At some point over the next two days England are very likely to be bowled out and go 1-0 down in this series. India’s level of command in this match is now absolute, finishing day three 298 ahead with just three wickets down. They may well already have enough runs on the board on a pitch that looks to be deteriorating rapidly.
To some extent England are unlucky. Quite clearly the toss has proved vital to the outcome, day one was by far the best day on which to bat, but it doesn’t change how England missed chances to keep that first innings score under control, nor does it excuse being 80-5 in reply. From there and through today, England fought hard enough. Stokes and Bairstow almost got through the morning session, and the final total of 255 was a pretty decent effort from the wreckage late on day two.
But England were so far behind, in so much trouble, that it would have taken a monumental effort to get vaguely close. Those two have rescued England on several occasions, often in tandem, but they can’t do it all the time and can’t be expected to. They did pretty well as it was. Stokes is developing nicely as a Test batsman, for someone expected in some quarters to be a rabbit in the headlights against spin he once again showed patience and technique, with the odd flashing blade when a loose ball went down.
But with his dismissal the end came swiftly with only Adil Rashid offering much resistance. Rashid has been making people eat their words with both bat and ball this series, some who should know better have allowed their cricketing prejudices and favouritism to override objective analysis. He’s now getting praise for performances that he’s always been able to produce, given support and a captain that trusts him. His bowling spell in the last session was controlled, dangerous and caused Kohli some difficulty – a novelty in this match.
It shouldn’t need saying but apparently it does. Leg spinners can go for runs, leg spinners can drag down long hops. Leg spinners can take wickets. It isn’t a question of character, and attempts to portray him as weak shamed those who did so. It won’t prevent them repeating the dose whenever the opportunity arises.
It was no surprise at all India didn’t enforce the follow on, with so much time left and a wicket that is only going to get worse. And while England got off to a good start with the ball, courtesy of the hampered Broad and Anderson, even bowling India out for 100 would leave an almost impossible task. Indeed, the challenge now for the hosts will be deciding when to declare. Batting appears easier in the morning session and gets progressively harder across the day. From a purely runs/time perspective half a day’s batting would be about right, leaving England something like 130 overs to survive. It’s hard to see that happening.
Nevertheless, even in likely defeat England need to show some spine. They lost the first Test on the last tour, but Cook’s second innings 176 that never quite seemed to offer up any chance of salvation did demonstrate that scoring runs was possible. Repeating the feat would give something to cling on to for the remaining three matches.
While that is the optimistic view, there is also the nagging feeling that they may instead fall in a heap and go down to a hammering. Momentum simply doesn’t exist in a long Test series, but it would be hard to avoid fearing for the rest of the tour if they lose this one badly.
Of course, managing the expectations and justifying disaster has been the stock in trade for some for a while, the line that anything better than a 5-0 defeat would be a good effort is as idiotic as it always was, which won’t prevent the usual suspects from excusing everything. England are not that inferior to India to make a heavy series defeat in any way acceptable. They are competitive, and in this match they are at least fighting hard. That needs to continue.
The news that Broad has a tendon injury creates a problem for the rest of the series. He was limping at the close of play but is supposed to be fit to bowl tomorrow. Given the match situation it’s hard to see what the benefit of making him do so is. England are not short of bowling options having six front line ones. Even without him there are two seamers and three spinners. Giving him the day off might be the wiser course.
Day Four Comments below
Kohli is going to be key tomorrow. If he bats till lunch or beyond, the game will certainly be beyond reach for England. It looks that way, even now.
In Rajkot, late wickets made the game interesting. With 6 centuries in the test, the game was always going to drift towards a draw. Here, there’s every chance that the game may not go to the last day.
But all things considered, i would say that the game has still been an interesting one.
Even though India seem to have been ahead, we’ve seen a fightback from JB and Stokes that has led to India batting again. This English side has too many good players to be capitulating all the time. Broad and Anderson have been good but India have coped well even if the openers have been duds in the game. Someone or the other has found a way to add a few runs.
I am a bit surprised that Jadeja hasn’t been as effective in the game yet, but the wicket hasn’t given him enough up/down movement to be a threat.
Unpredictable bounce may yet come into play.
Patting ourselves on the back a bit, but we passed 666,666 hits about 6pm – so 2/3 million in 21 months and a 10 days. Not bad for a load of bilious inadequates.
For those of you who visited HDLWIA in the old days, that makes around 1.03 million hits since the day KP was sacked. You social media zealots!
I can’t thank everyone enough, even, to a degree, the haters, for making this site what it is. Here’s to many more comments (over 31000 here) and posts in the years to come.
Dmitri / LCL
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It’s very interesting why this site has had such success, in the broader context of people being fed up with the established order.
In a world where the US elects a clown because it can’t stomach the establishment anymore, and the UK cuts off its nose to spite its European face, it’s clear something is in the wind. People are not happy with what they’re getting, it was suppossed to be better tha this. I know this site has touch point like KP and Cook, but going beyond that, I think it’s attractive because its questioning and challenging. The Corbyn/Sanders of cricket. It’s also blessed with very intelligent students of the game above and below the line.
Corbyn/ Sanders of cricket????
I’m not sure if that’s a good comparison.
Anything that is aligned to that idiot Corbyn is doomed isnt it?
Bloody hell!!! 😧😧🆘🆘⚰️⚰️
The English press isn’t the only one to employ stooges. Normally cricinfo is pretty reliable but Moonda has thrown up a doozy of partisan cheerleading with this one about Faf and his mint:
The Australian cricket team has said nothing. CA has said nothing. The ICC has chosen to investigate, and in fact to charge Faf. So Moonda decides to write about how hostile Australia is to tourists (as if no other country is; try being white in India, or Australian in England, ask Ponting what it’s like being booed to the crease when you’re one of the world’s premier batsmen on your final English tour), and finish with a bit of vindictive crowing about results.
A journalist might ask if this mint-sucking ball tampering practice is real or a myth, does it really work. Doesn’t everyone do it? Could we realistically control such a thing? What’s the difference between maintenance and tampering? Nah, those questions are too hard, lets just criticise Australia for something that is entirely between SA and ICC.
I hope cricinfo can maintain it’s standards, because it’s really valuable.
But on the positive side, it’s nice to see the current scoreline can be put down to just mint-based cheating, and nothing to do with fundamental lack of batting technique by Australia.
And this can be extrapolated to 2005 too, where Trescothic openly declared the use of mints. Absolutely nothing to do with on the final day of the series FUCKING WARNE DROPPING FUCKING PIETERSEN WHO HAD A FUCKING BLUE SKUNK HAIRCUT AND WHO WENT ON TO SCORE A FUCKING MATCH DRAWING AND SERIES WINNING 158. It was all about the mints.
I’m still seeing my therapist about it.
I don’t really have much to say on this test match now. Unless a miracle occurs India will wrap this up either tomorrow or the 5th day. England had a poor first two days, and on this wicket that’s likely game set and match.
Whatever fight England show or individual performances they come up with for the rest of the match will likey be too little too late. The media seem quite happy. Having lowered the expectations of this tour so low only a limbo dancer and captain Cook could get under who cares if it finishes 4-0?
Strangely I don’t think this a great Indian team. The batting line up is not as strong as it has been in the past. Obiously the captain is real class, the depth is not as formidable as has been. I think England can be competitive in this series. I just don’t think we get the best out of what we have.
Anyone see the verdict, and poor Mike Atherton stuck in the boot of the taxi not able to talk, while The Leader of the pack droned on and on? A rather apt metaphor for the English cricket media I felt. We’re all Mike Athertons now, stuck in the boot, while Nasser “Brando” Hussien rides up front.
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The Verdict was dire and while that bit of self-love in the car (oh er) was the pits there was plenty else.
Take Dominic Cork. Please do. He was claiming that England needed to go at Kohli with bouncers and verbals. This wasn’t too surprising as this was always Cork’s Plan B (and often his Plan A). Ten minutes later he was having a go at Stokes for being too expensive and not bowling at the top of off. Stokes was expensive because he had a go with bouncers after the first innings’ drop. No wonder Cork fell out with every dressing room he was ever part of (or something).
Bob Willis is usually better value but he was writing a narrative that was so self-deluding it almost felt someone had had a word not to be so negative. Just to give one example – England’s batting was supposedly looking better than at any other time in the series during the Hameed-Root partnership before the run out. Watching it live, it didn’t look like that at all. The clue is in the Strike Rates. Hameed wasn’t going that slowly because he wanted to. Root was trying to stop the innings completely stagnating and was increasingly all over the place. The run out didn’t come out of nowhere – India were squeezing the batsmen, Root was pressing for every run he could get and his brains were looking increasingly scrambled.
Oh well, the narrative is in place – England lost because Rashid dropped a catch and Root had two unaccountable brain-farts. Nothing else to see here. Move along – and file it with the other fairy tales.
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Companion to ‘Masterly Batting’ is out for bowling feats:
No Marshall nor Lillee (how can the MCG in 79/80 not have made the cut?) and Warne only once to Tufnell’s twice? Harrumph.
England have the top three quick bowling performances of all-time and Broad’s is the greatest ever?
I think the 5 wicket cut off point works against fast bowlers. This morning we saw Broad and Rashid both with 4 wickets, but only the spinner was still on.
Broad would have benefited from how high some of the Australian batsmen’s averages were when the list was calculated. It would be slightly lower now that, for example, dismissing Voges is only equivalent to dismissing Graeme Pollock or George Headley, not Bradman.
I suspect bowling performances in the 80s and 90s will have suffered from the lack of batsmen with very high averages because of the general high quality bowling. The 1950s and 2000s were decades of high batting averages (in the 2000s there were nearly a dozen batsmen averaging 50+ whereas in the 1970s it was five).
Agreed, in which case the whole exercise comes over as somewhat self-defeating. How can you not adjust for the Voges effect and expect to retain credibility?
Personally I would have thought performances defending low fourth innings totals deserve a huge weighting, which is why Willis remains streets ahead of Broad for me. He took all 8 from a point where the target was down to 74 with nine in hand, and all were gone within 55 runs of that point. I don’t believe his higher number of runs conceded should matter if the job was done from that point.
I am of similar mind regarding third innings efforts that transform otherwise tight contests, hence Malcolm and Harmison > Broad.
Better stop here before it all starts to resemble boiled piss though, eh?
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Especially bowlers with much quality support. Bit hard to take 5 wickets, when the other 3 pacers are say Holding, Garner, Roberts. Much ‘easier’ when the support is not that good. Likewise, if there is only 1 quality quick, batsmen will try to see that one off, and cash in against the bowlers who are not as good. Also true of spinners, but spinners can generally bowl long spells than quicks, so the effect is not as pronounced.
And I am sorry, but if 8/15 in 60 all out in favourable bowling conditions makes the cut (at #3), then I have to wonder about the selection criteria. It is not like the Australians these days are experts in batting in such conditions. If the Australians regularly get to 600 in such conditions, then yes. But that is hardly the case anymore, as was evidenced a week before in the same series. Furthermore it begs the question why the list is not filled with Lohmann, Spofforth and the like? Hard to do the write-ups? I am sorry, but being unable to write about a bowling spell, does not diminish the quality of the bowling spell – and it seems the list is too heavily skewed toward the present.
The problem is of course that it is next to impossible to come up with a qualifying metric that works well. Simply because bowling is not wholly individual – just like batting. If you’re a batsman, it helps if you’re batting with say Tendulkar, rather than Ishant Sharma. With Ross Taylor, rather than Chris Martin.
Plenty of 4-wicket hauls that were match defining, plenty of 5 wicket hauls that were rather meaningless, or alternatively only arrived at because the bowler got #11 out, when it was more or less academic (for the purpose of the result).
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No Tyson 54/55? No Barnes at Melbourne 1911/12? It looks wholly weighted towards the last 50 years. Great bowlers did not exist before then.
MIAB, the runs/wickets ratio was lower pre-WW1 so that would count against Barnes. I’d guess that Tyson’s bowling in Sydney suffered from that it was a generally low-scoring match and he didn’t dismiss the class opposition batsmen (Morris and Harvey). However at the MCG he got Morris, Harvey and Miller so I’d be astonished if that 7/27 isn’t in Nos. 11-30.
The explanation, I’d guess, for Bob Willis being lower than Broad would be that only one of the batsmen he dismissed had a Test average over 40 (quick, who?….) whereas at TB Broad got Rogers, Smith, Clarke and Voges who would all look like top wickets to take from their career averages (although we may think Clarke had gone then and Voges’ record was massively mis-leading).
I don’t think one can say there is a general modern era bias when Tayfield comes out on top. Here’s the relevant match:
He got May, Cowdrey and Compton among his nine and bowled his side to a 17-run win. England were the number one ranked side at the time and it wasn’t that low-scoring a game.
The thing that might produce a modern bias is how much of a weighting they give to Strike Rate. That would benefit modern bowlers given that modern batsmen don’t tend to value crease-occupation so much (it’s why quoting Moeen Ali’s Strike Rate compared to past England spinners is pretty meaningless IMO).
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Bit of a lie-in this morning, and wake up to discover Kohli is now Rashid’s bunny. 🙂
Oh no, sorry. It was all Stokes’ catch, (“you can’t keep him out of the game”) while “Broad does the damage”, apparently. I must have imagined the bowler…
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Crowd is 22.5k today.
Run of 36 balls without a run. Can’t be a problem when you’ve decided this is an opening partnership for the ages. “It won’t worry these two” declares Beefy bullishly.
Vaughan on TMS: “I’m finding it hard to believe how well this pitch has held after lunch. I thought it would end up spinning square and bouncing but its not being as unpredictable as this morning. Rashid was getting a lot of success but as of yet India haven’t had any luck. ”
Pitch, luck – no skill from fragile Rashid
The rubbish that Hussain is spewing about England having had such a magnificent day. Dearie me, it is a decent fight but ffs England need over 360 to win the game with 4 sessions left. It will only take a couple of wickets and likely it will be apres la deluge.
Part of the problem is that England is batting too slow – and thus effectively, India can decide whether to bowl 90 overs tomorrow or say 140. I think Sri Lanka managed to bowl 47 overs in 2 hours in the post-lunch session against South Africa in the drawn second Test in 2014. Jadeja can really race through his overs, if the runrate is not a concern. Of course batting time is the highest priority, but England also have to try to reduce the number of overs they will have to face.
If possible, they need to keep the scoreboard ticking a bit.
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Exactly, and even though the pitch isn’t a minefield, there are enough deliveries doing enough to receive one with your number on it, and it will be very diffiuclt for those that follow them. I don’t see that many of the players that follow will want to attempt to go that long without scoring and it will of course bring about opportunities for the fielding team.
I am not too critical of the way that these two are batting, as they are only doing what is natural to them on a ptich that now isn’t that easy for strokeplay but the game situation is what it is, i.e, that it is only a matter of time before India breaks through and that it will then be a completely different matter for those who follow them.
Hussain has been banging on and on about Kohli’s captaincy and all the mistakes he’s been making (so much so that a nervous Shastri barged in about how the bowlers were to blame).
This would be fair enough (there has been some nonsense – a deep square leg for Hameed?) except the blue whale with “agenda” painted on its side. People have been mean about your beloved Chef – so you’re going to launch into the opposing captain? The fair points are lost in with the rubbish. “He’s doing too much…. even shining the ball”. Yes, that’s why India haven’t taken a wicket.
England seem to have embarked upon a blockathon. Whether that was a strategy or has just evolved, who knows? Hussain and Botham have been going on about it as if it’s genius (“old-fashioned virtues” has made its first appearance). It isn’t as if they’ve spent the last two years ramming attacking batmanship down our throats and slaughtering anyone who departed from that script (you know who i particular). When the Saffers attempted it on their tour (143 overs in Delhi), they didn’t have a good word to say about it.
All I want is some dispassionate consideration of the pros and cons. It’s kept ten wickets intact. On the other hand, it’s taken the win out of the equation (which only required a fairly normal RR after all), maybe passed up the opportunity to score runs when batting was at its easiest and allowed India to move attacking fielders in. When Kohli went from two to four close catchers, all Hussain could so was launch into another tirade on Kohli’s captaincy, not also point out that England’s RR was allowing it.
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Would Nasser be as critical of Cook in the same situation? You would like to think so but probably not. Does Nasser think he is in some way defending Cook from any criticism by attacking Kohli like this? Probably yes. It’s been quite a remarkable transformation for Nasser in the last 3 years and it isn’t a good one.
India lost their reviews. One to Kumar, one to Rod Tucker. Both umpire’s calls (Kumar clipping the stumps, RodTucker, whether the impact was in line). Both times Cook the lucky batsman.
But I suppose, since it is Cook, it was “skill”, not “luck”.
The second one was particularly lucky as I’m sure that the umpire likely gave him not out more through being doubtful over pad being first over bat rather than the impact.
Mind you I really don’t see the point of assigning “umpire’s call” to an observed event.
The other problem is of course that DRS either assumes an appeal had everything going for it (when given), or nothing (when not given). So umpire can make mistakes (like what you think happened here; I am off the same mind), and still get vindicated because they possibly made a mistake elsewhere (in this case whether the impact was in line).
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I’m certainly not having a go at the umpire for not being ble to tell pad before bat with the naked eye, but the impact would have been tricky to tell. For the first review, I actually thought Cook had got outside the line of off when the review showed that he wasn’t. The second one I thought he was in line and in that instance the margin ruled in favour of the umpire.
Hameed gone to a virtul shooter.
Ashwin went full-Broad on the appeal running three-quarters of the way down the pitch before looking at the umpire. DRS showed it hitting leg.
Cook LBW to Jadeja, upheld on review.
Weirdly similar innings to Dhaka by Cook – looked relatively untroubled up until about 40 but any number of close shaves in the last stretch until the final dismissal.
Press box aroma:
England won’t be too unhappy with the result of Day 4. Just losing 1 wicket in 60 overs is good going. The only concern is that the scoring rate has been so low, that they might potentially face 140 overs tomorrow.
And of course, as I write this, Cook is lbw to Jadeja last ball of the day. Good innings (and his SR was decent enough – Hameed was a tad too slow), but England needed even more from him.
So 87/2, with a day left. Now, Duckett in next, or save him for later?
Expecting any mentions of getting in and not going on?
In a press box in Andhra Pradesh a Daily Mail reporter gently sobs, as his hero failed to see through the day, and the chances to pen a “Better than Atherton at Johannesburg” piece fritter away into the ether. Comforted by many companions, he starts typing of such an act of heroism, and of the slings and arrows of misfortune. We await his tear-stained prose.
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Stuart Broad ought to be Theresa May’s Brexit press release guy. A brilliant, bravura performance on interview. He might be over the coals though for describing Cook’s dismissal as a “shame”. Got to upgrade that.
His off-the-field contribution bonus in the new central contracts requires at least the use of the word “tragedy” accompanied by two adjectives (like “heart-breaking”, and so forth).
What was that referral? Broadian in its self-importance. If Root is sawn off tomorrow before 80 overs are up, will Cook’s referral be mentioned?
How dare you sir? You have been told often enough by his emissaries that the dauphin has “no trace of ego”!
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I’d turned the TV sound off but I gather from Twitter that Hussain (“masterful” on commentary according to another house favourite) in the last hour claimed Cook was a “situation” player, not a “personality” player.
That’s the reservoir of affection drained for good now.
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In reply to Simon, I heard Hussain’s “situation player” nonsense, too. I posted this on Twitter at the time. More interestingly, it was retweeted by Nick Compton, make of which you will –
Hmm. I don’t think I’m as negative about today as some are. England go into the final day with 8 wickets intact and that’s a lot better than I expected. Cook getting out is a big blow, and I still expect India to win this. But England have a chance of clinging on, and that’s an upgrade on their position after day three.
Nor am I going to criticise them for batting slowly. They aren’t going to get 400+ to win, it’s out of the question. A draw is the limit of their ambitions.
Cook’s wicket was the redemption for Indian bowlers, in my view. Now they can get a fair crack at the middle order though the wicket hasn’t crumbled yet to make the result a certainty. I don’t think England are going to make any attempts to win the game, but then if the wicket continues to play decently, there’s firepower in the order to make Kohli nervous.
Pringle’s back (sort of):
He whose card is marked never got a mention!
Pretty healthy debate going on in the comments section too
And he can’t help himself.
“You don’t need to bellow, have patriotic tattoos or a perpetual grimace to show you are up for it, just a quiet determination like his will do.”
The tragedy of the utter bollocks that has been churned out by the cretinous oafs who inhabit the English press box is that when Cook actually puts in a good performance it can’t be given the proper justice. Why? Because these morons have used up every piece of praise and over the top fawning just to describe the fact that Cook can walk, and chew gum at the same time.
If he had been treated as a normal human being with understandable flaws it would mean his good innings could be given their due. It was a great shame for him and England he got out last ball. He had a bit of good fortune. But you need that on a 4 th day pitch in India. However they media have undermined him by elevating him to God status.
It England lose this match it will come back to the first innings. If they had taken another 2 sessions out of the game first knock and scored 375 they would be almost home for the draw. Maybe they still wil achieve that, but I doubt it.
I’m always amazed at how much the posters on this blog are swayed by opinions in the press, considering how it’s pushed as some kind of bastion of truth.
Maybe try and take an objective view of the performance of the players, rather than seeing it through the prism of the comments of some journalists/commentators you have decided you can’t stand?
I’m always amazed…..
This blog has never claimed to be a bastion of any kind of truth, nor an arbiter of it. It’s opinion, just as you are free to have yours.
I’m always amazed you even bother turning up here. No-one will take your advice. Why on earth do you imagine for a second that you will have any influence? The blog grew in large part because of its reaction to media coverage. Lots of commenters are here because they got fed up with ATL and BTL at other media outlets. This is completely embedded in the blog’s character. There’s even an annual media poll ffs. If you just want “objective” assessments of performance there are apparently dozens of other places where you’ll get them. Unfortunately a lot of people here don’t think they’re all that objective really; they just have the air of authority and the notion that they’re free from their own biases is absurd.
So really, what do you hope to get out of this latest intervention?
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I’m always amazed by the people who come here to lecture us about how we should be more reasonable, tolerant & balanced in the face of a press pack that is completely unreasonable, intolerant, & unbalanced.
Why do you want us to be yet another one of the same? Are there not enough outlets churning out what you require?
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I’m always amazed that there’s no effing parking spaces at Costco in Croydon on a Sunday lunchtime. What a waste of 2 and a half hours that was.
To the extent that the Sky highlights of Day 4 showed more runs by Cook than by Kohli. Was that neutral?
Lovely to see you back General.
A quick, if not unrelated point, to the issue raised. If, back in February 2014, the ECB had taken, and I quote “an objective view of the performance of the players” this blog would never have existed in the form it is now. If the press, who lined up with the ECB had taken “an objective view of the performance of the players”, then we’d never have got any traction.
If I want to write like All Out Cricket, no-one would read it. And I’d be lying to myself if I did.
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“Here really was the apprentice to Cook’s master of the good old-fashioned virtues of application and concentration with a sound technique that is dying out in a modern world that wants its sporting thrills to be instant”
“Adil Rashid returned to clean up the tail”.
You know who. I must have dreamt it but it’s the champion of “old-fashioned virtues” and hater of “instant thrills” who’s been lobbying for Buttler at No.4.
Ah, yes. The tail batsman who scored nearly 250 runs in this Test. I think most countries would die to have such a leader of the tail. Even if he does bowl the occasional tripe ball.
… in the England team the middle order is called the tail…