England's extraordinary victory over India is definitive proof that Bazball works

England mob Tom Hartley in India
On a pitch with variable bounce Hartley, England's debutant, came into his own - REUTERS/FRANCIS MASCARENHAS

Moments after securing a sweet victory, Ben Stokes handed Ollie Pope and Tom Hartley souvenir stumps that deserve to be sprayed in gold and hung with pride in any museum.

Two cricketers cut off at the knees halfway through this match stood tall to power a fightback and remarkable victory that upended Test match convention to blow open this series.

Pope’s 196 and Hartley’s seven for 62 on debut were performances to rank alongside the greatest by England players overseas and this 28-run victory must sit at the top of the pile for wins by England on the road.

To emerge as victors after conceding a 190-run lead, inspired by a batsman without any cricket since the Lord’s Ashes Test, and a spinner whose first ball for England was smacked for six, emphatically answered the question of whether the Bazball mindset can work in India. Scrub that, it is time to accept that it can work anywhere.

We are used to drama with this England team but even by their standards the finale in Hyderabad was spine-tingling, stomach-churning stuff that had it all from great deliveries to a stunning Stokes run out. With just four balls remaining of the extra half hour on day four, and India’s final pair making a valiant fist of knocking off the target with a 25 run stand, Hartley struck the winning blow, the zinger bails flashing in the air as Ben Foakes stumped last man Mohammad Siraj.

Hartley had finished it with a spell of three for 17 and jumped into Foakes’s arms before turning to the England fans waving two fists in the air. He had only taken one five-wicket haul in first-class cricket before. Now he is walking on air, ranked alongside Jim Laker as an England spinner to take seven wickets on debut.

The backing of Stokes and Brendon McCullum caused this. England tackled their 190-run first-innings deficit coursing with belief rather than fearing the worst. It was their batting when so far behind that turned the Test, allowed Hartley to make his name and conjured the 14th win of the Stokes era.

Stokes and McCullum’s paternalistic handling of young players ensured Hartley did not buckle earlier in the game and could bowl with a clear mind when England spinners have struggled to handle the pressure of winning the game in the fourth innings.

To put this into context, this is the first time India have lost at home after taking a first-innings lead of more than a hundred. It is only their fourth defeat in a decade in India. But it is not just 1-0 to England. Their aggressive, positive batting made two great bowlers scratch their heads and lose their confidence.

Now Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin will have to rethink their approach after years of domination. For the first time bowling together, they both conceded more than 100 runs in the second innings. This was Jadeja’s most expensive Test of his career and in total India’s spinners conceded runs at 4.1 an over on a third and fourth-day home pitch.

Their management too will now be wondering what surfaces to produce after England won on a fair pitch in Hyderabad. Do they revert to raging turners or will that just make Hartley and England’s spinners even more dangerous? It also plays into the hands of the Bazballers who will take anything on, compared to India’s more conservative batsmen.

There were shades of Pat Cummins at Old Trafford as Rohit Sharma’s only answer to England stretching their lead before lunch was to sit back. It was not as explosive as Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow in Manchester, but a ruthless accumulation and pressing of advantage as England ran 39 singles, five twos and three threes adding another 104. Their 420 was the first time in 12 years India have conceded that many in the second innings at home, an achievement on a par with the 500 in a day in Rawalpindi just over a year ago.

England’s last five wickets from Stokes’s dismissal, with the team still 27 behind, added 257 in a never-say-die rally that will leave India certain that no matter how on top they are at any point in the rest of the series, it is never over for England until the final wicket is taken or run scored.

Pope even got out in Bazball fashion trying to reverse scoop Bumrah, four short of a double century. His status as vice-captain and inheritor of Joe Root’s mantle has been massively reinforced after many ups and downs. He was even organising the field in the final overs as Stokes was on the boundary.

With England setting India 230 to win they were favourites, particularly as Stokes learned from his mistakes in the first innings and set better fields for his spinners, giving Hartley some protection, with even a long-off (a position previously banned by Stokes). Hartley dragged back his length, took some pace off the ball and with his height found bounce and turn.

Stokes whipped him on in the third over of the innings and soon he and Pope combined to land two big blows. Hartley’s first innings tormentor, Yashavsi Jaiswal clipped to Pope under the lid at short leg before two balls later Shubman Gill pushed hard to silly point.

Now Hartley was brimming with confidence, although he wears an ice cool mask, staring intently and not letting his emotions take over. Rohit was leg before to one that straightened, and in the over after tea the promoted Axar Patel lamely offered Hartley a caught and bowled.

Root straightened one from round the wicket to trap KL Rahul leg before and Jadeja’s decision to take on Stokes at mid on conjured some brilliance from the captain who side armed a direct hit while diving forward.

Leach nursed his knee through 10 overs, removed Shreyas Iyer caught at slip before Ravi Ahswin and Srikar Bharat set up the chance of India’s own comeback win with a 57-run stand for the eighth wicket.

Everyone had a go. But now it was enter Hartley. Bharat was bowled with his sixth ball by a beauty that drifted and turned to hit the stumps. In his next over Ashwin was stumped slogging. Siraj is not much of a batsman but he hung in and forced England to take the extra half hour. With the clock ticking, it was Hartley who settled it all and if he wakes up in the night thinking it was all a dream he has that stump to prove it really happened.

Live reaction continues below

01:03 PM GMT


to England, one of the most exciting comeback wins you will ever see. They looked absolutely dead and buried at several times in that match but fought back to triumph. Pope and Hartley produced epic efforts. Thanks for following this match with us, hope to see you for the second Test.

12:57 PM GMT

Sir Geoffrey's verdict

12:48 PM GMT


12:41 PM GMT


says “it means so much more in a winning cause.”

What a sensational win it was. Alan Tyers here to wrap up the blog. A brilliant effort from England and, if I may say, a heroic effort from m’colleague Rob Bagchi blogging unchanged since the wee small hours. He’s off to to isotonic recovery suite and I’ll keep you up to speed with all the further reaction to one of the great Test wins.

12:36 PM GMT

And finally man of the match Ollie Pope

To come here to India, the toughest place for a batter and put in a winning performance, it’s head and shoulders above the rest.

I got a bit luckier in the second innings, I played and missed a few. I wanted to be positive with my sweep and reverse-sweep. I’ve tinkered through my career and had a lot of time off after shoulder surgery so I changed my technique specifically for this series.

The family [at home] have had early starts but can catch up on some sleep now.

12:33 PM GMT

Ben Stokes' turn to be interviewed

We don’t fear failure. Go out and express yourself and you’ll be all right [is our motto].

Since I’ve taken the captaincy on it’s 100 per cent our greatest victory. It’s my first time coming out here and being captain in these conditions. I’m a great observer, I’ve watched how India operate in the field.

I’m absolutely thrilled for everyone, Tom Hartley nine wickets, Ollie Pope first Test back after shoulder surgery.

I was willing to give Tom a long spell regardless of what happened. Whether that was the reason he got seven wickets and won us the game, who knows?

I’ve seen some special innings from Joe Root, but the whole innings on a difficult wicket, for me [Ollie Pope’s is] the greatest innings by an Englishman on the subcontinent. If you lose, you wake up in the morning, still have a good crack and life and move on.

12:30 PM GMT

Rohit speaks at the presentations

Hard to pinpoint where it went wrong s soon after four days. With a lead of 190 we were in control but exceptional batting, probably one of the best I’ve seen in Indian conditions, well played Ollie Pope. I thought 230 was gettable but it wasn’t to be.

I thought we bowled in the right areas, we analysed what went well and what didn’t. But you’ve got to take your hat off and say well played to Pope. Hard to look at one or two things. We didn’t bat well enough to get to that score.

The lower order fought well and showed the top order [how to do it]. We didn’t take some chances but that can happen, it’s the first game of the series.

12:24 PM GMT

England share the spoils after a memorable victory

Stokes and team wave to the crowd
England salute their fans - NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images

England come back from a 190-run deficit to win by 28 run, a record in India.

12:21 PM GMT

Michael Vaughan on Rohit Sharma's captaincy

Under Rohit Sharma’s average captaincy, India fell into the Bazball trap

Here’s a flavour:

I’ll be unpopular for saying this, but the India team underachieve more than any team that I’ve seen in sport. They’ve got far too much talent, far too much money in the system – the pathway, the A team series around the world, the infrastructure – and yet they underachieve. Yes they won those two series in Australia, but they haven’t won an ICC event since 2013.

Read his column here.

12:11 PM GMT

Tom Hartley talks to TNT Sports

It’s unbelievable, it’s no going to sink in for a while. I’m over the moon to be honest.

[After the first innings] I thought this is hard work, it was tough out there. It didn’t spin as much as we thought but testament to the coaches, to Bas and Ben, they got round me and [boosted my confidence].

The team environment is fantastic. You could have a good dday or a bad day but in that dressing room, the vibe is alwys ultra-positive.

[On Stokes’ captaincy] There’s never a dull moment. I’m always looking around at the field [and it’s attacking] but that’s the Stokes way and we’ve all bought into it.

I was really nervous at the start [when batting] but getting a few runs put my nervousness at ease and I found out a few things about the pitch that helped my bowling. I realised I didn’t have to bowl as fast as I thought, atching Jadeja and Ash. I thought I could take my time with my run-up.

[Favourite wicket?] The first or the last. It was a relief either way.

12:07 PM GMT

A rare record

Since Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes teamed up, England’s record is P19 W14 D1 L4

12:05 PM GMT

England lead the series 1-0

A sensational performance that vindicates their approach. Their spirit was never in doubt but their judgment was. Rob Key and Luke Wright deserve huge kudos for picking Tom Hartley and Ben Stokes, too, for supporting him.

It’s only India’s fourth defeat at home in 12 years.

12:02 PM GMT

Oh my word!

Tom Hartley has taken seven for 62 on debut, and nine in the match.

England were kebabed on Friday and transcendent on Sunday!

12:01 PM GMT


Siraj st Foakes b Hartley 12.

England win by 28 runs.

12:00 PM GMT

OVER 69: IND 202/9 (Bumrah 6 Siraj 12) chasing 231

There’s a delay while both batsmen put on their armour. Wood races in, over the wicket and beats Siraj outside off with one that kept low.

The next ball zips in and hits Siraj on the hip. he hares through for a leg-bye but Wood’s side-foot shot in his followthrough breaks the stumps at the striker’s end. Bumrah was home, though. Straight after that he tips the ball on to the non-striker’s stumps  in his followthrough! But Siraj was home, too.

Bumrah short-arm pulls a single with a meaty clump then Wood reverses one into Siraj’s pad and asks for leg-before but it was outside the lie eand they gallop a leg-bye.

Two overs max left to get the wicket or Alan Tyers is getting up at 2.45am.

India need 29.

11:54 AM GMT

OVER 68: IND 199/9 (Bumrah 5 Siraj 12) chasing 231

Siraj slog sweeps for a one-bounce four that Rehan cannot reach. Huge roar after the stumping appeal when Hartley oversteps. Siraj plays tip and run wide and short of Stokes at long on and beats the throw to get back for two, then flicks a single.

If only some of his team-mates had adopted Siraj’s abandon.

Time for Mark Wood to see if he can blast one out. India require 32.

11:50 AM GMT

Umpire review for stumping

Marais Erasmus has two looks at it but it’s deja vu, I think. His foot looks down. Indeed it is. NOT OUT.

11:49 AM GMT

OVER 67: IND 191/9 (Bumrah 5 Siraj 5) chasing 231

Rehan continues, the bait in the trap. Bumrah gallops down and hoicks through mid-on for two. Bumrah leaves a couple and is beaten by one that turns away. Foakes again tries to stump him but once again his foot was down.

11:47 AM GMT

OVER 66: IND 189/9 (Bumrah 3 Siraj 5) chasing 231

Bumrah uses the front foot, planting the big dog to block a couple. Foakes appeals for another stumping when Bumrah jumps in the air to express his frustration at missing a long hop by Hartley. A little Rumpelstiltskin hop and Foakes removed the bails just a fraction of a second after Bumrah planted a spike back down.

11:43 AM GMT

OVER 65: IND 188/9 (Bumrah 2 Siraj 5) chasing 231

Rehan, who git Siraj in the first innings, is back on. Siraj is going to go down in flames if he is to go down, trotting down to try to hit over the top but not taking account of the turn and hence squeezing off the edge to point. Bumraj sends him back.

Foakes appeals for a stumping when Siraj is beaten by a leg break but the foot stayed on the ground and both he and Siraj miss the googly which tickles the outside of the front pad and dribbles away for four leg-byes . Rehan tries the googly again and Siraj picks this one, clipping it off the back foot for two.

11:37 AM GMT

OVER 64: IND 182/9 (Bumrah 2 Siraj 3) chasing 231

Ashwin lost his partner then lost his head. Siraj whisks two through square leg and a single with the same shot. The ball between, though, reared up and took the edge but it sails wide of point. Bumrah uses the edge too to earn two wide of slip.

Hartley has 24-5-53-6. India need 49.

11:32 AM GMT


Ashwin st Foakes b Hartley 28  Ashwin doesn’t trust the tail, charges down to Hartley and is stranded by a mile.  FOW 177/9

11:32 AM GMT

Stokes wants the extra half-hour

So there will be eight overs or half an hour to win the match tonight.

11:31 AM GMT

OVER 63: IND 177/8 (Ashwin 28 Bumrah 0) chasing 231

Two overs left unless the umpires invoke the extra half-hour. Root takes the first of them and Ashwin leans back to cut and chops it 30cm short of Crawley’s dive at slip. Ashwin clips a single down the ground to give Bumrah one to face. That’s all Root needed when he got him for a golden duck yesterday. Bumrah props so far forward he’s almost horizontal to the pitch to block it.

11:28 AM GMT

OVER 62: IND 176/8 (Ashwin 27 Bumrah 0) chasing 231

Hartley comes back to try to winkle one more out and exert some control Leach may well be struggling with hsi knee now. Ashwin’s soft hands guide the ball wide of slip for two. Ashwin came in when 112 was required and has helped to halve the target. Has a whiff of this summer’s Edgbaston Ashes Test when Cummins and Lyon held on.

Oh no it isn’t ... Hartley castles Bharat.

11:26 AM GMT


Bharat b Hartley 28  Ay up! That’s five-for for Hartley with a classical left-arm off-break that drifts in, pitches on middle and turns past the edge to knock back off stump.  FOW 176/8

11:20 AM GMT

OVER 61: IND 173/7 (Bharat 28 Ashwin 24) chasing 231

Blimey! Leach rags his first ball so much it’s called wide. Foakes dives to make a smart stop. Bharat pushes a square drive off the toe for a single. Ashwin leaves one that Bairstow hams up into being closer to off stump than it was, blocks one then slaps a cut for two, Rehan chasing it down. Leach drags the next one down, too, and scythes this one for four, bringing up the 50 partnership.

India need 58.

11:17 AM GMT

OVER 60: IND 164/7 (Bharat 27 Ashwin 17) chasing 231

Stokes turns back to Root as the day pans out like yesterday, batting becoming easier as the ball moves towards its geriatric stage. Each single is greeted like an IPL six. Who said Test cricket was dead in India. Give them something exciting to watch and they will come.

Ashwin stabs a single through cover and Bharat prods another there and a second wide of Stokes and his golden arm at mid-off.

Four overs left and Leach will bowl the first of them.

11:13 AM GMT

OVER 59: IND 161/7 (Bharat 25 Ashwin 16) chasing 231

Out of nowhere Bharat plays a big drive down the ground, taking his front leg out to the onside to open the stance and pump a drive over mid-on for four. Bharat plays tip and run to cover to pinch the strike.

Srikar Bharat
Srikar Bharat builds a partnership that gives India hope - AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A

11:08 AM GMT

OVER 58: IND 155/7 (Bharat 20 Ashwin 15) chasing 231

Seven overs left at the start Hartley’s 22nd. And Ashwin is almost involved in another madcap run-out but he sends Bharat back in the nick of time. Hartley emuates Rehan’s bounce from the last over and kisses Bharat’s bat as he tried to lift it away, diverting it to Root who takes it one hand-one bounce at slip.

Bharat half misses out on the full toss, slapping it for two.

11:04 AM GMT

OVER 57: IND 153/7 (Bharat 18 Ashwin 15) chasing 231

Perfect leg-break from Rehan is left by Bharat who watches it clear the off-bail by a whisker. The 19-year-old drags the next one down and Bharat slams a cut for fou and, two balls later the ball explodes off the pitch, hits the back of Bharat’s bat as he tried to oull it high and out of the way and the ball sails over Root at slip for four.

India need 78. The partnership is now 34.

11:01 AM GMT

OVER 56: IND 144/7 (Bharat 9 Ashwin 15) chasing 231

Maiden for Hartley. Stokes shifts his field to open gaps to try to tempt them out of their hutches but to no avail. One does fly past Pope at silly point off the face from Ashwin but even old asbestos hands couldn’t have held there even had he got there.

10:59 AM GMT

OVER 55: IND 144/7 (Bharat 9 Ashwin 15) chasing 231

Interesting move from Stokes to try to draw India out of their shells by bringing back Rehan who went for 13 off his only over. Ashwin takes a minute to have a look then clips a single through point. The Barmy Army starts one of its clapping routines and the home fans are making a racket too.

Rehan’s leg-break spits up and over Bharat’s gloves.

‘We’ll get ’em in singles’ did not have the caveat ‘one per over’. Yes, I know it’s apocryphal. I’ve been reminded by David Frith on the very subject.

10:55 AM GMT

OVER 54: IND 143/7 (Bharat 9 Ashwin 14) chasing 231

Ashwin misses a Hartley drag down, pivoting and swivelling through 180 degrees but is beaten by the turn and the ball crashes into his body. India continue their softly, softly approach, with Ashwin as Stratford Johns and Bharat as Frank Windsor. There’s one for the teenagers.

Rehan Ahmed coming on. If England are to get this done tonight, they need something to happen. Why not chuck the ball to the leggie? Could go the other way of course.

10:51 AM GMT

OVER 53: IND 142/7 (Bharat 9 Ashwin 13) chasing 231

India chip away at glacial pace as Wood finds some reverse swing. Ashwin’s back-foot clip behind point for a single takes the prtnership to 23 and the target down to 89.

Shoaib Bashir
Shoaib Bashir watches his team-mates in action - NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images

10:47 AM GMT

OVER 52: IND 141/7 (Bharat 9 Ashwin 12) chasing 231

Stokes brings Hartley back into the attack, needing a wicket to take a five-for on debut. Some of you might remember that Adil Rashid was panned for his 0 for 163 on debut in Abu Dhabi in 2015. He took five for 64 in the second innings.

The left-armer beats Ashwin when trying to cut, the ball skidding through and just hurdling off stump. Two balls later he connects with a cut and slaps it for a single.

10:42 AM GMT

OVER 51: IND 140/7 (Bharat 9 Ashwin 11) chasing 231

Wood hoops his inswinger into Bharat’s pads and goes up to appeal loudly but the umpire shakes his head because it was veering down leg and they gallop a leg-bye. Ashwin limbos away from the bouncer, blocks and then fences one from off-stump through point for a sngle.

10:39 AM GMT

OVER 50: IND 138/7 (Bharat 9 Ashwin 10) chasing 231

Root runs through his Bertie Bassett armoury and it earns him five dot balls as Ashwin prods, pokes and pushes until given a bit of width with the slinger and he cuts it for two.

Fourteen overs are left in today’s play. Can’t see India getting close enough to 93 to trigger an extra half-hour. England would need at least one more wicket to do so, possibly two.

10:34 AM GMT

OVER 49: IND 136/7 (Bharat 9 Ashwin 8) chasing 231

Wood replaces Leach but is struggling for pace in this, his third spell, the ball coming out in the low 80s. Bharat swats a single through square leg, Ashwin opens the face to clip one behind point.

10:28 AM GMT

OVER 48: IND 134/7 (Bharat 8 Ashwin 7) chasing 231

Joe Root has a slip and leg slip in for Bharat and the first ball does cone off the inside edge but lands short of Pope at leg slip. The next ball turns back to hit Bharat on the knee after the batsman took a big stride. Ben Foakes nixes the bowler’s inclination to review on height grounds, and rightly so.

Bharat uses his feet to swipe two between mid-on and midwicket, then reverse-sweeps for a single. Did they have a chat about changing gear at drinks?

Root ends the over appealing for leg-before again but it pitched outside leg.

10:23 AM GMT


Apologies – the target at the start of the over is 100 not beneath. It’s been four very long days at the worst start times of all!

Joe Root celebrates
Joe Root bags KL Rahul - NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images

10:20 AM GMT

OVER 47: IND 131/7 (Bharat 5 Ashwin 7) chasing 231

Now Ashwin sparks into life to pounce on a Leach drag down and chastise it with a an aggressive slap through cover for four. That takes the target to a hundred and brings the crowd to their feet.

Time for drinks with 17 overs of play left today.

10:18 AM GMT

OVER 46: IND 125/7 (Bharat 4 Ashwin 2) chasing 231

A single each for Ashwin and Bharat off Root

10:12 AM GMT

OVER 45: IND 123/7 (Bharat 1 Ashwin 3) chasing 231

India seem like they’re playing for time, hoping to hang in until tomorrow. Sunil Gavaskar hs tried to raise the spectre of rain as a crumb of comfort but is laughed at by Kevin Pietersen.

England captain Ben Stokes throws the ball to run out India batsman Ravindra Jadeja
Ben Stokes flicks the ball at the stumps to run out Jadeja - Stu Forster/Getty Images

10:09 AM GMT

OVER 44: IND 122/7 (Bharat 1 Ashwin 2) chasing 231

Even Harsha Bhogle and Murali Kartik are saying that England’s proactiveness has exposed a hidebound, reactive approach from India. They managed at long last to eradicate it from the whiet-ball side but now the red-ball side needs a transfusion of audacity.

10:05 AM GMT

OVER 43: IND 121/7 (Bharat 1 Ashwin 1) chasing 231

Leach, too, is turning it square at times and Ashwin has to lean over to smother it. Only the single off the over from Bharat who whisks a single by closing the face, stirring the pot, through square leg.

10:01 AM GMT

OVER 42: IND 120/7 (Bharat 0 Ashwin 1) chasing 231

Ashwin at least tries to counter-attack with that sweep, unlike Iyer and Rahul who seemed content just to survive, wait for the bad ball, play the old way. But he has to go back into his shell because of Hartley’s excellent line. Maiden.

09:59 AM GMT


Just pad.

09:59 AM GMT

England review

Ashwin c Pope b Hartley Was there and edge as he swept or just pad before it cannoned to Pope?

09:58 AM GMT

OVER 41: IND 120/7 (Bharat 0 Ashwin 1) chasing 231

Inspired bowling change by Stokes to call up Leach. Who is this man. He’s been flippin’ Midas today.

09:52 AM GMT


Iyer c Root b Leach 13  Tries to square drive a left-armer’s off-break and nicks off to slip when the ball turns. Iyer’s place is hanging on a shoogly peg now. Will defeat bring an SOS to the exiled Pujara?  FOW 119-7

09:50 AM GMT

OVER 40: IND 119/6 (Iyer 13 Bharat 0) chasing 231

Hartley is bowling some wonderful deliveries to Bharat, three in succession drift in, pitch and rip past the edge. Bharat has had enough of that and tries to counter with the reverse sweep but doesn’t connect. Should have gone to Abu Dhabi ...

India need 112.

Ben Stokes, at 32 with all those miles on the clock, continues to find ways to amaze us. Incredible. Is that his best run out ever? He was totally off balance. To make matters worse for India, Jadeja looks injured. That was a crazy run given the fielder.

09:46 AM GMT

OVER 39: IND 119/6 (Iyer 13 Bharat 0) chasing 231

The crowd is stunned by that dismissal. Absolutely flattened. I think Jadeja twanged his hamstring in trying to get home, too.

Ben Stokes run-out: the biggest, best or most important run-out for England since Andrew Flintoff at the Oval in 2009?

09:42 AM GMT


Jadeja run out 2  Oh my goodness! As Nasser Hussain once said: ‘Benjamin Stokes, you cannot do that!’ Jadeja, a gazelle, slaps it short of mid-off. Stokes sprints to swoop and dives to reverse flick the ball out of the back of his right hand to knock down the non-striker’s stumps and catch Jadeja short by 30m.  FOW 119/6

09:41 AM GMT

OVER 38: IND 119/5 (Iyer 13 Jadeja 2) chasing 231

Hartley gives Iyer a present, a full toss and Iyer slaps it through midwicket for four.

During Covid I was at Worcester for Tom Hartley’s championship debut in what was theoretically a home match for Lancashire. And he was very steady, just as he has been very steady here, even during Jaiswal’s opening assault. Bit more help from the pitch at Hyderabad than at Worcester.

09:39 AM GMT

OVER 37: IND 115/5 (Iyer 9 Jadeja 2) chasing 231

Three singles off Root’s over. Not so much uneven bounce from this end so far, the odd one rearing up rather than shooting though one skids through sharply at the end of the over and Jadeja has to chisel it out.

England will roll their eyes but this innings has shown the benefit of a bit of proper cricket before the first Test. Stokes is setting better fields with a combination of men out and catchers close to the bat, giving Hartley the protection he lacked on the first evening, while also keeping India honest around the bat. Hartley too now looks like a bowler with 25 overs behind him in the first innings England adapted Bazball in the Ashes after two Tests, toning it down. They’ve learned quicker on this tour, reacting during the match. A tweak to selection for the 2nd will be next.

09:36 AM GMT

OVER 36: IND 112/5 (Iyer 7 Jadeja 1) chasing 231

Iyer takes a pair of singles off Hartley square on either side of the wicket and Jadeja hangs deep to whip a single past the square leg umpire. The final ball of the over turns into the left-hander and hits him on the shin. England ponder a review but suspect it was missing leg ... which it was.

09:32 AM GMT

OVER 35: IND 109/5 (Iyer 5 Jadeja 0) chasing 231

Iyer has the right idea, clipping a single off the firts ball for a second successive over. Jadeja, a lefthander and hence more susceptible to off-spin, has to face five and almost nicks off when pushing at an off-break but saved by his gossamer grip and silky hands. The ball falls short of Crawley.

09:29 AM GMT

OVER 34: IND 108/5 (Iyer 4 Jadeja 0) chasing 231

The big home crowd is trying to give their team some inspiration, chanting ‘India! India!’ Iyer whisks a dart from Hartley for a single and Jadeja probes the infield, busy on his feet, for no return. The last ball, though, shivers his timbers by creeping through low and missing his legs.

09:23 AM GMT

OVER 33: IND 107/5 (Iyer 3 Jadeja 0) chasing 231

India add four leg-byes to the four byes of the previous over. But Root doesn’t care as he pins Rahul plumb with a fine delivery that straightened.

09:20 AM GMT


Rahul lbw b Root 22  Three reds. Root drifted it on to middle frm round the wicket and turned the off-break back to strike him on the knee roll as he was caught on the crease frantically trying to jab his bat down to save himself.  FOW 107/5

09:19 AM GMT

India review

Rahul lbw b Root  Looked plumb to me but the height might reprieve him.

09:18 AM GMT

OVER 32: IND 102/4 (Rahul 22 Iyer 2) chasing 231

Never judge a book by the cover. Never judge a spinner on debut from his first innings’ performance. Pity the fool who wrote this morning that only Wood or Root could bowl England to victory ...

Now Hartley gets one to rip and bounce past Iyer’s splice. Two balls later, after Iyer had whipped a single square, the uneven bounce scares the pants off India with one that shoots through and beats Rahul, the stumps and Foakes as it scuttles down for four byes.

09:14 AM GMT

OVER 31: IND 97/4 (Rahul 22 Iyer 1) chasing 231

Jack Leach, of all people, seemed to give Iyer an earful on his way to the middle. A send-in rather than a send-off. Root stays on despite the left-hander’s departure and Rahul skelps him away for a single off his toes and Iyer gets off the mark also through square leg.

09:10 AM GMT

OVER 30: IND 95/4 (Rahul 21 Iyer 0) chasing 231

Stokes switches Hartley back to end from which he took all his earlier wickets and the spinner rewards his captain’s judgment by breaking the partnership at 32.

09:05 AM GMT


Axar c & b Hartley 17  Turns off a good length and catches the bottom of the bat as Axar tries to attack and pops it back up the pitch off the toe of his bat and Hartley completes a return catch at ankle height.  FOW 95/4

09:01 AM GMT

Tea verdict: Hartley's revenge

Hartley’s revenge. What a turnaround for him from his nightmare start to taking all three wickets including Rohit Sharma, the India captain and main threat.

Hartley has backbone, no question. England players have wilted in the past after such a mauling but this regime puts its arm round young cricketers and has their back. This is the reward.

Hartley bowled slower and dragged his length back which with his height gave him more bounce and turn for an eight over spell of 3-21. It was understandable in the first innings that he started slinging the ball down as if in one day mode but here with a 230 target to play with and India’s timidity continuing, he was able to build rhythm and a spell.

India are still in the game but they scored slowly in that session and whenever they looked to be building a partnership, England broke through.

Ollie Pope snaffled two close catches, his fine work in this game is not an end yet. Hartley started by removing his tormentor Jaiswal caught at short leg and two balls later Gill prodded forward with hard hands and pushed to Pope at silly point. Rohit leg before just when he was starting to counter was priceless.

India promoted Axar to five, something India have done before in tight run chases, to break up the run of right-handers, credit to Hartley for forcing them to rethink.

It is going to be a tense and unmissable final session. 

08:44 AM GMT

TEA: IND 95-3, chasing 231

Nip and tuck. As long as Rohit was there I thought India would win and I think Rahul is the other potential matchwinner in their top-order. But England have been excellent and what a heartening comeback for Tom Hartley with the ball on debut after a very valuable innings.

08:42 AM GMT

OVER 29: IND 95/3 (Rahul 21 Axar 17) chasing 231

Significant and dangerous bounce for Root to Rahul and he strikes him on the hip from round the wicket with a fizzing off-break. But Rahul sees it out for the maiden and strides off purposefully for lunch with India needing 136 to win.

08:40 AM GMT

OVER 28: IND 95/3 (Rahul 21 Axar 17) chasing 231

Just a soupçon of reverse for Wood but Rahul still squeezes it through point for a single. Four short balls to end the over, all dots to Axar, give us no chance to assess if it truly is tailing in.

Ben Foakes jumps up
Foakes' certainty was reflected in his star-jump appeal and perhaps convinced the umpire to give Rohit out lbw - Stu Forster/Getty Images

Root to bowl the last over before tea.

08:34 AM GMT

OVER 27: IND 94/3 (Rahul 20 Axar 17) chasing 231

Nicely done by Axar to take a big stride and hammer a drive through mid-off for four. Two balls later he does it again, pinging the ball through extra-cover. A tall man, he doesn’t have to reach and he latches on to the short ball, pulling it hard for four. Pope turns turtle at short leg but the ball almost grazes his shoulder as it flies to the boundary.

08:29 AM GMT

OVER 26: IND 81/3 (Rahul 19 Axar 5) chasing 231

Wood is putting everything into this and it’s leaving his hand at 90mph but floating after it bounces through to the keeper. That must make him think of the yorker and, after three balls, he does deliver it but Axar grinds it out. The next ball is full, inviting the drive and the miscue. Axar meets it sweetly but doesn’t beat mid-off. Maiden. Rehan Ahmed will have a couple of overs before tea.

08:24 AM GMT

OVER 25: IND 81/3 (Rahul 19 Axar 5) chasing 231

It’s as if Rahul has read Scyld’s post and plays two sweeps, a lap and a full blooded on square for fours, off his stumps. That’s put a dent in Hartley’s figures but he won’t care. It’s the final column that matters to the Stokes-McCullum-Key axis.

08:20 AM GMT

OVER 24: IND 73/3 (Rahul 11 Axar 5) chasing 231

Mark Wood had one over with the brand new ball, watched in anguish as Crawley dropped a hard chance given by Rohit and has had to patrol the rope since. But now he’s coming back. No reverse yet. Rahul tucks a single off his ribs and Axar defends three from round the wicket.

India need 158.

08:15 AM GMT

OVER 23: IND 72/3 (Rahul 10 Axar 5) chasing 231

Hartley switches ends and after Axar tickles a single round the corner, Rahul is beaten twice in succession by off-breaks, one whistling past the edge, the next ragging miles past it. Setting him up for the arm ball, like he did to Rohit? Not yet, teh last ball is overpitched and Rahul clips it into the onside for a single.

Whoever wins this Test, it is evident that Indian batting has not evolved as England’s has done in the Bazball era. Nobody has yet disrupted England’s spinners by sweeping straight balls and reverse sweeping. The convention that you only sweep balls going down leg side still prevails. This conventionality is manifested by Indian batsmen still wearing a cap. It means they are only going to bat in their same old comfortable way.

08:11 AM GMT

OVER 22: IND 70/3 (Rahul 9 Axar 4) chasing 231

Gavaskar disagrees, thinking this is a sensible way to bat by Axar as he’s got tomorrow too. Sunil was a magnificent opener but he did also score 36* off 174 balls at the 1975 World Cup ...

Three singles off Root, all off the front foot, all through the off-side.

08:09 AM GMT

OVER 21: IND 67/3 (Rahul 8 Axar 2) chasing 231

Leach is doing a fine job with his precision to smother India’s ambition and they are passively playing into England’s hands so far, Rohit apart. Someone needs to carpe the diem and launch a counter.

08:04 AM GMT

OVER 20: IND 65/3 (Rahul 7 Axar 1) chasing 231

Root torments Axar with one that arcs in from round the wicket. He leaves it but it misses off stump no’ but just. Another coat of varnish and he’d have bowled him. Root pretends he’s been painted by Edvard Munch. Two balls later he rags one past the edge. Maiden. But deserved something more.

India promoted Axar to No5, presumably so a leftie could whack left-arm spin. So Stokes took one of the left-arm spinners off, and Root immediately caused Axar all sorts of problems. England making the running.

08:01 AM GMT

OVER 19: IND 63/3 (Rahul 7 Axar 1) chasing 231

Rahul pushes Leach for a single to cover and Axar slots a drive down to long on for another. Joe Root is coming on to bowl at the left-handed Axar.

08:00 AM GMT

Ian Smith is one of the great joys in life

07:56 AM GMT

OVER 18: IND 63/3 (Rahul 6 Axar 0) chasing 231

Balls keeping low when bowling from the Pavilion End were the biggest threat to England in their second inninsg and now Hartley enjoys the phenomenon but Rohit’s bat speed gets him out of trouble, whirring down to jam it out. But he can’t keep out the arm ball and Hartley strikes again. He’s got three for 21. I was as guilty as anyone for doubting his readiness in the first innings. The folly of premature adjudication, eh?

Axar Patel is promoted from nine to No5 to counter-attack and because he’s a left-hander.

07:54 AM GMT


Rohit lbw b Hartley 39  Three reds. Beat him in the flight, drifting in and straightening just a tad. Not the big turn Rohit was playing for.  FOW 63/3

07:52 AM GMT

India review

Rohit lbw b Hartley  England are absolutely convinced. Hit him on the knee roll in front of leg and middle.

07:49 AM GMT

Captain marvel

Hartley’s recovery from his first innings is incredible and proof of the paternal handling by the England management of young players. Can’t think of a better era to make a debut than under Stokes.

07:48 AM GMT

OVER 17: IND 63/2 (Rohit 39 Rahul 6) chasing 231

Bairstow, helmeted, takes the Trescothick approach, kneeling very close at second slip for Leach. Rohit plays a rare reverse sweep and hammers it wide of Bairstow’s right hand for four.

Not all that rare now. Like London buses ... next ball he does it again, flicking it over Root who leapt to his right at first slip for another four.

07:45 AM GMT

OVER 16: IND 53/2 (Rohit 30 Rahul 5) chasing 231

Pope’s OK and Hartley continues to threaten the edge two or three times the over. Like Rashid he looks much better when finding the nerve to bowl a bit slower.

Rohit, though, remains a class act and is on to an error in line to sweep a fullish one off leg and middle for four.

07:42 AM GMT


Look at what it means, how it feels:

07:39 AM GMT

Pope needs a concussion test

After being sconned at silly point by Rahul’s back-foot punch. You can’t keep him out of the game.

07:38 AM GMT

OVER 15: IND 48/2 (Rohit 26 Rahul 4) chasing 231

Leach, making a mockery of pain, is also bowling beautifully, drifting one on to Rohit’s middle stumps and turning it square past the edge with help from spitting bounce, too. Maiden. As KP says, India are letting England’s spinners wheel away and wait for the bad ball. England were more proactive with the bat against far-better spinners to knock them off their stride and strut.

07:36 AM GMT

OVER 14: IND 48/2 (Rohit 26 Rahul 4) chasing 231

Crawley stands stock still as the ball flies past him at cover from a Rahul back-foot punch. He lost it in the crowd and it sails away for four. That apart, Hartley has grown into this impressvely and is holding a tempting line outside off, turrning the ball towads slip.

The Barmy Army trumpeter, Finchy, has been playing “Rally Round The West Indies”, which is entirely appropriate. There has been a lot of excitement from both press packs in the Hyderabad media centre about what’s just happened in Brisbane ...

07:33 AM GMT

Meanwhile at the Gabba

West Indies have beaten Australia in Australia for the first time in 27 years! If you have access to TNT Sports watch Shamar Joseph’s remarkable seven for 68 in the second innings.

07:28 AM GMT

OVER 13: IND 43/2 (Rohit 25 Rahul 0) chasing 231

Jack Leach replaces Root. He has two slips in, Pope with his helmet on at second. Decent, tight start from Leach, pushing Rohit deep into his crease. Only the single off the over, driven past a diving mid-on.

07:26 AM GMT

OVER 12: IND 42/2 (Rohit 24 Rahul 0) chasing 231

Jaiswal devours a pie, scything a Hartley drag down for four through point. But the left-armer keeps his head up, watches Jaiswal’s triggers and winkles him out. Two balls later he does the same to Gill.

07:22 AM GMT


Gill c Pope b Hartley 0 Another blinder, this time at silly point, from that man Pope! By contrast with the previous dismissal, Hartley gave this one plenty of flight and Gill pushes forward. Pope grabs it low diving forward at silly point, his fingers at knee height. FOW 42/2

07:18 AM GMT


Jaiswal c Pope b Hartley 15  Hartley saw that Jaiswal was about to charge him so darted it wider and, in a flap, he flicked it straight to short leg, the ball going fast and hard off the middle of the bat. Good catch.  FOW 42/1

07:17 AM GMT

OVER 11: IND 38/0 (Rohit 24 Jaiswal 11) chasing 231

Jaiswal is beaten by the slider but again the ball was angling down leg after hitting the pad. The left-hander collars a long hop for a single in front of square and Rohit tickles Root fine for two.

Jaiswal stands on one leg
Jaiswal takes a job with the Ministry of Silly Walks - REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

07:14 AM GMT

OVER 10: IND 35/0 (Rohit 22 Jaiswal 10) chasing 231

Hartley turns one from 10cm outside leg to hit Rohit in front of middle. More turn than most English left-armers and from him in England so it’s hard to gauge which line he should bowl given it’s turning so much for him.

07:11 AM GMT

OVER 9: IND 32/0 (Rohit 22 Jaiswal 9) chasing 231

Root may be England’s most threatening bowler but he isn’t a frontline spinner in the sense of being able to bowl dry as well as menace the pads and stumps. Another full toss slips out and Rohit belts it through mid-off for four. Jaiswal had earlier patted the longest of singles down to long-off.

07:08 AM GMT

OVER 8: IND 25/0 (Rohit 18 Jaiswal 8) chasing 231

Big shout from Hartley and Foakes, who raises both hands and waggles his gloves like a happy spaniel’s hindquarters, when the left-armer hits Jaiswal on the pad when he tries to reverse-sweep but misses out. It struck him outside leg, a law that should pertain when they’re reversing.

A single each.

07:06 AM GMT

OVER 7: IND 25/0 (Rohit 17 Jaiswal 7) chasing 231

Tight and probing over from Root. Rohit defends two calmly then flicks a single through midwicket but Jaiswal looks shakier who lets one whistle past off stump as he leaves and then jabs his bat down to squeak out a dart from the blockhole.

Jack Leach
Leach, having warmed up his badly bruised and swollen knee at lunch, has been passed fit to bowl - Stu Forster/Getty Images)

06:59 AM GMT

OVER 6: IND 24/0 (Rohit 16 Jaiswal 7) chasing 231

Hartley pins Jaiswal with the best ball he’s delivered on debut but unfortunately it did too much. Better that than too little, though. Jaiswal pulls a drag down off the toe for a single, Rohit sweeps for another, the boundary riders doing their job. The long hop apart, this has been a much better start by Hartley.

06:56 AM GMT


Turned too much and would have missed leg stump. Fair shout, though. Hit him low.

06:55 AM GMT

England review

Jaiswal lbw b Hartley  From over the wicket. Did he hit it? Nope but it might have pitched outside off.

06:53 AM GMT

OVER 5: IND 22/0 (Rohit 15 Jaiswal 6) chasing 231

Root slings one on to Jaiswal’s leg stump and he picks the line perfectly to sweep hard and square for four. Root adjusts to off stump and the left-hander chips a drive a bit like the one that got him out in the first innings but this time Root can’t reach it as he dived to hhis right.

06:49 AM GMT

OVER 4: IND 17/0 (Rohit 15 Jaiswal 1) chasing 231

Stokes gives Hartley far more protection than he did in the first innings, with sweepers at midwicket and square leg. Rohit chips a drive short of mid-on despite Foakes’ cry of ‘Catch it!’ and he runs a single. Jaiswal also drives the left-arm spinner into the offside for a single.

06:47 AM GMT

OVER 3: IND 15/0 (Rohit 14 Jaiswal 0) chasing 231

The new ball is slipping out of Root’s hand. Rohit, served up a full toss, can’t beat mid-off with his slap but two balls later, given another one, pummels it wide of Ben Stokes at mid-off for four.

Root drifts in an off-break to Jaiswal and hits him on the shin with his slider in front of leg. England ponder an appeal but decide to be more judicious today, wisely, as it was missing leg stump.

Immediate change. Hartley replaces Wood.

06:42 AM GMT

OVER 2: IND 10/0 (Rohit 9 Jaiswal 0) chasing 231

Wood has three slips but no third man and Rohit glides the first ball for four wide of the cordon, diverting the ball rather than hitting it. A stroke more than a shot. But Wood then finds the edge. I think it just carried to Crawley but flew at him very low as he dived forward. His hands were just too late, beaten for pace. Wood ruffles his own hair Stan Laurel fashion as the ball rattles down for four.

Leach missed the first two overs but is now back on.

That carried. Rohit remains the biggest wicket by some distance. Will England live to regret that?

06:38 AM GMT

OVER 1: IND 1/0 (Rohit 1 Jaiswal 0) chasing 231

Joe Root takes the new ball and starts round the wicket to Rohit with a slip and Pope, England’s best short leg since Titch Taylor, under the lid. The India captain gets off the mark with midwicket flick for a single. Root got Jaiswal in the first innings, brought on to bowl too late at the left-hander. No such procrastination today. He’s straight at him, drifting it in and extracting turn and bounce. Jaiswal plays them well, especially the last which rears up at shoulder height.

Mark Wood shares new ball duties.

06:33 AM GMT

Out come the players

Only four higher successful chases in India. Those of us who were doing this job for Chennai in 2008 need no reminding of the highest

06:31 AM GMT

Leach will bowl

The outfield is a hive of activity in the lunchbreak. Jack Leach is out there, gently warming up, suggesting he may bowl.

And the newly-arrived Shoaib Bashir is working with England’s close fielders. Good to see he’s been put straight to work.

Jack Leach will take the field, and is fit to bowl through his bruised left knee.

06:29 AM GMT

Lunch verdict

Just another day in the Bazball world…Ollie Pope’s 196 will go down as an innings for the ages and England’s 420 all out a hammer blow for India who now will understand they can never sit fully comfortably no matter their lead or dominance.

It was an incredible morning for England: 104 runs added for four wickets, India given the complete run around and set 231 to win on a pitch with low, uneven bounce.

Again England made a team revise their plans and go on the back foot just when they thought they were in control. India backed off against tailenders and Pope. Pope was dropped again, India were rattled in the field and looked totally bereft of ideas and inspiration. Their champion spinners were blunted.

Pope’s sweeping and placement left Rohit Sharma scratching his head and his two great spinners, Jadeja and Ashwin, suffering a pummelling like never before at home. Jadeja has never conceded this many runs (219) in a home Test, and Ashwin’s economy rate of 3.8 has only been higher once before bowling on his own pitches over his long career. Never before have they both conceded 100 runs or more when bowling together in the second innings of a Test and their body language told a story. England added 257 runs from the point Ben Stokes was dismissed on day three when it looked like the game was over.

Enough stats because this England team are not about numbers. It is their mindset that sets them apart. To come out firing despite a 190 run deficit is unheard of but their no fear approach is totally ingrained. Many ex-India players made the same mistake as Aussies, South Africans and Pakistanis before them by thinking that Bazball is about slogging. There has been none of that, just controlled aggression and total belief in the method.

Pope has changed his career. Now he commands respect from opponents for an astonishing innings that many will rank as the greatest by an England player in India. He was even out the Babzall way trying to reverse scoop Bumrah four short of a double.

Tom Hartley and Rehan Ahmed played spiky innings too. Will that give them confidence? Looking back they bowled at the toughest point in the match when the pitch went to sleep. Now they have a chance.

05:56 AM GMT

LUNCH: India need 231 to win

England’s last four wickets added 115 this morning and have set India a challenging 231 for victory after Pope’s magnificent 196 and, crucially, lead role in partnerships off 112 with Foakes, 64 with Rehan and 80 with Hartley.

Bazball to the last, Pope looks to reverse ramp over the slips to bring up his double, and is bowled. Hell of an innings, one for the ages. 231 to win, and time for some dhal....

05:52 AM GMT


Pope b Bumrah 196  Went for the reverse scoop but was gulled by the slower ball and loses his off-stump.  Splattered stumps takes nothing away from a truly superb innings.  FOW 420 all out

Ollie Pope bowled
Ollie Pope, stuck with a lame Jack Leach, tries the Popescoop and finally ends his innings - Stu Forster/Getty Images

05:52 AM GMT

OVER 101: ENG 420/9 (Pope 196 Leach 0)

Pope survives a DRS appeal from India, drives Jadeja for a single and watches the last ball of the over lure Wood into a forward push and snick. Jack Leach limps to the middle.

05:50 AM GMT


Wood c Bharat b Jadeja 0  Feathers an edge as the ball drifts in and turns away. Fine delivery.  FOW 420/9

05:47 AM GMT


He didn’t hit it but it was turning past off stump.

05:46 AM GMT

India review

Pope lbw b Jadeja  One reverse too far? Don’t think he hit it. Did it hit him outside off stump. Looked pretty close to me.

05:45 AM GMT

OVER 101: ENG 419/8 (Pope 195 Wood 0)

Ashwin breaks England’s eighth wicket partnership at 80 with one that kept very low. England will take encouragement from that. Wood restrains himself to bat for Pope and blocks out the remaining five balls of the over, stretching that big dog down the pitch.

05:40 AM GMT


Hartley b Ashwin 34  Now who’s rattled? A change of ends works wonders for Ashwin who bags Hartley with a grubber from round the wicket, the ball shooting under his bat and into off stump. Umplayable.  FOW 419/8

05:40 AM GMT

OVER 100: ENG 419/7 (Pope 195 Hartley 34)

It has taken 96 minutes but here, at last, is Axar Patel. Pope defends the first two then creams a cover drive for four, the 21st of his innings. More bounce from Patel than Ashwin and he gets one to rear off a length and turn, beating bth bat and keeper’s glove to fly between Bharat and slip for a bye.

05:36 AM GMT

OVER 99 ENG 413/7 (Pope 191 Hartley 33)

Having said Rohit was a shrewder captain than Virat, everyone, as Mike Tyson famously said, has a plan until they’re punched in the mouth. India look paralysed by alarm. There are singles allround the field. Siraj is bowling well, mainly back of a length jagging into the body, carrying the attack single-handedly – even Ashwin with 495 Test wickets seems rattled.

Just the leg-bye off Siraj’s secenth over.

05:32 AM GMT

OVER 98 ENG 412/7 (Pope 191 Hartley 33)

Their critics would contend that England went to Abu Dhabi to play golf but you can see here plainly that they have been working hard on technique, specifivally the reverse sweep. Pope played it sporadically hitherto but he has been Duckett-esque in this innings and even added his own innovation, the reverse scoop off the spinners. Now Hartley nails one off Ashwin for four then shuffles back to smack a single down the ground and Pope pinches the strike with another reverse-swept single.

05:28 AM GMT

OVER 97: ENG 405/7 (Pope 189 Hartley 28)

Siraj bounces Hartley who, despite two men being put out for the hook, bisects them with a pull for four. Having let one go past his legs and ducked another bouncer, Hartley is struck on the gloves as he tried to fiddle one round the corner but the ball falls short of the keeper. Siraj, who has been running in gamely and should have bagged Pope but for KL’s butterfingers, bangs the last ball in and Hartley defends it in front of his chest.

Tom Hartley drives
England's Tom Hartley is chipping in with valuable runs - NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images

05:23 AM GMT

OVER 96: ENG 401/7 (Pope 189 Hartley 24)

England become the first side to pass 400 in their second innings in India since they did so in 2012 by taking three singles calmly off Ashwin . Hartley ends the over with a fourth, rocking on to the back foot to cut in front of square.

There was KP. Now there is OP. This innings by Ollie Pope has to be bracketed with the finest of Pietersen’s Test innings. In other words, right up there with the very best.

05:20 AM GMT

OVER 95: ENG 397/7 (Pope 187 Hartley 22)

Pope drives through cover for what should have been a single but they hare back for two as Bumrah fumbles the pick-up. Pope then charges Siraj and thumps a sprakling stiraght drive for four.

The next ball is shorter and Pope tries to dab it with a horizontal bat but it comes off a top edge up by the splice and arrows straight to slip ... KL Rahul spills it! That’s a third life for Pope after Axar’s drop yesterday.

Siraj resorts to the bouncer and hits both Pope as he tries to pull and then, after a tip and run to cover for a single, scons Hartley, too.

After Bumrah had a pop at Pope earlier, now Siraj has words with Hartley. India, dare I say, look a little rattled. Got to feel for Siraj, who has just had Pope dropped very badly on 186, on his home ground.

05:14 AM GMT

OVER 94: ENG 390/7 (Pope 180 Hartley 22)

After a delay because the umpire spotted something wrong with the coverings around the sightscreen, Ashwin continues, round the wicket to right- and left-hander. Hartley taps a single through cover ... as does Pope to stretch the lead to 200.

Harsha Bhogle says that never before have both Ashwin and Jadeja gone for more than a hundred in the second innings of a Test. India seem a bit lost. Rohit seems to me a shrewder captain than Virat but they miss his rabble-rousing qualities.

Ollie Pope
A study in Papal infallibility - AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.

05:08 AM GMT

OVER 93: ENG 388/7 (Pope 179 Hartley 21)

Hartley chops a single off Siraj’s firts ball wide of slip for a single and Pope uses the bounce to punch two off the back foot through cover. Twice Pope tries to take the single that would bring up the fifty partnership but is thwarted by gully and then the bowler fielding sharply in his followthrough.

Time for drinks. England lead by 198.

The Bazballers are taking Jadeja and Ashwin into relatively new territory. Ashwin is going at 3.8 an over in this Test, his highest economy rate at home for more than ten years. Jadeja has conceded more runs in this game than any Test match at home.

05:01 AM GMT

OVER 92: ENG 385/7 (Pope 177 Hartley 20)

Another bold but proficient shot from Hartley to harpoon a drive through cover for three. Ashwin, having been taken for two further singles, bowls a beauty that rags past Pope’s edge and beats everything, stumps, and scrambling keeper and slip to rattle away for four byes.

Rohit throws the ball to Siraj.

It is amazing and unprecedented what we are watching, folks - for Ollie Pope to use the extra bounce of the second new ball to lift a spinner the wicketkeeper’s head. The novelty, the audacity, sheer brilliance.

04:57 AM GMT

OVER 91: ENG 375/7 (Pope 175 Hartley 16)

Hartley has the stones to come down to Jadeja again and lamps a lofted drive over his head for four. Opening the face, he slices a single past the slip and Pope drives to long off for a single.

Bizarre passage of play from India: refusing to take 2nd new ball, spreading the field and some poor bowling. Did they delay it because England have scored quickly against the new ball in both innings? If so then another example of the Bazballers making vaunted opposition think again (and be negative).

04:55 AM GMT

OVER 90: ENG 369/7 (Pope 174 Hartley 11)

The TV feed has just shown Jack Leach arriving at the ground this morning with one leg encased from hip to toe in a bandage. The knee is horribly swollen and he walked up the steps like the Tin Man. No bowling for him today in that state, one would think.

Three singles off Ashwin. England are really frustrating India now.

04:52 AM GMT

OVER 89: ENG 366/7 (Pope 173 Hartley 9)

This is the highest second innings score by any side in India for eight years now. Hartley drives the new ball fpor a single and Pope defends one then probes the infiedl with two defensive pushes. The next ball is fuller and Pope reverse scoops it for four.

The Poper Scooper. As Matt Floyd on TNT hinted, one more vowel and that would be something else entirely.

04:48 AM GMT

OVER 88: ENG 361/7 (Pope 169 Hartley 8)

Hartley puts on his dancing boots and chasses towards Jadeja to dump a straight drive for four then reverse sweeps the great off-spinner for a single. Ravi Shastri, a left-arm spinner himself, of course, says he thinks such confident batting from Hartley may help his bowling.

India have called for the new ball and given it to Jadeja.

04:45 AM GMT

OVER 87: ENG 353/7 (Pope 167 Hartley 2)

A change of ends for Jadeja rather than a breather. After England add a bye and a leg-bye to their total, Jadeja turns his off-break past the right-hander’s outside edge. Again the umpires send a stumping appeal upstairs ... again the foot seemed fairly obviously grounded. Still, the protocol now is it’s better to be sure.

04:42 AM GMT

OVER 86: ENG 350/7 (Pope 166 Hartley 2)

Ashwin replaces Jadeja. Pope, who was been batting (with 16½ hours off!) for more than five hours, still has the spring in his step to race back for two having cuffed an off-break through midwicket for two. Next ball goes to the same place with more of a flick.

Bumrah and Pope chat amiably
Bumrah and Pope make up after their collision - REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

04:37 AM GMT

OVER 85: ENG 347/7 (Pope 163 Hartley 2)

Hartley manages to chisel out a screeching yorker from Bumrah, a proper ‘sandshoe crusher’ from round the wicket. The previous ball was a first draft but landed 3cm short and gave Hartley practice of jamming down into the blockhole. He’s got impressivley sharp reflexes and a good eye.

04:34 AM GMT

Shoaib flies in

Good news for England. Shoaib Bashir landed in Hyderabad this morning and is coming to the ground later on. Wonder whether he could be in contention for Friday’s second Test.

04:33 AM GMT

Scyld on Rehan

Apart from the brilliance of Ollie Pope: the maturity of 19 year-old Rehan Ahmed’s batting in his innings of 28. When he was facing Gloucestershire’s SLA Zafar Gohar, who has played for Pakistan, in the championship last season, Gohar was bowling over the wicket into the rough, and Rehan had a load of options for scoring and a solid defence.

04:32 AM GMT

OVER 84: ENG 346/7 (Pope 162 Hartley 2)

Pope opens his right wrist to poke a drive through point for a single, Hartley defends with the inside edge then slogs with a cross-bat to get off the mark. Here’s Pope’s first reverse-sweep of the day, brooming it behind point for a single, Hartley, on the charge, chips a drive down to long off for another.

The false shot from Pope has been rare and he deserves his luck when he is beaten by the turn as he drives and nicks it wide of slip for three.

04:26 AM GMT

OVER 83: ENG 338/7 (Pope 157 Hartley 0)

Rehan’s departure breaks a 64-run partnership. Two edges from successive balls, one he played deftly with soft hands, the next was a big flash with hard hands. In comes Tom Hartley nd Bumrah comes round the wicket to the left-hander. Hartley plays a tight leave at the first, watches the next sear across him and past his backside and lets the wider, last ball, go.

England lead by 149.

04:21 AM GMT


Rehan c Bharat b Bumrah 28  Tries the drive at the away swinger and nicks off to the keeper. He had edged the previous delivery too which fell short of slip.  FOW 339/7

04:21 AM GMT

OVER 82: ENG 338/6 (Pope 157 Rehan 28)

Lovely shot from Rehan to take a step and launch Jadeha over the top for four. He is made to look more tentative by a hard-turning off-break that screeches past the edge and then by a big dipper that whistles past it and almost makes him topple over. Bharat again takes off the bails but Rehan’s foot was down.

04:18 AM GMT

OVER 81: ENG 333/6 (Pope 156 Rehan 24)

India want to see if Bumrah can reverse this old ball first. (Reader, he isn’t ... yet). He continues back of a length and Rehan pushes a single to cover. Pope uses that length to open the face and glides the ball wth an angled bat down to third man for four.

Bumrah stood in his followthrough to give the boundary-bound ball the evil eye, getting in Pope’s way as he set off down the track. Pope runs into his shoulder for which Bumrah apologises and Rohit also makes a peace initiative.

Triple Nelson. England lead by 143.

04:12 AM GMT

OVER 80: ENG 327/6 (Pope 152 Rehan 23)

Rehan uses his feet to lean back and slap a shorter one with a nearly vertical bat through cover for two and plays the same stroke four balls later for one ... to take the strike for the new ball. Brave lad.

Actually Bumrah is sticking with the old one for now.

Rehan Ahmed has played a fine hand here, putting on a fifty stand with Pope. Ahmed did not play the Nighthawk last night – he just played properly, which is what England needed. This morning, he’s playing beautifully. I feared that he might be a luxury player in this team, but he’s got a big role to play from here.

04:10 AM GMT

OVER 79: ENG 324/6 (Pope 152 Rehan 20)

Jasprit begins with a snorter that angles into off and nibbles away from Pope’s edge from back of a length. The bounce is true from this end. Pope gets up on his toes to deflect the next ball down to third man with a straight bat to bring up his 150 and move into Goochie ‘daddy’ territory.

Bumrah, looking for swing, adjusts his length and overpitches. Rehan takes a stride and square drives for three, Siraj saving it from the boundary. Full again, too full, Pope flicks two off his toes.

Three apiece off the over. India are far louder in the field this morning. Far chirpier. That maybe because the crowd was so loud you could barely hear anything yesterday, though.

04:04 AM GMT

OVER 78: ENG 318/6 (Pope 149 Rehan 17)

Jadeja has the old ball for another couple of overs and starts with a shorter one that Rehan clips off the back foot for a single. The next ball is a grubber that almost does for Pope after it burrows under his bat but misses off stump. Turn and low bounce are a devastating combination. Pope jams his bat down to squirt a single to cover and Rehan plays and misses at another unplayble shooter ... again outside off. India appeal for a stumping but Rehan’s toe was grounded when Bharat knocks off the bail.

Bumrah will start straighaway.

04:00 AM GMT

Big day for the son of Leicester?

Could this be a big day for Rehan Ahmed? He has the potential to cause some damage with the bat and with Pope at one end, England do have some lower order hitters capable of piling some runs on. Will a fourth day pitch suit the leggie or have I had too much sweet chai this morning?

03:55 AM GMT

Leach update

There’s a bit more cause for optimism among the English fans in Hyderabad than there was this time yesterday, that’s for sure.

Jack Leach’s fitness is a concern. The noises are not especially positive. I am told he will bat, but it’s not clear whether he will bowl in the fourth innings. Has to be a doubt for the second Test, which is just five days away.

03:50 AM GMT

Preview: A transfusion of hope

‘Fifty or 60 more and it could be interesting,’ said a certain Ian Botham at the end of the most resonant session in England’s history at Leeds in 1981. The following morning they made only five more yet, as we all know, they still managed to win. “Well,” he said that afternoon, toking on a cheroot. “It made it even more interesting.”

If it seems borderline blasphemous to invoke Headingley 81, it’s only to remind ourselves that England have been in more dangerous foxholes before and somehow got out of them on the winning side. That still seems improbable this morning, which they begin 126 ahead by virtue of Ollie Pope’s magnificent 148* and his 112-run partnership with Ben Foakes. The two men of Surrey not only rescued England from what seemed a certain three-day mauling, they have inspired hope that their technique and temperament can make Ben Stokes’ side competitive in this series. If the lessons they learned from first innings to third can be replicated by the bowlers from second to fourth, England have a chance on a pitch that is only becoming more unpredictable.

And yet CrickViz’s view that England have a 25 per cent chance of victory seems too high to this observer unless both Mark Wood (23 away wickets at 18 bowling in the second innings compared with 26 at 31 in the first) and Joe Root (15 at 49 in the second innings away from home compared with 24 at 39 in the first) take the majority of the wickets. Jack Leach is still having problems with his knee and Tom Hartley and Rehan Ahmed seem too raw to chip in with more than the odd scalp.

England fans will hope that Rehan, who batted with impish confidence last night, continues in the same vein and can exploit an Indian attack that was visibly tiring last night. The new ball is due in three overs, though, and the threat Messrs Bumrah, Ashwin, Jadeja and Patel pose with a harder ball will be significantly more difficult to tackle.

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