brought 42 for one, England were dreaming.

Rohit backed off with his fields leaving ones and twos to be picked up and the odd bad ball to put away. Pope had seemingly worked through his nervous start when he was caught at slip, an instinctive grab by Rohit, when he tried to cut a ball not short enough for the shot.

England had just started to lose a bit of momentum. Root, the man who averages 45 in India, tried to play a shot every ball. He almost hoicked one to mid off, narrowly survived a leg before to Axar Patel when defending and seemed unsure how to approach it. A headless slog ended it all. It was sad to see. Something is up.

Two wickets in five balls on the stroke of lunch ripped the guts out of the run chase. Crawley was leg-before playing back to Kuldeep Yadav having been shackled a bit by the spinners and Bairstow was beaten by a nip backer from Bumrah, another batsman getting in and getting out.

Stokes is Mr Miracle but this was one mountain too high to climb. He was run out taking a quick single to Shreyas Iyer, India’s best fielder, at midwicket. He was just short and did not try to dive, a sign England were just not on their game.

Ashwin came back with Anderson in and one wicket short of 500 but it was Bumrah who ended it all, switching ends and taking just two balls to bowl Hartley. He stood in the middle of the pitch, arms aloft in victory. Galling for England, but he is great theatre and this series is alive.

India win by 106 runs: as it happened

10:18 AM GMT


10:00 AM GMT

Everyone's fave rave: it's the player ratings

Who got a nine and who fell to a paltry three?

Will Macpherson’s second Test player ratings

09:47 AM GMT

Justice for the bowlers' union – Jasprit is man of the match

I don’t look at numbers. I’m very happy that we won and that I contributed to that.

As a youngster [the yorker] was the first delivery I learned in tennis-ball cricket. I used to feel that is the only way to take wickets.We are going through a transition so it’s my responsibility to guide [the other bowlers] but I am not the  leader. I look at the situation, look at the wicket. I look to solve the problem, every wicket is different and I have to use what I have in my armoury.

I always enjoy watching fast bowling, whether it’s the other team or not [when asked how he rated Jimmy Anderson’s performance]. If someone is doing well, good on them.

09:30 AM GMT

Ben Stokes now talks to Eoin Morgan

We are full of confidence about the task ahead of us whenever we turn up for a day of cricket. We knew we needed 330 more runs and that’s all we had in our minds. The big thing for us was asserting our authority early and letting the Indian attack know how we were going to go about the day, trying to not let them settle.

We’ve got to give credit to Rohit for how he led and credit to the bowlers. Every time we’re dragging momentum back towards us they were able to produce something, take a wicket, and pull us back. I’m pleased with the way we found ourselves in a pressure situation in India where chasing is never easy but we [stuck to our guns].

That period last night, the openers [had] that real clarity. We could have been 20 for none at the close but the game’s not gone anywhere. Yes, we lost Duckett at the close but we knocked 60 runs off which is huge when you come to a new day.

[Off to Abu Dhabi now?] when you have two such close Tests it does take it out of you emotionally as well as physiaclly so now’s a great time to see the families, partners, children etc to recharge those batteries for five days and then come back to Rajkot to prepare for the third Test.

09:22 AM GMT

Rohit Sharma speaks at the presentations

[Jasprit] is a champion player for us, done the job for a while. When you win a game like that you have to look at the overall performance. We know that winning a Test match in these conditions is not going to be easy, the bowlers stepped up.

Jaiswal has a long way to go, of course. He looks like a very good player, understands his game.  It was an exceptional knock. He has a lot to offer the team, I hope he stays humble. The wicket was good to bat on, a lot of the batters got starts and didn’t convert. They are young, new to this format, it will take some time.

This win gives us a lot of confidence. Very proud of such a young squad, to come up against a team like that. Very positive. We want these guys to have time in the middle. It’s a good challenge, England have been playing good cricket.

It’s not going to be an easy series. Three more games to go, need to make sure we do most things right.

09:20 AM GMT

The third Test starts a week on Thursday

On Feb 15 in Rajkot. Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami may be back for India. No word on Harry Brook from England but Jack Leach ought to be fit.

Both Root and Stokes made centuries at Rajkot eight years ago so a happy hunting ground as England went close under Alastair Cook.

09:14 AM GMT

Ben Stokes speaks at the presentations

We had full belief in ourselves that we could chase that down. The way we have gone about taking on challenges like that is what we are about. In moments like that, when you have scoreboard pressure, that is when we get the best out of ourselves as individuals. The way we applied ourselves and put India under pressure was great, unfortunately we didn’t end up on the right side of the result.

There is no suggestion [from Stokes or McCullum] on how to go out and play. We know there is a task ahead, we know there is 330 to get. Eeverybody in that dressing room is a quality player and knows the right way to play that suits their game.

It wasn’t a challenge [to captain such a young spin attack]. I absolutely loved. To look at at Tom, Bash and Rehan with six matches between them and watch them put in the performance yesterday was great. They showed a lot of maturity, a lot of skill.

Jimmy is amazing. You look at Jimmy, and Jasprit Bumrah, two great fast bowlers. Even when you are in the opposition, you put your hand up [for Jasprit] and say ‘Woah, waht a player!’ Jimmy is that player for us.

08:58 AM GMT

Yashasvi Jaiswal talks to the BCCI world feed

I enjoyed the game, the battle was wonderful. One of the best moments when you win for your country. We were focusing on our process, what we can do. Focus on our fielding and follow the process. It was a day four pitch and had cracks, there was seam. The way Bumrah bowled, it was incredible to watch. He bowled really well in the first innings as well. It’s wonderful to be part of.

I try to play my shots and have good intent.

08:55 AM GMT

Joe Root's attempt to blitz his way into form is not working

The ball hung in the air for so long after flying horribly off the edge of Root’s bat and landing in a disbelieving backward point’s hands that there was time to wonder: what’s up with Joe?

There ended Root another short, skittish innings of a tour of short, skittish innings. He had made 16 from 10 balls, including four from a miscued reverse sweep, six from an unconvincing smear down the ground, and required umpire’s call to survive an lbw review. It took his tally to 52 for the series.

Of all the problems we might have foreseen for England on this tour, a failure of Root’s technique and temperament was perhaps bottom of the list ...

You can read Will’s piece in full here ...

08:50 AM GMT

Will's snap verdict

A defeat for England, but not the worst I can remember. They were gallant, but could not handle Jasprit Bumrah’s brilliance. He was the difference between the teams. What a series we have on our hands now, given India could have the cavalry returning at some stage.

08:48 AM GMT

India thoroughly deserved their victory

Jaiswal and Bumrah were the two stand-out performers with a very significant contribution from Gill, too. But England rattled them at times and all that changed from Hyderabad was a daddy hundred from one of their top-order.

08:45 AM GMT

India win by 106 runs

Bumrah finishes with match figures of nine for 91. India square the series.

08:43 AM GMT


Hartley b Bumrah 36  Gorgeous outswinger to the left-hander, wobbles away from the bat, squares him up and castles him.  FOW 292 all out

08:42 AM GMT

OVER 69: ENG 291/9 (Hartley 36 Anderson 5)

Hartley square cuts for a single, trusting his Lancashire team-mate with the strike.

He reverse sweeps but can’t beat short backward ppoint then aborts a sweep to play Brigadier Block. Anderson tries a reverse sweep againa nd glove sit over slip for a single. Ashwin ends this spell of his quest with a long hop outside off and Hartley devours the pie, carving it behind point for four.

08:37 AM GMT

OVER 68: ENG 285/9 (Hartley 31 Anderson 4)

Anderson plays and misses at two then plays a wonderful on-drive for four!

Rohit is bringing Ashwin back on! Tea will be delayed for 15 minutes.

08:32 AM GMT


Shoaib c Bharat b Mukesh 0  Doesn’t get sufficiently forward and he gropes at the outswinger to give Mukesh his first wicket of the match. Good captaincy from Rohit but what will he do about Ashwin and his quest for his 500th now?  FOW 281/9

08:30 AM GMT

OVER 67: ENG 280/8 (Hartley 30 Shoaib 0)

Bashir is on strike to Bumrah and defends the first. Bumrah appeals when he angles one into the debutant’s pads but it was far too high and he adjusts well to keep out one that sneaks through low.

The no-ball alarm sounds when Bumrah’s slower ball slips out of his grip and floats wide. I like the no-ball siren. We should have it in England.

08:26 AM GMT

OVER 66: ENG 279/8 (Hartley 30 Shoaib 0)

It’s a batsman’s game so Jaiswal will no doubt be given the man of the match award but Bumrah has been the matchwinner, in my opinion. Mukesh spears four byes down the legside but entices Hartley to play and miss twice.

08:22 AM GMT


Big gap.

08:22 AM GMT

India review

Hartley c Bharat b Mukesh  Keeper heard something. Hartley looks bemused.

08:19 AM GMT

OVER 65: ENG 275/8 (Hartley 30 Shoaib 0)

Pace at both ends and Bumrah is given a second slip but he can’t reach Foakes low cut that bisects him and gully for four. Rohit shifts gully to third slip, shutting the stable door. Bumrah takes the slips out of the equation with a slower ball and gets his man. England still need 124.

Bashir comes in ahead of Anderson.

08:16 AM GMT


Foakes c&b Bumrah 36  Gulled by the slower ball, he closes the face too early and spoons it back up the pitch.  FOW 275/8

08:13 AM GMT

OVER 64: ENG 271/7 (Foakes 32 Hartley 30)

India throw the ball to Mukesh, who has been very lightly raced so far, seemingly a place-holder for Mohammed Shami who should return in Rajkot.

Hartley stabs a single through point to bring up the 50 partnership. He has enjoyed stands of 38, 80, 47 and 51* so far in his short Test career, which is pretty impressive.

08:08 AM GMT

OVER 63: ENG 269/7 (Foakes 31 Hartley 29)

Right decision in the end but they made a right pig’s ear of the process. Would Ashwin reallyw ant his 500th in such circumstances, a shonky leg-before shout to one that was given out caught?

Before the finger went up, England had gleaned three singles and Hartley’s lusty four, whisked from outside leg down to long leg.

A complicated situation, whereby the lbw is umpire’s call, but the decision does not stand. Gaffaney believed Hartley had gloved it, which he had not, so the lbw umpire’s call was not out. Anyway, after a bit of a row, Hartley is in, and Ashwin has 499 Test wickets.

08:06 AM GMT

Keep hanging on

They want to check if it hit the back of the bat. Surely it didn’t and couldn’t. It didn’t. Bizarre.

08:04 AM GMT

Oh hang on, now they'll check for lbw

Nah. Umpire’s call on impact and hitting the stumps. It;s NOT OUt because he gave him out caught not lbw. India are questioning the protocol but it’s right to be not ut if given out caught.

08:02 AM GMT


Nah. 500 can wait. It hit him on the foreram

08:01 AM GMT

England review

Hartley c Bharat b Ashwin  Is it 500? Reverse sweeping. Hit him on the arm but was there glove before?

08:00 AM GMT

OVER 62: ENG 261/7 (Foakes 29 Hartley 23)

Hartley’s soft hands glean four off an edge as he shuffles back to Kuldeep and defelects the ball wide of slip for a single. The next ball is a bit wider and Hartley tries the reverse sweep but knocks it into the ground and it bounces up to be stopped by slip.

07:58 AM GMT

OVER 61: ENG 257/7 (Foakes 29 Hartley 19)

Hartley clubs Ashwin off the back foot for a single down the ground and Foakes prods two off a thick edge down to third man. More quiet accumulation, peppered with the odd Hartley wooly-back biff, takes the partnership to 37.

07:55 AM GMT

OVER 60: ENG 254/7 (Foakes 27 Hartley 18)

That’s a nice shot from Hartley, off the back foot and dabbing a late cut off Kuldeep’s googly for four. He steers a single through point and their return from the over takes the target beneath 150. The big batting flop of the tour so far has been Root, their best player with 29, 2, 5 and 16..

07:52 AM GMT

OVER 59: ENG 247/7 (Foakes 26 Hartley 12)

Glorious off-break from Ashwin to Hartley that drifts across, dips and rags pastt off-stump. It seems to be just a matter of time.

07:50 AM GMT

OVER 58: ENG 245/7 (Foakes 26 Hartley 11)

Time for drinks after Foakes works Kuldeep for a pair of singles after being beaten by the skiddy googly. Hartley pushes a single past the bowler.

07:39 AM GMT

OVER 57: ENG 242/7 (Foakes 24 Hartley 10)

Hartley is nearly beaten by one that skids on as he plays on the back foot but gets his bat down in time. Ashwin thinks it kissed the pad on the way through and convinces Rohit to use a review that shows it was pure willow.

Hartley uses his feet to shimmy down the track and lamp a drive through mid-on for four.

07:37 AM GMT

India review

Hartley lbw b Ashwin Bat first, surely? Indeed it was. Rohit wants him to have his 500th so sends it upstairs but it was nonsense.

07:35 AM GMT

OVER 56: ENG 232/7 (Foakes 24 Hartley 6)

Even Ben Foakes seems determined to go down in flanes, slog sweeping Kuldeep for six!

07:31 AM GMT

OVER 55: ENG 226/7 (Foakes 18 Hartley 6)

Ashwin, on 499 Test wickets, twice beats Hartley who gropes after big off-breaks but then the left-hander waltzes down and dumps the great man into the stands at mid-on for six!

07:28 AM GMT

OVER 54: ENG 226/7 (Foakes 18 Hartley 0)

Nice shot from Foakes to skewer cover with a drive off Kuldeep for four. Foakes gets his bat down in the nick of time when a shooter spits through on leg stump as he played back and he stabs it off the toe for two down to fine leg.

That was very strange from Stokes. He was slow to set off because he was ball-watching, then didn’t dive and the direct hit did for him. The end is enough now.

Shreyas Iyer, who pulled off the run out, is geeing up the crowd.

07:25 AM GMT

OVER 53: ENG 220/7 (Foakes 12 Hartley 0)

Stokes saws himself off to an extent. Foakes did stutter his run but the captain jogged out of the blocks and paid the price. A self-kebabing.

07:21 AM GMT


Stokes run out 11  Foakes inside-edge to midwicket, some hesitation from the striker and he is beaten by the direct hit from midwicket, caught short by 30cm. He barely broke sweat. FOW 220/7

07:20 AM GMT

Umpire review

Stokes run out (Iyer)

07:19 AM GMT

OVER 52: ENG 217/6 (Stokes 11 Foakes 12)

Signs that Foakes is starting to pick Kuldeep’s googly at least as he defends the wrong ’un. Stokes uses the inside edge to earn a streaky single as Foakes defends the rest on the front foot.

07:15 AM GMT

OVER 51: ENG 216/6 (Stokes 10 Foakes 12)

Ashwin replaces Rohit and beats Foakes with a big-turning off-break that kisses the inside edge as it threatened to sneak through the gate. They run a single as they do again for a Stokes inside-edge into his pad.

07:13 AM GMT

OVER 50: ENG 214/6 (Stokes 9 Foakes 11)

Stokes is playing himself in as is his wont this past five years, blocking or probing the outfield from Kuldeep’s first five balls. But then he punches a back foot drive foor what should have been a single which goes through Axar’s legs for four. If he dared to look at Rohit now it would have the Medusa effect, withering his soul and turning him to stone.

07:08 AM GMT

OVER 49: ENG 210/6 (Stokes 5 Foakes 11)

Foakes is beaten twice down the channel with an outswinger and then, two balls later, bu one that tails in. Inbetween he is diddled by reverse swing but plays with such soft hands he cannily guides the ball between gully and second slip for four. Bumrah is bowling like a god.

Ben Stokes
England's hopes rest on the two Bens, Stokes and Foakes - Stu Forster/Getty Images

07:04 AM GMT

OVER 48: ENG 206/6 (Stokes 5 Foakes 7)

Foakes is denied three runs by his captain’s size 11 as he drives into Stokes’ boot, timing it beautifully. They run/hop a single.

Stokes improvises a back-foot hoick through midwicket after being beaten by a lack of bounce and expected turn for a single and Foakes, playing nicely, flicks another into the onside.

Ben Stokes is renowned as the man of fourth innings miracles. Lifting England to victory from here, against this attack, might just pip Headingley 2019. But, even if England do lose by 100+ runs, as is now likely, 1-1 after two Tests amounts to a good start to the hardest challenge in modern Test cricket: winning in India.

07:00 AM GMT

OVER 47: ENG 203/6 (Stokes 4 Foakes 5)

Livin’ on a Prayer greets England getting halfway there when Foakes gets off the mark in style by working the Bumrah in-ducker off his toes for four. The keeper-bat defends two then drives down the ground for a single. Stokes is greeted by a brute that hits a crack and takes off, beating the edge as Stokes tried to drop his hands frantically.

06:55 AM GMT

OVER 46: ENG 198/6 (Stokes 4 Foakes 0)

Short from Kuldeep and Stokes crouches back to tap two through midwicket. Silly point almost becomes a unidexter after wearing a full-blooded Stokes cover drive on the shinpad but then Kuldeep beats the England captain’s defences with a shooter ... that mercifully pitched outside leg. This pitch is turning into quite a minefield now the effects of the roller have worn off.

06:52 AM GMT

OVER 45: ENG 196/6 (Stokes 2 Foakes 0)

Bumrah beats Stokes with a nip-backer that whistles through low and past the edge and, after Stokes flicks a single off his hip, bamboozles Foakes with one that rears up off a good length and nibbles away from his bat. Foakes did not succumb to panic or temptation there, much to his credit.

06:50 AM GMT

OVER 44 ENG 195/6 (Stokes 1 Foakes 0)

Stokes defends Kuldeep’s first two deliveries then gets off the mark by easing a single down through mid-on. Foakes clearly can’t pick the left-arm wrist-spinner and plays down Piccadilly when the ball goes down Bakerloo outside off-stump but survives by the skin of his teeth.

06:43 AM GMT

OVER 43 ENG 194/6 (Stokes 0 Foakes 0)

Ben Foakes plays out the last two balls of Bumrah’s over.

06:41 AM GMT

Our men in Vizag

06:18 AM GMT

Lunch verdict: Mission impossible proves impossible

India are within touching distance of victory and levelling the series as England’s mission impossible looks to be turning out to be just that – impossible.

Chasing 399 to win in the fourth innings, England went for their shots and scored 137 in the session on a pulsating morning but the risk-reward approach was just too costly. At 194-6 they are almost certainly out of the picture.

It was always a bit of a pipe dream but with this England team you just never know what to expect. India showed that as they went quickly on the defensive in the first hour as England rattled off 65 for two.

Ollie Pope fell to superb grab at slip by Rohit just as he was getting set and reaching the end of those frantic first 20 minutes of every innings he plays.

But the big blow was Joe Root, dismissed batting as if he was auditioning for the IPL. He scored 16 off 10 balls in a puzzling innings for such a fine player on Indian pitches. Perhaps he was affected by his finger injury or maybe just out of nick and trying too hard against fine bowlers. He went down the pitch to Axar Patel and the ball went for six but it was not a convincing stroke. Next ball he tried to defend and survived a close lbw.  Two balls later he tried to smash Ashwin across the line but skied a catch to backward point.

Crawley was outstanding in the first hour but then became bogged down by the spinners and was lbw to Kuldeep, unsure of the way the ball was turning. Rohit smartly reviewed the not out decision, England looked perplexed by the Hawkeye three reds verdict. Bairstow’s leg before to Bumrah was the final body blow before lunch.

Stokes is still there and will never throw in the towel but England can take heart from this even though defeat feels inevitable. No team has scored more than 299 on tour in India before in the fourth innings, that would be some crumb of comfort if they make it and going forward India will not know how many to set this side. The series is alive.

06:01 AM GMT

LUNCH: ENG 194/6

And after two quick wickets, the teams go off for lunch with two balls remaining of the 43rd over. Bairstow may consider himself unlucky but umpire’s call breaks both ways.

India’s session despite England’s rapid run rate, making 127 in the session. I suspect England could have lived with going in four down with both Crawley and Bairstow intact. But the loss of those two have all but ended England’s chances, barring a Stokes special. And we can’t keep expecting miracles.

England need 205. India need four wickets.

05:59 AM GMT


Bairstow lbw b Bumrah 26  Out on umpire’s call, the ball clipping leg stump. Bairstow, playing back, was trying to work the nip-backer  to leg.  FOW 194/6

05:58 AM GMT

ENG review

Bairstow lbw b Bumrah  Pinned by the nip-backer. Height maybe?

05:57 AM GMT

OVER 42 ENG 194/5 (Bairstow 26 Stokes 0)

Ravi Shastri says Zak Crawley reminds him of KP, ‘but more softly spoken’ which brings a loud giffaw from the man himself at the back of the box. It’s the height that triggers the comparison.

The two right-handers play Kuldeep cautiously into the legside for singles but then he bags Crawley.

‘That didn’t look right,’ says Sir Alastair Cook about the ball-tracking.

05:53 AM GMT


Crawley lbw b Kuldeep 73  Out on review. Big wicket. Pitched on leg and would have hit leg stumpp. Looked like it would have missed leg on first look with the naked eye but it didn’t turn that much. England look skeptical on the balcony as they look at the DRS. It even looked like it pitched outside leg but it didn’t.  FOW 194/5

05:49 AM GMT

OVER 41 ENG 192/4 (Crawley 72 Bairstow 25)

Bumrah keeps to a steady 85mph but it’s the movement and angle, not the pace, which are so tricky. Bairstow defends two of the first three into the offside and finds point with his attempted attacking stroke outside off.

When Bumrah pitches up Bairstow gets on top of the bounce and pushes it through cover for four, the crispest of check drives. Bumrah tries to set him up with an inswinger, which he defends, but the next ball stays true rather than swining out and Bairstow plays a glorious shot, half-back, to smack it through cover point for another four with a straight bat.

Double change: Kuldeepp will replace Axar.

05:42 AM GMT

OVER 40: ENG 184/4 (Crawley 72 Bairstow 17)

Crawley plays out an Axar maiden, his first of the innings. He’s going for more than five an over even after that with one for 75 off 14.

Jasprit Bumrah is warming up. Reckon we will see him for a trundle either side of lunch as India look to snuff out England’s last hopes.

Indeed, here he comes.

05:40 AM GMT

OVER 39: ENG 184/4 (Crawley 72 Bairstow 17)

Ashwin continues. They’re not going to get the ball out of hands with one wicket to go for his 500th. Crawley counters the turn by using his feet and and harpooning mid-off with his drive. An on-drive brings him a single and, after Bairstow fails to connect properly with a sweep, he shuffles back and cuts for four off off-stump. Beautiful shot. Risky though oerfectkly executed.

05:37 AM GMT

OVER 38: ENG 175/4 (Crawley 67 Bairstow 13)

An Axar beauty that rips, grips and rags past the edge as Crawley tried to flick it on length through midwicket. The opener uses his feet to drive a single and Bairstow defends two before being beaten by another one that turns past the edge as he crouched on the back foot.

05:35 AM GMT

OVER 37: ENG 174/4 (Crawley 66 Bairstow 13)

The orthodox sweep is Crawley’s weapon of choice when Ashwin strays on to his pads and he skelps him for two. He eases the fuller one down the ground for a single and Bairstow drops to one knee to sweep off middle and leg for four.

When to bring Bumrah back? Axar has bowled the whole session so far.

05:31 AM GMT

OVER 36: ENG 167/4 (Crawley 63 Bairstow 9)

Crawley works a single off his pads and Axar gives Bairstow an interrogation by dot balls, England’s No5 having to be vigilant as the left-armer moves the ball away from him and also gets it to keep low. England already have a hundred in the session with half an hour to go ... but have lost three wickets. Big advantage India.

05:29 AM GMT

OVER 35: ENG 166/4 (Crawley 62 Bairstow 9)

Big shout for a stumping and Ashwin’s 500th when he beats Crawley with his slider. But the opener did manage to squeeze his right big toe back over the popping crease to safety. He takes on an off-break with a flick and pops it past short leg, not that far past, for a single.

Well, the consolation is that Zak Crawley has grown - even further! - during this Test. His shot-selection has been superb against Jasprit Bumrah, when he never used to be expert at leaving the ball.

But he will be well aware now that runs in India are far more easily scored in the first innings.

05:26 AM GMT

OVER 34: ENG 165/4 (Crawley 61 Bairstow 9)

The sublime from Bairstow who has a leg-stump guard to keep his pads out of the way and nhammers a back foot drive for two and a front-foot one square for four. But Axar follows that last one with one that spits up past the shoulder as Bairstow gropes forward.

05:23 AM GMT

OVER 33: ENG 156/4 (Crawley 60 Bairstow 1)

Maiden for Ashwin to YJB who looks hurried and is beaten by an off-break that just kisses the inside-edge before cannoning into his pad.

05:17 AM GMT

OVER 32: ENG 156/4 (Crawley 60 Bairstow 1)

Bairstow gets off the mark first ball with a flick through square leg. A big innings ought to earn him the bat sponsor his bare bat is clearly asking for.

Whether Root is troubled by his finger injury or just out of nick, that was an awful innings. Root is a batsman who needs games. The lack of warm ups suits many in this side but not their best player. He was frantic and searching for the ball in that innings. There was no need to force the issue either. Root averages over 45 in India and scores at a good lick anyway. India well on top now when they were on the retreat a few minutes ago.

05:14 AM GMT

OVER 31: ENG 154/4 (Crawley 59 Bairstow 0)

Crawley sweeps for two and a single. Root opens the face to earn another bur then falls after a madcap innings, presumably discombobulated by his injured finger, knowing he couldn’t hang around.

Ashwin has 499 Test wickets.

05:11 AM GMT


Root c Axar b Ashwin 16  Dies by the sword, beaten in the flight and swiping Ashwin across the line aftera  shimmy down. The ball flies off a leading edge high to cover. Rotten shot. FOW 154/4  

05:10 AM GMT

OVER 30: ENG 149/3 (Crawley 55 Root 15)

It’s very much the Corporal Jones approach from England. No bowler ‘likes it up ’em’. This is a mental disintegration tactic in excelsis but in deed not word. Doesn’t always work, of course.

Root uses his feet to drive Axar over mid-off for six then survives a leg-before shout.

05:08 AM GMT


Was pad first but umpire’s call on impact. India retain all three reviews.

05:07 AM GMT

IND review

Root lbw b Axar Did he hit it? Bat was close to ball but looks like pad first.

05:05 AM GMT

OVER 28: ENG 140/3 (Crawley 53 Root 8)

The wicket brings on drinks after two balls, delaying Root for a couple of minutes. He plays two reverse sweeps and two forward defensives, nailing the first of his attacking strokes for four, and top-edging the second jammily over slip for another. The trumpeter greets the second with the Blades’ anthemic ‘Greasy chip butty’ song. Much good it did them on Saturday against Aston Villa.

That is a fantastic instinctive catch from Rohit to get Pope. That went so hard and fast, and to his left. Pope was skittish; Root is in now. Wonder how much that finger is throbbing?

04:58 AM GMT


Pope c Rohit b Ashwin 23  Blogger’s curse. Apologies. A blinder from Rohit at slip, taking it to his left as the right-hander went to cut and the ball flew off the edge. The India captain stuck out a hand instinctively and it stuck. Joe Root is coming in next, despite the finger injury.  FOW 132/3

04:58 AM GMT

OVER 28: ENG 132/2 (Crawley 53 Pope 23)

To have such a long injury lay-off and to come back in such great nick, shows how hard Ollie Pope has been working since Lord’s, hard technical work and a lot of clear thinking about how to make runs in India. He has used the sweep judiciously but now emplys his feet to exasperate Axar, shuffling down to work it through midwicket for four.

04:54 AM GMT

OVER 27: ENG 126/2 (Crawley 52 Pope 18)

Hardly any turn and no reverse swing yet. That’s not to say it won’t come but the longer bith elude India, the more rattled Rohit will get. Just the single for Crawley off Ashwin, driving through cover.

It was astonishing last night to hear Shubman Gill say it was 70-30 in India’s favour. Really? Surely it was 95-5 in their favour and he needed to be more positive but England have them worried, no question. Rohit has spread the field this morning as well. India will probably win but there is so much for England to take from this Test. Even in defeat, if it happens, they made all the running despite losing a vital toss.

04:52 AM GMT

OVER 26: ENG 125/2 (Crawley 51 Pope 18)

Fifty for Crawley and he gets there in elegant fashion, a chasse down the pitch and a lofted drive for four. The next ball is fuller and Crawley eases it down the ground for a single. Pope has started busily and continues in this vein, sweeping hard and flat in orthodox style for fours and working the next one, a dart on to his pads, finer for another four, his bat more vertical, stirring the pot.

04:49 AM GMT

OVER 25: ENG 112-2 (Crawley 46 Pope 10)

Ashwin starts round the wicket to the two right-handers. He needs three more for 500 Test wickets. Crawley drives a single through cover and Pope comes down the pitch, is diddle in the flight and improvises a risky hack through midwicket for two that just eludes midwicket diving to his right.

Ashwin gets the next ball to grip and bounce, beating Pope’s reverse sweep. Bharat takes the ball and appeals for a catch, supported by Ashwin but Rohit doesn’t want to use one of his reviews. Wisely so, it hit him on the biceps.

04:45 AM GMT

OVER 24: ENG 109/2 (Crawley 45 Pope 8)

Pope unfurls the reverse-sweep to Axar and skelps one that pitched outside off for four. ‘It is happening again ...’ is the look on Rohit’s face. Here comes Ashwin... and there goes Rehan:

Rehan Ahmed out lbw
Rehan is trapped on the back foot - Stu Forster/Getty Images

04:41 AM GMT

OVER 23: ENG 105/2 (Crawley 45 Pope 4)

Crawley takes the traget beneath 300 by working Bumrah off his toes for two then, a couple of balls later, whips four through midwicket when the right-armer nips one back through midwicket. He used his elbows more than his wrists to manipulate that ball through the legside, keeping the bat vertical.

The last ball, however, shoots through outside off and Crawley gropes after it, playing and missing, beaten under the toe.

The wicket has earned Axar another over.

04:35 AM GMT

OVER 22: ENG 99/2 (Crawley 39 Pope 4)

Axar persuades his captain to give him another over and, after being edged just wide of Rohit for four, traps Rehan leg-before. Enter the Pope who smears his first ball through cover for four. Lovely shot. That takes the target to 300.

It was fun while it lasted, for Rehan, but playing that way it was never going to last that long against Axar and Bumrah. He’s played a role though, and the stand of 45 is helpful.

04:32 AM GMT


Rehan lbw b Patel 23  Pinned by the arm ball that darted in and kept a touch low as he tried to whip it off the back foot. May have pitched outside off but he walked without resorting to DRS when given out.  FOW 95/2

04:31 AM GMT

OVER 21: ENG 91/1 (Crawley 39 Rehan 19)

Huge inswinger from Bumrah, straining for the leg-stump yorker that did for His Holiness in the first innings, hoops past Crawley’s ankles and beats the keeper, racing down for four byes.

Bumrah overpitches and it’s just the invitation that Crawley has been waiting for, thumping it between cover and mid-off.

The older Indian commentators, Gavaskar and Bhogle, share the traditionalists’ bafflement with England’s approach, like Jim Maxwell during the summer and again last week. Obviously they don’t want it to work for tribal reasons but it’s more than that. They don’t want it to work on aesthetic grounds. As if there’s a right and wrong way to win or lose.

In the previous over, Rehan had killed the ball with a meaty block and tossed it back to Axar. Thankfully that’s as far as it went:

04:25 AM GMT

OVER 20: ENG 83/1 (Crawley 35 Rehan 19)

Crawley uses his feet to drive a single to long off and Rehan plays out the rest of the over, failing to drill or chop Axar through the offside infield.

04:23 AM GMT

OVER 19: ENG 82/1 (Crawley 34 Rehan 19)

Right, Rehan is on strike to Bumrah and he takes on a drive, squirting it off the edge along the ground to gully. After leaving one, Rehan is beaten by a couple that spit up outside off and veer away, the second of them jagging, like a handbrake turn, rather than nibbling. He can’t stop his hands following them but mercifully he doesn’t reach them. Inbetween, Bumrah pins him with the nip-backer but strikes too high and angling down leg. Another maiden. Strange currency in this day and age.

04:19 AM GMT

OVER 18: ENG 82/1 (Crawley 34 Rehan 19)

Rehan carries on in his merry way, skipping down to Axar, using the angle to swipe him through midwicket with an ugly, effective stroke for four. The next ball also angles in from round the wicket but is a juicky half-volley and Young Mr Ahmed spears it through extra-cover for four. Ah, youth. A study in precocity.

Rohit is fretting already. His field is ridiculous given how much he has to defend. There are singles almost everywhere.

Shubman Gill won’t field today, because he hurt his finger fielding earlier in the match. He took three very good catches in the first innings.

04:15 AM GMT

OVER 17: ENG 73/1 (Crawley 34 Rehan 10)

Crawley is beaten again by one that keeps low. Bumrah’s line this morning has been excellent. Two balls later one hits a crack and keeps going, passing the bat at splice-height and forcing Bharat to take it around his adam’s apple.

Crawley’s leaves force Bumrah to go fuller and the opener creams a drive through cover for four. Shot!

Morning from Vizag. A healthy crowd were gathering outside as we came in  and not just the Englandtour groups dreaming of another miracle performance. England truly believe they can do this. Somewhere along the line Jimmy Anderson was converted by Bazball into Mr Positive. “I know there are 180 overs left in the game, but we will try to do it in 60 or 70,’ he said last night with a straight face.

04:11 AM GMT

OVER 16: ENG 69/1 (Crawley 30 Rehan 10)

Rehan resumes as he left off, looking to attack and drags a drive just short of mid-on. Yikes. The next two are shorter, the first turning in to hit him high on the pad. It did too much to justify a leg-before shout. The next one is cut for a single and, after Crawley drives a single more calmly, Rehan inside edges another expansive drive into his pads.

‘Has he really just been sent out to hit?’ asks Harsha Bhogle. ‘What if he gets out straightway.’

‘Yes,; says KP. ‘There are no consequences.’

A dose of realism from Scyld:

Don’t want to be a wet blanket but… there is a big difference between chasing a target voluntarily, after winning the toss, and being forced to chase on a turning pitch after India had chosen to bat first.

04:07 AM GMT

OVER 15: ENG 67/1 (Crawley 29 Rehan 9)

Jasprit Bumrah starts proceedings after the Infia huddle which was addressed by Ashwin and then Rohit. He has two slips and the first ball, back of a length, keeps a wee bit low and Crawley jams his bat down to keep it out. The opener shoulders arms to the next three, lifting his bat abover his shoulders in the channel. Two of them jag back in but climb over and wide of off-stump. Good leaves ... if nerve-racking to watch. The last two are pushed wider and stay pretty true so Crawley leaves them comfortably having only had to uses his bat the once. Maiden.

Axar Patel rather than Ashwin will share opening duties. Odd choice.

04:00 AM GMT

Nighthawk's vital role

The fact that we are even entertaining the idea that England could win shows that they are onto something. Do we dare to dream? I give them somewhere between 15 and 20 per cent. Weirdly, it feels like Rehan Ahmed has a big role to play here. If he could hoy 30 or 40 and stick around for an hour or so, it would put a decent dent in this total and raise England’s hopes.

Crowd should be smaller today, given it’s Monday. Fewer people, but there was a cow just by the gate Team Telegraph entered this morning.

03:51 AM GMT

Preview: Impossible, implausible, improbable?

We few, we happy few ... Good morning and welcome to live coverage of day four and all but definitely the final day of the second Test between India and England at Visakhapatnam. The touring side start proceedings needing 332 of a total of 399 which would be a record fourth-innings chase in India, beating the 387 made by the home team in 2008 in the penultimate match of Kevin Pietersen’s Test captaincy.

Having lost the wicket of Ben Duckett after the two openers put on a half-century stand for the second time in the match, England have nine wickets left on a pitch that is occasionally keeping low but is otherwise negotiable with patience and good judgment. Ravichandran Ashwin, who has take five wickets in a fourth innings’ winning cause for India six times, will lead their attack but the threat will also come from Jasprit Bumrah reverse swinging a wearing ball. The great, unique fast bowler got it hooping when 25-overs old in England’s first innings and that’s a mere 11 overs away today.

Any other England team and one would be writing them off here. Experience and common sense would render their cause impossible. And even though the leadership of Ben Stokes, Brendon McCullum and Rob Key has transformed the way England play and wholly changed our expectations of the possible, their chances look hugely implausible, particularly given the injury to the little finger of Joe Root’s right hand. He has already been worked over by Bunmrah in the series, losing his wicket to the inswinger at Hyderabad and the outswinger here, if every ball thudding into his bat (should he read the movement) hurts him, it will knock his equilibrium completely off kilter. Allan Border used to be able to dig in and bear it with a broken finger notably at Old Trafford in 1981, but it’s rare for such a touch player to cope with persistent pain.

Nonetheless, the rate at which England score will rattle India if early wickets are not forthcoming and each of Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes have shown signs of being in very good nick in the three innings to date even if Pope is the only one to go big. England have a huge mountain to climb. The least we know of this side is they will try to scale it and will embark with characteristic, breezy optimism.

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